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I've been on a (tasks.hotosm.org/) kick lately, and it's at a really great intersection for me: open source, making maps, doing good/helping people, and fixing up sloppy work done by other (often well-meaning!) people. And it's short bursts of intense focus, as many times as I like. It's actually, uh, really great.

For those not familiar: various humanitarian organizations can ask to help map an area (e.g. MSF wants to do a population survey and map before doing an anti-maria campaign), and will deploy their task force of volunteers to find residential areas via their MapSwipe app, and then task folks like me with outlining building and roads and such.

The mapping is sometimes mapping out new stuff, and sometimes doing a lot of "why are none of these outlines rectangles?!", which is something the tooling makes very easy to fix very quickly, and it's quite satisfying!

Also, if you want to help classify things without having to have any mapping experience, check out - it's a great way to kill a few minutes on your phone and help us out! mapswipe.org/

Also, on the crooked buildings, it is actually usually more helpful to have buildings outlined sloppily than not at all, so even the sloppy outliners are genuinely helpful! And often are just learning how to do things, which is awesome as well.

Oh, another thing I'm realizing about it I really like: it involves building proficiency in a tool and getting noticeably more efficient in my task, feeling increasingly like a wizard with all my keyboard shortcuts and the like, splaying building outlines all over the place like magic. Shoutout to for being well-built for the job, and having a robust plugin system!

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