Canberra/Mapping Parties/2010-03-20

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Canberra Mapping Party 2 (Haiti Edition)

Welcome to the wiki page for the 2nd Canberra Mapping Party - yeh! Those of you who were there last year will remember how much fun and productive it was. I mean there is more detail than Google Maps - even the uniquely Canberran International Flag Display is there.

House Keeping/Registration

Okay lets just get the house keeping out of the way. If you haven't already you can register for the party at: Also consider donating $2 for Haiti. The proceeds will go to Red Cross Haiti Appeal.


Saturday March 20th 10.00am – 3.30pm (Timezone: Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney)


Australian Botanic Gardens, Cafe [Australian Botanic Gardens]


Shoaib Burq: shoaib at


Q. What's OSM?

Think Wikipedia but for street maps :)

Q. So why do we want to make data open anyways?

This is a big topic but briefly services like Google Maps and WhereIs prevent download of data. This prevents creative and legitimate applications by small guys like you and me from building say a specialist local map for showing where all the organic vege stores are located in Canberra - where the vege-stores look like turnips and roads look like vine branches - cartography and art is fun :) Suffice to say OpenStreetMap lets you have the "actual data" and not just a picture.

Q. What do you need to bring?

You only need bring yourself, hat and sunscreen, everything else is optional. If you have it bring along:

* Hat
* Sunscreen
* Notebook 
* Pencil
* Small Laptop
* USB Cable
* Serial Cable
* Bike
* Camera
* Printout of Walking Papers

Q. How are we going to do the actual mapping?

Firstly we will gather around a map of our region by opening up the OpenStreetMap (OSM) website. Then we will try to find what's missing or out of date. Once we have found some points of interests, like roads, cafes, intersections or other interesting landmarks that we think need mapping, we will form small groups of 4-6 people - each group with at least one GPS Unit. In our groups we will learn to use the GPS and figure out how to record data. We will look at some common gotchas like quality of the fix, coordinates display, etc. Then we will go-forth and map to our hearts content. On average people will try to spend an hour mapping. After that we return to the Cafe and upload the data to edit and annotate it using tools that OSM provides. And that's it, we will get some munchies or drinks at the cafe or while mapping you may want to stop and take lunch so if you pack some lunch that should be fine too. Looking forward to a fun day of mapping, kids welcome as it's guaranteed to give them the opportunity to draw the biggest squiggles eva!

Q. I have a laptop, do I need to install any software?

Yes and No. We will have a USB stick with the JOSM software for editing OSM data. However, if you are so inclined go a head and install JOSM by downloading from

Q. I have a smart phone with GPS (iphone, android phone, etc)

That's great. You can get some neat little apps on your phone to help you map during the party. You can find an application for your platform and install it by checking here:

Q. I have more questions

Check out or contact the event organizer at

Agenda for the Day

10:00-10:30am - Arrive at venue, meet and greet

10:30-11:00pm - Presentation giving overview of focus area for mapping

11:00-12:30pm - Split into groups, get out and start mapping

12:30-1:00pm - Return to venue, questions/group discussion over lunch

1:00-2:30pm - Download the data and upload to OSM and edit your data

2:30-2:45pm - Wrap up, get feedback, and encourage everyone to continue mapping on their own.

Organizer Todo List

* Print out Walking papers
* Bring 3G Wifi Stick
* Ensure NearMap WMS works on the day
* Bring clipboards