OSM Tasking Manager

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Job in progress on OSM Tasking Manager
The OSM Tasking Manager is a mapping tool designed and built for the Humanitarian OSM Team collaborative mapping. The purpose of the tool is to divide up a mapping job into smaller tasks that can be completed rapidly. It shows which areas need to be mapped and which areas need the mapping validated.

This approach facilitates the distribution of tasks to the various mappers in a context of emergency. It also permits to control the progress and the homogeinity of the work done (ie. Elements to cover, specific tags to use, etc.).

Logging On

The OSM Tasking Manager requires you to logon using your OSM ID before carrying out any work, but it does allow you to view progress & many other elements when you are not logged in.


Jobs are setup as the need arises. Each job will have a description of what is required and if necessary details of how to add the relevant imagery into JOSM / iD / Potlatch.

Each job is numbered & is given a priority grading, which may be changed during the life of the job. A drop down field allows the user to sort the jobs by;

  • High priority first
  • Creation Date
  • Last Update

The jobs may be further filtered by using the 'Search Box', which searches for the text string inserted. For instance, entering 'Ebola' in the search box will result in a list with every job containing the word 'Ebola'

Each Job is then subdivided into a number of tasks designed to be manageable in size.


Setting up your editor

To use the Tasking Manager efficiently you will need to setup your editor when you start a new job. See:

JOSM Offset_db

For using the JOSM offset database see OSM Tasking Manager/Offset_db

Taking a Task

To take a task select the job from the Tasking Manager homepage.

  • An Area to work on will be allocated automatically when you click the Take a Task button. If you have indicated that you are an advanced mapper, then this may be an area to do or an area to validate, otherwise you will be given an area to do.
  • Alternatively, you may click a square on the map to select the Area to be allocated. This let you work in contiguous areas.

OSM Tasking Manager Take a Task.png

Doing a task

When doing a task you should map all the features indicated on the job description.

Please link your features that cross the area border to features in neighboring tiles. Note that you can load task data of neighboring areas into some editors by selecting that area in the OSM Tasking Manager and, in its Task tab, clicking at the respective button.

If you are unable to complete all of the area then you should upload the features you have added to the map and 'unlock' the task. This will enable other mappers to pickup the area and continue.

OSM Tasking Manager Job Done.png

Adding the grid square to Potlatch

  • Open the task in potlatch2 as normal.
  • Go back and find the "Link to .osm file" link on the Tasking Manager job page. Right click to copy the URL of the link
  • In Potlatch2, click the Background button and Vector File

Open vector p2.png

  • In the text box next to File and the button "open" paste in the URL into the box. (1)
  • Click the fetch button (2) on the right of this text box. A new "export.osm" entry should appear in the list, and the square should appear on the map
  • Uncheck "select" from the column on the left for this export.osm (3)

Grid in p2.png

Finishing a square

  • Once you have completed the area upload the data in OSM, then mark the square as complete by clicking on the green icon & add a description.
  • If it's not complete, then unlock it & add a comment about what needs to be done.
TM Task done.png

Feedback - When your square has been validated it will turn green or back to white

To see what the validator has typed in the square, click on it

TM Feedback.png

Validating a task

Worth reading so you know what happens & what is being considered. See OSM_Tasking_Manager/Validating_data

Further Help

Partially mapped & validated task on OSM Tasking Manager

If you need further help on mapping an area see:

Beginners Guides to mapping with H.O.T


LearnOSM is the principle guide recommended by HOT. As well as overviews of the process there are specific sections on;

For an overview of the why & how of mapping, including videos and instructions on mapping with the iD editor, please see MapGive (If you use this, please note that highways & paths should physically join together / share a common node - the demonstration in the website does not make this clear)

In development & mainly dealing with JOSM, but also includes information which will be useful when using the iD editor, guide in development. Use with caution - this is still in the 'construction phase', but it may help you if you are just starting to learn to map for H.O.T. Work in progress can be found at User:Tallguy/Thoughts_&_ideas/Beginners_guide


The tasking manager was designed and built for the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and is still under active development.

The main developer is User:Pgiraud

Source code (Python) is on github: https://github.com/hotosm/osm-tasking-manager

Issues & bugs area also managed on github: https://github.com/hotosm/osm-tasking-manager/issues

A dev/testing instance of the task manager is running here: http://tasks-dev.hotosm.org Sometimes this is with a later version of the code (Note. Don't use the jobs/tasks on here to track actual mapping. It's a separate test database)