Talk:WikiProject Canada/Building Canada 2020
As a USA-based OSM volunteer for most of its history, and with multiple projects ("WikiProject" is often used) like many-version landuse imports, national bicycle and rail networks and professional project management experience (Apple, Adobe, others) I ask that OSM be shown the utmost deference here. OSM is to be the repository of the data and as such will effectively own the data collectively under our ODbL. We must own the process, as well.
That said, all the talk of "stakeholders...et al" is fine, as long as the direction of this WikiProject stems directly from OSM itself. I realize the "hexagon of ovals" diagramming interested and participating communities appears to be a "round table," where "all are welcome." That is true, as long as this remains a WikiProject that hews to important tenets of OSM, such as achieving consensus.
So, (I say wearing a project management hat, as we are in the earlier stages of this project, and indeed project management), I ask to see a full-throated OSM community of people who assert some (better, most) of these project management tasks. Please, articulate them, and better. Better than simply identifying the clear goal of "all Canada buildings in OSM by 2020." That "checkered flag milestone" must be accompanied by many other milestones along the way. This project will have a long beginning: it is a month long now, it may be two to four months to fully plan. This project will have a long middle: two years seems doable, depending on loads and resources.
Please identify those loads (data, how much of them, where from, how to accommodate a multiplicity of data flows in further-along stages while also accommodating the "birth" of other data sources in their nascent stages, how to know when/if "all" data are available and/or vetted and/or queued and/or entered...) as well as resources. Resources are who, how, where, using what tools and methods of communication. I see only the sketchiest of these, along with the vision. Please, now is the time to engage substantial planning resources, including and especially project management resources, as this project better fleshes out the "big middle" it will take before an import plan and actual importation of data into OSM begin.
I offer these words not to discourage that this is a LARGE project in its EARLIER stages with lofty goals, but to say that the goals are achievable only with very deep commitment by and with the OSM community, AND with substantial planning, resource requirements, wide community consensus and seriously experienced project management skills. Please do not skimp on any of those, especially with establishing OSM community who exemplify consensus, as well as the experiences of OSM "project managers" (that isn't an official title or moniker, simply a role) familiar with large, national-level projects. Most sincerely, Stevea (talk) 01:39, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
- First would get cities to start releasing data and participating which seems more like a waiting game more then anything. Once we identify participating cities we can have the regular discussions associated with imports. For rural areas we might as well trace them by hand this is where universities could participate in organized mapothons. I've traced my fair share of buildings and dont mind helping train new mappers. I do agree scruss was premature on declaring this on the imports list when the local discussion was still taking place.James2432 (talk) 02:15, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
- Excellent; just the sort of response I like to see. Very small pilot projects that will be known to get refined/improved might be a next vision as an earlier milestone to achieve. This must be coupled with a QA plan so that not only can quality be assured, but one can show HOW the data are high quality and HOW they are assured! For example, choose building data from a neighborhood of a district of a city with a generous/unambiguously ODbL-compliant license (hm, what if those data do not even have a license, but are instead in the public domain?!) and imagine what tools you'll use to crowdsource the parcelling out of the chunks, how you'll communicate data flow, who/how QA happens, and what it takes to declare "this tiny piece is done." And, use this to feed an import plan. Then, research the whole country's data, getting heads around how much these are and how they sensibly "break up" (rural by universities, urban at Mapping Parties in cities...those are the good ideas on the right track). At a certain point (two to six months from now?) rather formally file an Import Plan: you'll know you are ready to do so when the resources seem both "initially lined up" and "revving their jets to go!" Get consensus and buy-in from the community and, well, GO! Don't forget to course-correct along the way, learning from any mistakes, uh, I mean "learning opportunities due to sloppiness." And communicate progress clearly! Stevea (talk) 02:50, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
- No sweat; don't sweat the small stuff. (It's all small stuff). Seriously, this project seems off and running on pretty good feet to me, and I've seen a few of them. Good luck to its future! Stevea (talk) 04:19, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
To be clear: I would be delighted to see a Canadian-based OSM volunteer who steps up (with project management skills, or at least wants to test and develop them) saying "Here we go, my name is (whatever) and I'm OK with perhaps temporarily taking a leadership position here to help coordinate the myriad project management tasks SteveA alludes to. I might have to step aside and let a group or team or committee go ahead here in 2018 and beyond, but I'd like to sketch out a way to get to an Import Plan." This is doable. Stevea (talk) 03:30, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Define Community-led initiative
This wiki page has been added under the Wikiproject_Canada and it is said in the introduction that this is a community-led project. To avoid any confusion, it is important to note that recent discusions on talk-ca do not show that the Canada OSM communities are ready to participate to this project. The initiators of the project and the people that organize it should be more clearly stated in the wiki page, infos published and the task manager jobs that were created on the tasks.osmcanada.ca Tasking Manager. To better monitor participation to these activities, hashtags to identify each of these jobs should be added (ex. #osmcanada-tm-92). Validation is also an important aspect in the context of mapathons. The Tasking Manager statistics do not show significant squares validated over the last Geoweek while nearly 100 new contributors participated to mapping coordinated by these Jobs. The organizers should better describe how they intend to assure Quality Analysis and correction of errors. Even if the organizers expect the universities to validate their students contribution, it will be essential that experimented OSM contributors monitor this process. The wiki page should describe how this will be done. pierzen (talk) 23:49, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
- I agree with PierZen's comments above that imply this project displays a distinct lack of readiness. Its goals are stated, but much else (which is required and should be well-established by now) remains vague and unspecified. It appears to have little or no active leadership and suffers from poor or non-existent process and project management. (And I am a professional QA software engineer, computer scientist and present or former project manager at Apple, Adobe and in private practice of software and data management consulting for over 30 years). Politely, I intended my comments above to push ahead the stated goals of this project with better-specified methodologies, yet not only do I see that these did not happen soon after my comments over a month ago, I see others in our project calling essentially the same problems to the community's larger attention. I continue to intend to be one of those (experienced) "OSM contributors (who) monitor this process." Seriously, we caution the movers and shakers in this project that many others are carefully watching its progress and are not suitably impressed with its potential to achieve its stated goals. For this to occur, we truly must see better leadership, management and "best practices" emerge. Stevea (talk) 00:09, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
My take is it is a very large project that needs very careful project planning and coordination. We started off in Ottawa with a pilot by pulling in Open Data from the City of Ottawa but the origins of that go back five years to when I saw a problem with the alignment of the appropriate open data licenses to bring in the Ottawa bus stops. We then used local mappers and many new mappers to add detail to the building outlines that had been brought in. It didn't just happen overnight and we were very lucky with the skill set of the local mappers. A much simpler job than asking them to draw the building outlines.
I think what might be useful as a first step is to ask local mappers and new mappers to just add detail to existing buildings in Canada. Type of building commercial, church, detached, number of levels etc. This needs a much lower level of expertise. As has been noted by I think it was the Kathmandu Living Labs a dozen accurately and correctly buildings are worth a thousand inaccurate ones. To get the best of of buildings they need to be accurately mapped which I think falls in line with Pierre's comments. Johnwhelan
- Johnwhelan, believing that you can "get ahead incrementally" as you describe may be precisely why this project is so stalled. You seem to think that by simply pushing the ball forward without planning, structure, a long-term view, "the big picture" it will take to achieve the stated goals and other sound techniques of project management (I dislike overusing the term, but it is precisely what is lacking) that you can simply "muscle ahead." In my opinion (and I truly am trying to help by offering my perspective), you cannot, or if you do so you may only be achieving one of the smaller of the many tasks that are necessary. In other words, this project might get some minor value by growing some grass roots as it gains relatively low-skilled local mappers: that is something, but it is not much. And it is far from what is needed to get you there. This project will benefit from someone who is familiar with large project management, large mapping projects (OSM experience would be fantastic but is not absolutely required), willing to firmly grab the steering wheel and drive. Oh, and is best (in my opinion) Canadian. A Canadian can and should bring the passion and other experiences (local and cultural knowledge...) to bear where, when and how it seems to be so drastically needed here. You might get very lucky and find this person to volunteer, that is in the spirit of OSM, but that is a tall, tall order. It may require some budget and a talent search. (If nobody has thought about that in a project this large and with this many beneficiaries, go back and read this entire page once again!) This project simultaneously attempts to bite off a great amount but doesn't seem to buy the bread or learn how to chew. Please, I urge you to deeply focus on HOW the goals of this project will be achieved, rather than making small forays in the direction of them. You won't get there like that. Very sincerely, Stevea (talk) 02:29, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
Again, I do not want to seem I am discouraging to this project. However, I ask that "Crowdsourcing wstc" create himself/herself an OSM wiki account that allows us to contact him or her. And/or that other significant "leaders" of this project quickly and forthrightly identify and present themselves. The wiki is vague, hand-waving, buzzword-compliant (all pejorative, yes, but there, I said it) and despite my repeated attempt over weeks to generate a response from any sort of responsible project management, I fail to detect any forward momentum whatsoever. If, as what I suspect might be going on here (that OSM is attempting to be "used" to achieve the expressed goals without any of the usual good practices of our project), really IS going on, it will eventually be detected and certain notifications will begin. Yellow alert! Stevea (talk) 07:51, 27 November 2017 (UTC)