Mappa Mercia

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Local User Group
Midlands (Mappa-Mercia) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
When: 7pm onwards every 1st Thursday of the month
Where: Winter months - The Bull, Birmingham but check below.
During Summer see main page for details.
mailing list
mailing list - archive
Mag map-MidUG.png

Welcome to Mappa Mercia — a home for OpenStreetMap users and contributors in the Midlands (United Kingdom).

This group was first established July 2006 as the Midlands User Group but has since been renamed to Mappa Mercia. The idea of the group is to focus the efforts under a localised banner to help increase local interest and participation.

We were delighted to be selected to hold the official annual OpenStreetMap conference, State of the Map in 2013. The conference was held from 6-8th September 2013 and was attended by 300 people. For more information on the conference please see our dedicated website.

There is no restriction as to what the Midlands includes so if you feel you fit here, pull up a chair and get comfortable.

See our dedicated website: for more OpenStreetMap related offerings.

Next meeting

Thursday, 2nd April, 2015, 19:00-22:00 at The Black Eagle, Factory Road, Hockley, Birmingham
The start time is flexible - newcomers wishing to arrive before 7:30pm should get in contact beforehand.


Event calendar

The Midlands OSM User Group meets on the first Thursday of the month in the evening, from 7pm. We are a friendly bunch and anyone with an interest in OSM - beginner to expert - is welcome, so do please come along if you can.

Every year we move from our winter quarters of a warm pub in the centre of Birmingham to meetings around the region coupled with mini-mapping parties. Suggestions for venues are welcome - we just need a comfortable pub that does good beer and good cheapish grub. We enjoy using these meeting to vary our routine, so feel free to propose a mapping theme e.g shops in Dudley, parks in Halesowen, sculptures in Coventry, footpaths around Droitwich.

Date Location Notes
3rd January 2015 Hanbury, Staffordshire Joint social with Nottingham group.
8th January 2015 Birmingham Normal meeting delayed by a week due to new years day.
5th February 2015 Birmingham
5th March 2015 Birmingham
2nd April 2015 Handsworth First meeting outside Birmingham. Sunsets at 19:43
7th May 2015 Suggestions required
4th June 2015 Suggestions required
2nd July 2015 Suggestions required
6th August 2015 Suggestions required
3rd September 2015 Suggestions required
1st October 2015 Suggestions required Can we squeeze one more in? Sunsets at 18:45.
5th November 2015 Birmingham
3rd December 2015 Birmingham

Please note that the starting time is flexible with people arriving between 7 and 8pm. Any newcomers wishing to arrive early should get in contact beforehand to confirm plans. Please sign up to the talk-gb-westmidlands OSM Mailing List to stay informed.

See Mappa Mercia/Past Meetings for an (incomplete) history of meetings.

Related events

  • Birmingham Social Media Cafe: Group members are also invited to attend the Birmingham Social Media Cafe which meets from 10am-12noon on the last Friday morning of each month (earlier in December), in central Birmingham.
  • Other local web/ social media events are listed on DigitalBrum.

Keep in touch

Mailing List

There is a West Midlands specific (+ East Midlands for the time being) mailing list for general discussion:

Mappa Mercia Website

A dedicated website for use by the OSM midlands community hosted at The site includes custom made maps and a blog - we welcome guest content. A big thank-you to Christoph and Stu for helping to build the website, and to blackadder for registering the domain.

Current Primary Mapping Focus

Mini-Project Notes and contributors
1 Blue Plaques separate render for Birmingham Civic Society. Tag with OpenPlaques UID, for example openplaques_plaque=15555.
2 Buildings Labelling of major buildings with names and heritage status (e.g is it a Listed Building?) and tracing every building from bing and labelling with an address. Andy has set the standard in Sutton Coldfield. Good tracking software available at - you have to choose the addresses option in the box which has a default setting of "geometry"
3 Footpaths Loads left to do almost everywhere. Also completing relations for major named footpaths: Heart of England Way need completing; Monarch's Way almost non-existent; A Coventry Way; North Worcestershire Path needs completing
4 Turn Restrictions Most are probably not entered as relations. We can't route through the West Midlands without them. There's a neat tool for verifying turn restrictions at which will then render nice German traffic signs(now it renders UK signs!) on the map.
5 Winter Maintenance - Road Gritting & Grit Bins Adding gritting routes and grit bin data from local authorities in the region. Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Solihull complete: current focus is Coventry, Dudley and Sandwell - See /gritting for current update and tasks.
6 Sculptures & monuments We're the pilot region for the UK's Public Monuments & Sculpture Association PMSA) records (The database for the West Midlands can be found at Birmingham City Centre pretty well entered now - it's a good incentive to get out and map other things as well as the fun of tracking down the sculptures!
7 Data Quality Loads to do everywhere from road names cross-checking spelling with OSL Locator; road alignment with Bing imagery; ways not joined at junctions etc.
8 Dynamic Data Loads to do everywhere by keeping our eyes open for demolitions, road construction schemes, new housing developments, new supermarkets, changed URLs (grrr!), etc.
9 Utilities Power lines and pylons are pretty complete in Birmingham, Substations, sewage plants, gas venting stations, sewage pumping stations all need attention. Also the West Midlands has a dense network of underground pipelines for gas and oil, the latter emanating from the oil terminals at Kingsbury, BHX airport, Bromford (not sure about Bedworth). These can be traced by locating and mapping the pipeline markers
9 Land Use Loads to be done everywhere - built up areas look nice when they're rendered with land use colours. WE can also get good coverage of water and woods now with bing imagery.
10 Allotments Add internal service roads/ paths; buildings, etc. Add number of plots and presence of toilets from (in Birmingham) see pageAllotments Project
11 Bicycle Parking BCC has provided its full list and details of all bicycle parking in the city. Contact Blackadder if you want access to the reference data to help map them all into OSM. There is a user page for this project here: Birmingham/Bicycle_Parking.
12 New Street Station rebuild.

Create a map

Using the gritting map as an example some instructions here to create your own map with OSM data overlayed. This uses flash based ShareMap.

Active Midlands Users

  • Blackadder. See my user page for more details.
  • Richard. Based in Charlbury. Also mapping Worcester. Wednesday evening is good for me.
  • Matthew Newton. Mapping in and around Loughborough, together with routes in and out of Leicester.
  • Clive. Mapping in and around Leicester, with a particular interest in cycle routes, and villages along the N6.
  • Ben.. Mapping South Northants/Noth Bucks Area. Also have done Middlesbrough, Pembrokshire, Central Norfolk and parts of the Cotswold Area. Chosen method is by car or bike. I think this is my current closest usergroup, but that may change.
  • Ojw in Bedford
  • Moreati in Castle Bromwich.
  • Vgrade in Kettering.
  • Stephen Isaac in North Birmingham. Most times are good for me.
  • Craig Shelley in Swadlincote, Burton upon Trent.
  • Tom Higgy in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
  • Russ Phillips. Primarily mapping around Stoke on Trent. Also collecting postcodes where possible
  • Greg Robson - Working on South Birmingham, and some areas of Warwickshire.
  • Matt Working on Tamworth.
  • elvin currently mapping local area between Derby, Ashbourne, Belper and Wirksworth - interested in mobile mapping and developing software using OSM data
  • Ron Wellsted Wolverhampton
  • Chris Procter in Kings Heath.
  • Richard B, in Cheshire, probably a bit far north to be truly "Midlands", but I wouldn't mind joining in any events in the northern Midlands.
  • brianboru, in Acocks Green, but mapping ranges widely over South and East Birmingham, also slowly adding mountainn peaks and geographical features to the Scottish Highlands
  • Jonathan Riddell, in Glorious Tipton. I like Whitewater Maps.
  • Matthew Flint is between Nottingham and Grantham.
  • Nick Barnes in Balsall Common.
  • Brian Lucas is a newbie based in Selly Oak
  • Xoff is active in the south of Birmingham, mostly around Bournville.
  • Mark Iliffe Around Leicester and Leicestershire, previously of Nancy, France
  • Richard Rothwell [deceased] primarily mapping around Lye in the Black Country.
  • Tim Retout in Rugby.
  • Thomas Riggs in Market Harborough.
  • Matt Williams at University of Warwick near Coventry.
  • Mike Duffy (Deceased) in Great Barr. Wandering around Wednesbury
  • Simon Halsey in Keyworth, mapping South Notts & bits of Loughborough
  • Andrew Ainsworth in Market Harborough
  • Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing) - Learning! Also able to help out with microformat-related matters; and involved on other web/ social media groups in Birmingham.
  • Steve Brook In south Worcester area.
  • Jonathan Harley in Coventry
  • Iain Simpson in Stafford
  • Mary Mooney wherever the fancy takes me
  • Jon in Redditch, done work on Redditch Town but plans to improve public footpaths where I walk.
  • RobJN in Coventry and Warwickshire.
  • Overflorian in Coventry
  • mrpacmanmap in Oldbury, West Bromwich, Bearwood and Blackheath
  • theid in Worcestershire

Simply add your details above and/or send an email to Blackadder


The MUGers in Birmingham set themselves the challenge to complete the the city and its wider regions inside the M5/M6/M42 before Christmas 2008. They completed it a few days earlier, and the results are now on OSM. To celebrate this a party render was done of the entire City over the 2 years. There is also a printed map of the completed city available to purchase (limited edition run of 50). You can follow the state of completion of the West Midlands.