Humanitarian OSM Team/Working groups/Training

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Much of what HOT does involves training others how to contribute to and use OpenStreetMap. The Training group organizes and consolidates training materials and helps direct development of them to satisfy the identified audiences.

Chair is Nick Allen AKA Tallguy.

Training working group meetings take place every 2 weeks, on Monday at 1900 UTC on Mumble but we also monitor IRC #hot channel.

Meeting Minutes

See the general Working Groups calendar for upcoming meetings.

A standing meeting agenda and a list of active projects is available on the Training Working Group's Trello board.






Interested Individuals

Goals of the Training Group

(revised by the working group participants and approved by the Board on Sept 16, 2014)

  • Consolidate existing documentation sources
  • Identify audiences and potential needs
  • Prioritize OSM's training needs for specific audiences
  • Revise existing documentation (where needed)
  • Develop translation protocol and process
  • Create new documentation and training materails where gaps exist (In collaboration with Activation WG, create documentation/training matrials for new activators/activation coordinators)
  • Decide on the primarily vehicles for sharing these modules (wiki? Google Docs?
  • Promote new training materials and modules for all users
  • Support informal learning opportunities in addition to planned learning routes
  • Organize certificate program (for local mappers, specially for trainers)


"local mappers" are mappers living in the area to be mapped;

"remote mappers" are mappers elsewhere, who often contribute purely by editing from aerial imagery;

A "module" is a training package, including discrete training goal description, course outline and materials to use in training.

Active and Potential Projects

The Training Working Group manages its active projects, and potential projects under consideration, with a Trello board.

Audiences for Types of Training

The OSM Design group has generated personas to identify potential audiences to serve in an upcoming OSM website design. From that page: "Personas at their best evoke empathy in a process that's easily hijacked by technical imperatives and self-serving, company-focused needs. A design team must work with personas that seem like real people, people that can be conversed with, ideas bounced off of, joked with, related to. Pruitt puts it this way: Personas invoke this powerful human capability and bring it to the design process. Well-designed personas are generative: Once fully engaged with them, you can almost effortlessly project them into new situations. In contrast, [designing for] a scenario covers just what it covers." (source)

Below is a list of those personas (audiences) for different sets of training needs and to meet the goals for these people as noted above. These are stereotypes and so some users will have a combination of interests.

Audience Description What they'll need Priority
New mappers They heard about this map that's like Google Maps but they can edit it. Awesome.
  • Clear links to what is OpenStreetMap
  • What software options they need
  • Where to 'quickly' find tutorials and resources
  • How to connect with other (possibly local) OSM users
Existing mappers Casual Contributors that have a handle on the basics.
  • Consolidated links to tutorials and resources (for reference)
  • Recent news, blog posts, OSM community updates
New/Existing Mappers (remote/low bandwidth) Individuals and organizations new(ish) to OSM, specifically working in low bandwidth or remote environments (possibly introduced or related to HOT initiatives).
  • Everything from the "New mappers" and "Existing mappers" sections
  • Attention toward more offline models
  • Attention toward the simplest/quickest forms of engagement (e.g. osmbugs)
  • Ability to generate offline training and reference documents
  • Access to curriculum, offline training modules and mailing lists
Advanced mappers (HOT material) Seasoned editors of OSM. Solid, consistent contributors who may be deployable for long- or short-term projects with HOT.
  • Available projects: requirements and how to apply
  • Recent news, blog posts, OSM community updates
  • Tutorials and resources (for reference)
  • Downloadable training materials (manuals, presentations) for offline distribution
Map Designers I can haz TileMill. I needz data.
  • Tutorials and resources for external software (TileMill, Leaflet, etc.)
  • Links to datasets (preferably ones that just work for their needs)
Developers (F/LOSS) They want to write and share code that does cool things with OSM's Hot, Fresh Data.
  • Available developer tools
  • Any developer communities
  • Documentation on APIs and usage policies
  • Links to existing and abandoned projects similar to theirs

Current Sources & Materials

Training Working Group email group

To join the Training WG email list, please go to!forum/training

OSM Wiki Pages

  • JOSM Guide, a guide taking you through getting started.
  • JOSM Help should provide more exhaustive in-depth explanations of each JOSM feature.
  • Videos Videos from around the web


  • LearnOSM - Beginner's Guide (as of June 2015)
    1. Introduction Introduction to the value of mapping and OpenStreetMap
    2. How to navigate the OpenStreetMap website, view maps, and sign up for a user account
    3. The iD Editor Getting started with the iD editor
    4. Getting Started with JOSM Installation and introduction to the JOSM editor, with basic exercises
    5. The JOSM Editing Process A closer look at the JOSM interface and how to edit the map on OpenStreetMap
    6. Surveying with a GPS Learn about GPS, how it works, and how to use it to make maps with OSM
    7. Field Papers Learn how to make maps with paper and then put them into OSM
    8. Editing Field Data Using the JOSM editor, an introduction to JOSM layers, tags, and advanced editing features
    9. HOT Remote Mapping Overview of HOT remote response and the HOT Tasking Manager
    10. Further Reading The OSM Wiki, local mailing lists
  • LearnOSM - Advanced Guides (as of June 2015)
    1. Mapping with SmartPhones Multiple modules: OsmAnd 2.0+; OsmAnd; OSMTracker; GPSLogger for Android; GPS Essentials
    2. Map Design Tools for customizing your map designs, sharing them on the internet, or printing them
    3. OSM Data Multiple modules: Data Overview; File Formats; Getting OSM Data; Using Geofabrik and HOT Export; OSM Data in QGIS; Setting up PostgreSQL; osm2pgsql; Manipulating Data with Osmosis
    4. Coordination Multiple modules: Nepal Disaster; Tasking Manager; Remote, Armchair or Mapathon editing; Tracing roads, buildings, water and landuse; Reviewing OSM Data; Glossary
    5. Detailed Editing Multiple modules: JOSM Tools; JOSM Plugins; More Tools; JOSM Presets; Creating Custom Presets; JOSM Relations; Editing Techniques; Aerial Imagery; Correcting Imagery Offset; Conflict Resolution; iD Editor
  • FlossManuals OpenStreetMap
    1. Introduction Discovering collaborative mapping / Welcome to OpenStreetMap / About this book
    2. Getting Started My first edit / Collecting data / Sharing your maps
    3. Contributing to OpenStreetMap Introduction to editing in OpenStreetMap / Editing with the online editor Potlatch 2 / Editing with the offline editor JOSM / Editing with mobile editors
    4. Making the Map Yours Taking OpenStreetMap data with you / Customising Potlatch 2 / Understanding the OpenStreetMap data model / Providing maps for your web site
    5. Exploring Further Exploring the OpenStreetMap community / Useful websites and references / Credits
  • Switch2OSM
    1. WHY SWITCH?
  • Mapquest Developer network Beginner's Guide to OpenStreetMap
    1. What is OpenStreetMap (OSM)?
      • How did OpenStreetMap get the public to map the world?
      • Are you kidding?
      • Is OpenStreetMap completed?
      • Why should I contribute to OpenStreetMap?
      • Great! How do I sign up?
    2. Choosing the Right Editor
      • Potlatch
      • JOSM
      • Mapzen
      • Miscellaneous
    3. Basic Quality Assurance Tools for Editing
      • OpenStreetBugs
      • Skobbler
      • Keep Right
      • Advanced Quality Assurance Tools for Editing
      • Duplicate Nodes Map
      • Waychains TIGER Fixup
    4. Challenges in the U.S. Data
      • Over-Connected Roads
      • Duplicate Nodes
    5. Adding Your Own Map Data
  • QGIS : How I do that in QGIS? (More than 80 tutorials including videos)

Google Docs

The following Google Docs were created by User:Rrbaker in March 2011 to setup online versions of internal HOT documents to facilitate group edits, versioning, and to leverage ability to export into multiple formats. These docs are in various states of completion and polish.

These Google Docs were created by Nicolas Chavent and Severin Menard in January 2012 (see here for more details) from field missions in Haiti. These docs are designed as appendixes of the LearnOSM manual and describe a complete mapping process involving various teams. They are both in English and French

  • Learn OSM Appendix - Haiti OSM Checklists (EN,FR) lists the necessary steps during a complete mapping process. It is completed by the following documents focusing on a specific matter
  • Survey maps (EN, FR)
  • Checklist quality assurance (EN, FR)
  • Use Filters for data quality (EN, FR)

Training Modules and Documentation Collections

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) with the support from Australia-Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction (AIFDR) provides a series of OpenStreetMap guidelines

Unit 1: Collecting Spatial Data using OpenStreetMap - Beginner

Unit 2: Data Analysis using QGIS and InaSAFE - Beginner

Unit 3: Collecting Spatial Data using OpenStreetMap - Intermediate

Unit 4: Data Analysis using QGIS and InaSAFE - Intermediate