Humanitarian OSM Team/Working groups/Activation/meeting 2013-11-01

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Meeting on Fri Nov 1st 2013 to discuss HOT activation


The Tasking Manager was the main topic of this discussion. Development of the Tasking Manager V2 is underway. It can be seen at

Suggestion has been made to integrate a Crowdsource Image Recognition tool such as Kuona or Mapmill into the Task Manager. What is interesting about this discussion is that it opens the possibility to coordinate /centralize the redistribution of various Tasks types in the Task Manager and redirect it to the appropriate tool.

Other discussions were related to the redisign of the Tasking Manager and the coordination of mappers. The Wiki pages are an other important part of coordination. A specific button could be added on top of each task to redirect to the wiki page. IRC has been discussed again. There are propositions to bring an IRC in each Task where the history of discussions would be kept. This is not to replace the general discussions on the #HOT IRC, but to support the mappers working on the specific tasks.

IRC log:

14:04:04 pierzen : Activation WG, who is joining in ?
14:05:55 dodobas : im on the stand-by ...
14:06:04 pierzen : hi dodobas
14:06:06 dodobas : (w8t for lunch :) )
14:07:13 pierzen : Activation WG, any other participants ?
14:10:59 pierzen : Activation WG, we wait for participants...
14:11:33 pierregiraud : hello
14:11:41 pierzen : hi pierregiraud
14:11:49 pierregiraud : ping me if there are questions / remarks about the tasking manager
14:11:55 pierzen : ok
14:18:46 dan4dm : hi
14:18:54 pierzen : hi dan4dm
14:19:05 pierzen : you are the first one to connect
14:19:22 dan4dm :  :)
14:20:02 dan4dm : I am mostly a HOT lurker... but in part I'm wondering if we can do anything useful at the London OSM Hack weekend coming soon
14:20:49 dan4dm : pierregiraud: ^
14:21:06 pierzen : Are you thinking about some developments?
14:21:23 pierzen : pierregiraud: might be interested, yes
14:21:53 pierregiraud : I am
14:22:12 dan4dm : me and harry were chatting about whether we could do something e.g. with kuoni (put it on the TM homepage so there's "something to do" for non-hardcore people)
14:22:43 dan4dm : (kuona!)
14:22:51 pierregiraud : integrate the Kuona concept into the tasking manager?
14:22:54 pierregiraud : sounds great
14:23:31 dan4dm : I wouldn't want to disrupt whatever is currently happening with TMv2, but I like the idea
14:24:13 pierregiraud : the v2 is moving forward but very slowly
14:25:20 pierregiraud : it would be interesting to write ideas down first
14:25:40 pierzen : It is good to centralize in one place. Yes there could be different type of jobs to select, then bringing to different tools.
14:25:51 pierregiraud : maybe mock up some interfaces, define wording
14:29:11 pierzen : This way, we would still have on centralized coordination tool, the Task Manager, that connect to various task tools. An interesting concept.
14:37:53 dan4dm : here's a VERY quick sketch of a thought (sorry I broke the css):
14:39:54 pierregiraud : nice
14:40:07 pierzen : This type of contribution is easy and do not necessitate an OSM account. It may bring other contributors starting to help.
14:40:18 pierregiraud : so this would be a single "10 seconds" project at a time
14:40:29 pierregiraud : I like it very much
14:40:50 pierregiraud : I was thinking about a dedicated page though
14:41:16 pierregiraud : Maybe just an attractive link to a new page
14:41:39 pierregiraud : I agree that this shouldn't require a login
14:42:23 pierregiraud : in v2 I tried to let users navigate in the application without authentication
14:42:46 pierregiraud : and ask them to authenticate only when they are ready to contribute
14:43:01 pierregiraud : I hope this will help people join in
14:43:29 pierzen : yes,
14:43:45 pierregiraud : dan4dm: you sketched it using the v2?
14:43:51 pierregiraud : did you manage to install it?
14:44:08 dan4dm : no didn't install. just grabbed the html
14:44:14 pierregiraud : OK
14:44:21 dan4dm : fdbk on TMv2 (just browsing now): seems nice and clean and useful. one thing: the "Contribute" link is VERY easy to miss.
14:44:51 pierregiraud : I agree
14:44:55 dan4dm : I went to a task, thought, "hmm, oh, something marked as done, that must be why there's nothing for me to do here" - noticed later that the "Contribute" link at the top is what you want me to do
14:45:15 pierzen : plus other tools could be integrated in TM, in the sense that you have a master list of projects that redirect either to the classical TM or othr tools like Kuona. From there it would be independant, except the same page design indicating Task manager and possibility to easily come back to the main TM page.
14:46:16 dan4dm : TBH I don't really understand why Info and Contribute are separate. the useful thing about v1 is I can keep reading the instructions, even while contributing
14:46:40 pierregiraud : I thought that a big map was better
14:46:48 pierregiraud : but you might be right
14:47:47 dan4dm : what's the difference between Activity (under Info) and History (under Contribute)?
14:48:00 pierregiraud : once again, I'm open to design ideas
14:48:07 pierregiraud : activity is for the whole project
14:48:15 pierregiraud : History is for the chosen task
14:48:18 dan4dm : ok
14:48:21 pierregiraud : not clear, I agree
14:48:56 pierregiraud : I wish I had more time to do some mockups
14:49:07 pierregiraud : I like designing interface
14:49:09 dan4dm : (it'll be clearer once there's real data in it :)
14:49:43 pierzen : A big map is better. The bar on top that let's go easily from one panel to the other, But I would bring back the Worflow. We had discussions before in the Activation WG where people said this is important and detailed instructions should be provided.
14:49:43 pierregiraud : currently I'm developing while thinking
14:49:59 pierzen : (Workflow).
14:50:20 pierregiraud : workflow can be easily re-added
14:50:43 pierzen : Yes , this is more a design question.
14:51:51 pierregiraud : my problem is that in the current version of the tasking manager, some jobs use description other use the workflow to describe what needs to be done
14:52:21 pierzen : We can give instructions to editors to have more coherence.
14:52:23 pierzen : on this.
14:52:53 pierzen : An other aspect of coordination, is the possibility to exchange, chat or other ways.
14:52:56 dan4dm : I don't remember having been part of a job that used workflow. sounds good, but I can't say anything clever about it re the interface design...
14:52:57 pierregiraud : did you see the new "project creation" pages?
14:53:19 dan4dm : pierzen: e.g., just a simple chat window associated with each proj?
14:53:25 pierregiraud : messaging has been discussed with Kate
14:53:31 pierregiraud : she were looking for funding
14:53:39 pierregiraud : which doesn't look easy to get
14:53:39 pierzen : dan4dm: yes
14:54:28 pierregiraud : dan4dm: this wouldn't be a real time chat at first
14:54:39 pierregiraud : but more a forum like mecanism
14:55:10 pierzen : plus keep history of discussion.
14:55:16 pierregiraud : yep
14:55:26 pierregiraud : and also with relevance of messages
14:55:36 pierzen : this could be easily stored in a database.
14:55:49 dan4dm : non-realtime persistent chat sounds ideal to me. just a single nonthreaded box where people can type "um are we supposed to do wells too?" "no"
14:56:21 pierzen : yes.
14:56:24 dan4dm : as a relative newbie, i'd appreciate seeing that when I first consider joining a task
14:57:00 pierzen : I remember discussions in Mali about wells. You progress, find ways to spot them, you give examples.
14:57:05 pierzen : with imagery.
14:57:52 pierzen : This is done via the hot irc. But no history is kept and not specific to a task.
14:58:48 pierzen : offer both notes sharing and chat. I wonder if such tools could be easily adapted. An instance is available at
14:59:02 dan4dm : yes indeed. don't want to replicate the work of IRC or other things, unless needed, but having specific chat attached to each task feels useful to me.
14:59:14 dan4dm : oh that feels neat, using etherpad or whatever
14:59:40 dan4dm :
15:00:20 harry-wood : If we're doing live instant chat though, I think it should be just a view of this #hot IRC channel
15:00:20 dan4dm : (disadvantage: userids not associated with whatever happens on etherpad)
15:00:44 pierzen : yes. The best would be to have the userids.
15:00:52 harry-wood : keen to avoid creating "yet another communication channel"
15:02:00 dan4dm : harry-wood: indeed. IRC drawbacks include: no partitioned conversation-per-task; no persistence. but then is that such a big deal.
15:03:10 pierzen : The object is to have info related to a specific task and not general discussions that should be on the hot irc.
15:03:15 dan4dm : so a simple widget showing the #hot chat, with "mild" persistence (the past 20 lines of chat stay there until pushed off)... wondering... might be useful, might add community feel to TM
15:04:07 pierzen : also the feedback from others while you participate to a task.
15:04:13 harry-wood : The other thing is… we should have a detailed wiki page on an activation or "humanitarian mapping project" and this might link to an OSM Tasking Manager job …or sometimes more than one. Maybe there should be an explicit field on the tasking manager for a big fat link to the "parent" wiki description
15:04:40 harry-wood : Optional… but I would expect most responses to have it
15:05:08 pierzen : Yes, I already started to place this bing link in the TM Description. But this button should be moved on the top menu bar.
15:05:57 dan4dm : harry-wood: I don't understand. you're saying each TM proj should be complemented by a wiki page?
15:06:05 pierzen : not bing link but big link!
15:06:09 harry-wood : yeah
15:06:12 harry-wood : kind of
15:06:25 harry-wood : sometimes a wiki page might link to a couple of jobs
15:06:29 pierzen : That is what we do generally to coordinate.
15:06:42 harry-wood : The wiki page then becomes a place to write detailed things such as guides to identifying wells in the imagery
15:06:52 dan4dm : ok
15:07:09 harry-wood : (which applies to mapping in general, but also the mapping people do within a task sqaure)
15:07:41 dan4dm : I must get back to work, so I hope my scattershot chatter has been of some use... would like to discuss this stuff more perhaps at OSM London Hack (harry-wood? others)
15:07:53 harry-wood : Of course this then leads me to suggest another whacky idea. The text fields of the task manager job could be scraped in off the wiki thereby making them community editable
15:08:11 harry-wood : dad4dm yeah!
15:08:33 harry-wood : except I'm unfortunately not going to be able to make it to that hack weekend :-(
15:08:37 pierzen : thanks dan4dm for your suggestions.
15:08:41 harry-wood : But would be good hacking project for that weekend
15:09:22 harry-wood : dan4dm I wanted to ask if you fancied coming along to this
15:09:44 harry-wood : gate-crashing the esri party with some OpenStreetMappiness
15:10:14 dan4dm :  :) thanks for the invitation, but I'll be busy
15:10:33 harry-wood : I've signed up to go. Might be interesting
15:10:34 pierregiraud : harry-wood: by text fields you mean the job (project) description, workflow, etc...?
15:10:40 harry-wood : yeah
15:10:43 dan4dm : thanks all
15:10:45] dan4dm goes
15:10:50 harry-wood : see you dan
15:10:56 pierregiraud : thanks dan4dm
15:11:19 pierregiraud : I would be happy to chat again about the interface usability issues
15:13:24 pierzen : Yes, I will make a wiki page of this discussion, invite people to look at TMv2 and we should meet again in a week or two.
15:20:33 pierzen : thanks to all for this interesting discussion. I will copy log of this discussion on the wiki.