PLEASE interrupt if you have questions!
Today we're going to talk about
a free, open, community built map of the world
(and how you can make it better)
an editable database with global coverage
What is on Open Street Map?
Generally, anything representing discrete physical geographic objects
From the docs: OpenStreetMap represents physical features on the ground (e.g., roads or buildings) using tags attached to its basic data structures (its nodes, ways, and relations). Each tag describes a geographic attribute of the feature being shown by that specific node, way or relation.
data licensed under the Open Database License: ODbL
(This means that your contributions have to be open, too.)
Open Street Map is not:
- A complete web mapping or GIS platform in and of itself
It is a database, with APIs and tools for accessesing, querying, and displaying the data within. Other tools use OSM as a data source.
- A hosting service for operational, transient, temporal data, or non-discrete data.
Data you add should be verifiable, permanent, and significant. More on that in a bit.
Meanwhile, here are some resources for later:
But wait - hold up!
Why does all this matter?
- Free and open data for geographic projects
- Ability for volunteers to quickly respond to mapping needs
- Community agency
No single entity controls what goes on OSM
"...no one company should have a monopoly on place...Place is a shared resource, and when you give all that power to a single entity, you are giving them the power not only to tell you about your location, but to shape it."
- Serge Wroclawski, OSM Contributor/Ethical Hacker
And now that I'm signed up...how do I start editing?
Three options this evening!
Add features using the built in iD Editor
Take a mini-tour of Lawrenceville and map using Field Papers
Map things that are Verifiable
Add things that are verifiable by other mappers; we're all collaborating on this map. If a business has a sign, add it to OpenStreetMap. Don't add information that would disturb the privacy of somebody. So, the address of a building is fine. The name of the residential tenant is not.
Map things that are Permanent
Add things that are relatively permanent. Is there a public restroom at the local ball diamond? Add it to the map. Did the city place a portable toilet for a parade this weekend? That can be left off the map, or be certain to both add and remove it promptly.
Map things that are Significant
Add your local park picnic table to the map. That's significant enough to add to the map. Don't add the piece of gum stuck under the park bench to the map. It might be permanent and verifiable, but it isn't significant. Just throw the gum away.
Many apps are available that enable viewing and editing OSM data in numerous ways, including using those with desktop-like functionality, use of GPS traces, and even augmented reality apps.
OK let's chat!
What did you map?
Q/A + Troubleshooting
Building a web map? OSM is the base data source relied upon by many free and open source software (FOSS) geo-tools.
These tools enable you to layer your own data over OSM and display it on the web.