Hi, welcome to our temporary "home" for people mapping in Benin. If we ever get more in numbers and more active, we can probably find a better location like the users in large countries.
I am user Webtooslow and I am interested in sharing good ideas and hopefully getting our methods in sync, so that the Benin-map will be nice and consistent.
Here are two initial points for discussion, where I would value your input:
What to do about the compounds
Benin is full of "compounds". Those are structures, for example a health station or a school, which are typically surrounded by a wall, with one or more entries. Mapping within such a compound is tricky because local people do not yet know about OSM. If you just walk in with a tracker and start measuring buildings (for example in a hospital) you will get into trouble, even if the place is fully open to the population.
So what is a good way to map such a hospital: Go in, greet the director, explain. Then walk around all the way. Carefull the corners might be full of weeds, thorns, critters, human waste and dangerous medical waste, syringes etc. Now walk around all the buildings respectively. Take some photos if the director has authorized you. If not, you might find your camera taken from you!
Now back on my editor, how do I mark it up? A polygon for the outside wall. Fine but that hardly shows on the map. Do I mark the entire compound as "the hospital"? Yes, probably. That way it will be rendered and have a hospital-icon and its name shown.
Now what about compounds which are not available as one of the classical "Map Features"? I mark the wall as barrier=wall. And I try to find some land_use to give the thing a meaningful colour.
I also try to mark the entrance to such a walled compound with "barrier entrance" but again it is not shown on the map. If you show a very large hospital on the map (covering an entire block in town), it would be nice to show the users on which sice, i.e. from which street, they find the entrance. Please help if you have a solution.
I mostly work with the aerial imagery. There I firstly trace the wall that is opened at the entrances. Then I trace the buildings which I give the tag building=school or hospital and then i make a node in the middle of the building, that I tag amenity=hospital and name=XYZ. I think the gps can not help you so much for the buildings. perhaps you will try to take a picture and then have some important points marked with the gps of which you can orientate yourself with the picture, benoitberlin
What to do about the water stations
In Benin-villages the wells and water-points are very important. I find that development agencies keep putting more wells down all the time and sometimes they seem to be unaware about existing wells near by. Time to map. In Map Features list http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Map_Features there is sadly no central place where all village water features are listed together. I find these interesting:
the tricky bit here in Benin is the definition of fit-for-drinking; if we tag something as drinking water, the quality might be fine for certain people and make other people sick. Or the quality can change and often the mappers are short-term-guests and cannot do follow-up
This one looks promising, but according to the Map Features page, it does not even get rendered. Is this true???
This is meant for animals, but you know how local wells can be integrated for humans and the off-flow for animals
is meant for marinas, but I like the definition: where you can get large amounts of "drinking water"... (this sounds like places at Bassila)
You can see that the existing features are not bad, but not automatically suitable for Benin.
I would like a standardised way of tagging water places: Open well or closed well? Rope and bucket provided or need to bring own gear? How deep is well? Hand-pump or foot-pump or other (maybe solar?)? Water quality? Water taps: Water free? For sale? What opening hours? What quality/treatment? And if we get well organized we could talk to the people who program the rendering(s) and ask them nicely for one or two appropriate symbols. Or at least to mark the water places with the existing symbol for "amenity drinking_water".
Please write here what you think, or give links to examples of what you have done so far.
I have added only one pump so far (http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/changeset/7343525) at 9.009706, 1.6827281 and of course it does not render because I had marked it amenity hand_pump... I feel adding these places to the map, would give it real relevant value for the local population and for organisations and local government, who are dealing with water and infrastructure. --Webtooslow (talk) 21:04, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
I also think, that it is very import to be able to add those water-points. I made a map of Boukombé (http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=17/10.18276/1.10191&layers=H) where I included them. I tagged it amenity drinking_water and man_made water_well. If you do it they will be rendered. I think it is a good idea to give more attributes. If you have a good proposal, you could post it here: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features. In may point of you its better to tag them amenity drinking water instead of amenity hand pump.
In my point of view the important places in benin are: Hospitals, Schools, Water wells, Shops (also e.g. mills, market places...) and perhaps tourism places
The progress of the mapping
Some user has given us tables of towns and progress markers in %. See here for an example http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Benin#Smaller_towns
I would like to hear from you about how this can or should be measured or estimated for small towns and who will or should mark the progress and for what purpose? --Webtooslow (talk) 21:04, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
It was me who made the list. The progress in % is just a estimation I made. Feel free to change it. It's just a raw idea of how much was already done.
I also change the wiki pages today. The border, road, town, city and school tables have own pages (like http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Benin/Borders) that are included in the french and english wiki page. SO the list will always be at the newest state in both languages. benoitberlin
Trying to show all the users who tagged themselves for Benin: