The Fill The Gap Mapping Party press release

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This is a press release. See Richmond-on-Thames page for wiki organisation details.

The Fill The Gap Mapping Party

OpenStreetMap aims to fill major gap in map of London on 16/17th June 2007

On 16 and 17 June 2007, the OpenStreetMap team and volunteer members of the public will aim to complete a major missing section of the free map of London. This will be a significant milestone in OpenStreetMap's global mapping revolution. Contributors to the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project are meeting in Richmond-on-Thames for a weekend to fill the last remaining gap in South-West London between the M25 and central London.

Anyone wishing to take part in this exciting event are invited to meet at The Inn at Kew Gardens (292 Sandycombe Road, Kew, TW9 3NG) at 10.00 am on either day before going out and about with handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers exploring and mapping the remaining white space in the Richmond and Kew area. Food and refreshments for the weekend will be sponsored by

The OSM project was started in 2004 to enable anyone to use maps in creative, productive or unexpected ways. The use of traditional maps is hampered by legal and technical restrictions that severely curtail their use. The OSM project aims to create free geographical data, like street maps, that can be used anywhere by anyone.

OSM contributors, will be driving, cycling, and wandering the Richmond and Kew area with GPS units recording the routes of all streets, cycleways and footpaths. The tracks recorded over the weekend will be added to the online master map where anyone in the world with access to the internet can browse and use the data in any way they want. is the leading project in the open-source mapping field. Currently, OSM has mapped large portions of the UK and several European countries. There are active communities in over 50 countries worldwide.


Further information can be found on the project website,

For more media enquiries, please contact OSM’s founder Steve Coast (, or the local event organiser Etienne Cherdlu (, phone 0793-032-0241.

Notes for editors

What is OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap is a voluntary not-for-profit organisation that anyone, anywhere can join. The goal of OSM is to provide free map data that can be used by anyone. All of our maps are freely available on the internet at Why would anyone want to do that? Aren't there are lots of free maps out there? Most of the maps that you come across on the internet or in your home are protected by stringent copyright laws and licenses. These rules stop the maps from being used in unique and unexpected ways, stifling people's creativity and imagination.

How does OpenStreetMap work?

Anyone with a handheld Global Positioning System receiver can start mapping straight away. You need to set your GPS to record tracks and then go for a walk, bike ride, or a drive around your neighbourhood. As you go around the roads and/or footpaths, you can make notes of the street names and other points of interest that you find. When you get home, plug your GPS into your computer and upload the tracks you recorded onto the OSM website. You can then use the online collaborative tools to add these tracks to the OpenStreetMap master database. You've just contributed to a beautiful map of the planet that is accessible to everyone and free to share.

Who can be involved?

Anyone. If you have access to a handheld GPS receiver and a computer with an internet connection you can join in. If you come to a mapping party you can even borrow a GPS for the day.

What is GPS?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The system is made up of around 24 satellites that are constantly orbiting the earth, transmitting information about their position and time. The information they transmit is a type of radio wave, and can be picked up and understood by handheld GPS receivers or Satellite Navigation systems in cars. By comparing the signals from at least four satellites it is possible for a GPS unit to work out its position anywhere on the earth to within 5 to 10m. GPS units are not tracking devices. They only have receivers not transmitters. It is not possible for someone to track you if you are using a GPS receiver.


Most maps are protected by copyright which prevents them from being used for many purposes without paying the publisher for a specific license. In particular, all Ordnance Survey maps are protected by Crown Copyright and are expensive purchase under very restrictive license terms. In contrast maps produced by OpenStreetMap are published under a Creative-Commons license which allows anyone to use them for any purpose at no cost at all.