Map Your Community with OpenStreetMap

Jessica Breen / MaptimeLEX

Thanks to Dan Cockayne and Andrea Craft

PhD Candidate, Geography
University of Kentucky | @jessibreen

Follow along


Why is Community Mapping important?

Juakali Market, Kampala, Uganda
María Lamadrid /Public Lab

Maps are Power

Maps are a form of power whose use
has traditionally been limited to the State.

Tools for Community Mapping

  • OpenStreetMap
  • Field Papers
  • Public Lab's Balloon Mapping

There are tons of options available...

What is OpenStreetMap?

OpenStreetMap (OSM)

A free, open source, volunteer-generated map of the world that is editable by anyone, anywhere with a computer and a connection to the internet.

10 Years of OSM

What happens to OSM data?

Here's the most recent list of people that OSM knows uses their data...

Data added to OpenStreetMap has the potential
to get used by a lot of people all over the world.

Getting Started with OSM

You’re going to need a login.
Go to: //
Fill out the form, confirm your email, et voilà!

Editing the map

We're going to do a little armchair mapping.
Don't worry, this has nothing to do with armchairs...

Armchair mapping just means tracing items onto the map from aerial imagery without going out to ground-truth them.

Open the map:

Choose iD Editor from the Edit menu

From the Help menu on the right,
select Start the Walkthrough

The walkthrough will show you all the basic information you need to be able to use iD editor.

There are essentially 3 things you can add to the map:

  • points
  • lines
  • areas (polygons)

Points are used to add things like
businesses, bus stops, murals.
Things that you could stick a pin
into the map and say "It's here!"

Lines are used for roads and trails.

Areas (polygons) are used for
building footprints, parks, lakes, etc.
Things that better described by their outline
rather than a single point.

More help with iD Editor

Learn OSM: The iD Editor

Basic Rules of OSM

  • Don't add things that aren't real.
  • Don't add things that aren't permanent.
  • Don't copy other maps.

Next steps...