Articles | Volume 5
28 May 2024
 | 28 May 2024

Process Analysis in Humanitarian Voluntary Geographic Information: the case of the HOT Tasking Manager

Dagoberto José Herrera-Murillo, Héctor Ochoa-Ortiz, Umair Ahmed, Francisco Javier López-Pellicer, Barbara Re, Andrea Polini, and Javier Nogueras-Iso

Keywords: OpenStreetMap, Volunteered Geographic Information, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Volunteer Engagement, Humanitarian Campaigns, User Interface, Process Mining

Abstract. Geographic information is vital for organising humanitarian campaigns and helping those in need. The leading Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) organises projects to create the necessary geographical information and connect to the organisations that need to make decisions on the ground. This work provides insights into project management dynamics and volunteers’ interaction with user interfaces in Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in a humanitarian context. We do so by conducting a process analysis of 746 completed, fully validated, and archived projects in the HOT Tasking Manager (HOT-TM) over the past two years. The analysis encompasses a process discovery stage from the perspectives of control flow, time, organisation, and outcome of the mapping tasks that comprise a project. The findings offer valuable implications for future project planning and execution in similar contexts. Our process mining exploration of the task states found a clear path that involves mapping and validation operations with minor deviations. However, we did find a major bottleneck from the mapping to the validation phase, which could reflect that validation capabilities are a scarce resource. Proactive notification for validators, artificial intelligence adoption for task planning, user interface redesign, and strategies for better harnessing the collective intelligence of volunteers could improve the process.