After several months of development work and 20,000+ lines of new code, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team is pleased to announce the next generation of our venerable OSM Tasking Manager software is about to be launched. The new version of the Tasking Manager software will be rolled out to the main HOT servers in the next several days, but you can get an introduction and preview of it now.
After several months of development work and 20,000+ lines of new code, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team is pleased to announce the next generation of our venerable OSM Tasking Manager software is about to be launched. The new version of the Tasking Manager software will be rolled out to the main HOT server today. There might be a little downtime while upgrading the instance and the DNS propagates across regions. If you have any question about the switch to TM3, take a look at the these launch FAQs or join us on HOT Slack #tasking_manager_3 channel.
The previous version of the Tasking Manager software has been used by tens of thousands of OSM contributors to map millions of square kilometers around the world. As HOT, Missing Maps and our partners' projects have continued to grow over the past few years, we found that like all software, the Tasking Manager needed some updating.
We put a focus on 4 major areas:
- Mapper engagement, with an emphasis on better communications and feedback for new OSM contributors,
- improved validation workflow to help identify new contributors, get them feedback and more easily review contributed OSM data,
- improved project creation and management, and
- re-architecting the backend code to be more scalable, easier to contribute to and make 3rd party software integration easier.
There are many new features across all of the areas targeted for improvements, but a few of the key features are listed below:
Grouping and sorting projects
On the main project listing page, called the "Contribute" page, it is now a lot easier to find projects by difficulty, requesting organization, overall mapping project "Campaign" or the type of mapping needed.
Dedicated Validation and Mapping tabs
We have increased the amount of information available for people doing validation to help them identify new mappers and people who have not received any timely mapping feedback.
Task splitting during project creation
Project creators can now create projects with different sized task squares. This will result in projects that are much better suited to mapping and validating efficiently.
More ways to get feedback on mapping
There is now a "Questions and Comments" tab on every project, with an easy way to direct questions to the project creator. Please use this method to ask questions about a project. You can still ask questions and leave comments on individual tasks and all of those comments are now available on the "Activity and Stats" page for each project. These two new features give project managers and people doing validation an easy way to find folks with questions and get them answers.
Collection of email addresses
On User profiles you can now add your email address. This should be the first thing everyone does in the new Tasking Manager. The Tasking Manager has had an internal messaging system for a few years now, but to receive those messages users had to login to the Tasking Manager. By adding your email address you will now get an email notification of any messages sent to you in the Tasking Manager.
There are other features that have been added, but the above are the major features that will be most obvious and helpful to the overall mapping experience.
Full documentation for the new Tasking Manager and some "What is new for ..." briefs are available on LearnOSM
We also generated 3 informal videos to serve as introductions to the major changes:
https://youtu.be/tWbaxdQrZSo - What is new for Mappers short (9 mins)
https://youtu.be/Aam81qnIzwQ - What is new for Mappers longer and slower (18 mins)
https://youtu.be/yLTubyUePG8 - What is new for Validators (20 minutes, detailed training)
HOT is very grateful to support from the USAID GeoCenter and the Australian Government (via the Indonesia Disaster Management Innovation program). Both have been long time supporters of HOT and the HOT Community's work and we very glad they participate in our community along with you.