Australian Mapping Community/Past Events/Canberra Mapping Party 2009-07-04

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This event is now finished

Event Diary

This was the first ever Canberra mapping party (to my knowledge - please correct me if wrong) - and despite the first-timer stress we managed to pull off a fun day. We had lots of help from lots of people but I would like to thank Melissa Fellows, Cameron [1], Matthew (Melissa's other-half) and Hanna (great muffins). An off course NLA for being so patient with us.

Apart from Cam, myself and Brian [2] (who's outback maps of 130000 km of driving per year has to be seen) most people were novices. So from that perspective it was great to see Julie, Monica, Rohan, Aaron, Nerida (from SSSI Victoria Committee) and Matthew getting to understand the workflow of mapping. Hannah went out to get some mapping done but couldn't make it inside coz her puppy wasn't allowed in the library - a shame coz the puppy did do some mapping of her own.

Map Compare GoogleMaps Google/Openstreetmap


Photos from the day

what did we did

Considering it was our first attempt we got some serious mapping done.

Check out some screenshots of Before/After Comparison

Canberra Mapping Party at National Library of Australia


Saturday July 4 11am – 2pm (Timezone: Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney)


National Library of Australia (NLA), Cafe [National Library]

Organiser Contact:

Shoaib Burq: saburq at gmail dot com

Twitter: @sabman

Okay folks this is long overdue. I have been meaning to organize a mapping party for Canberra for a while. A party where we map with no inhibitions and learn to make the data available for the public domain using Open Street Map (

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. Okay you have great selling skills and I am sold, what do you need to bring?

You only need bring yourself everything else is optional. Optional Stuff if you have it:

* Notebook 
* Pencil
* Small Laptop
* USB Cable
* Serial Cable
* Bike
* Camera

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. Once we have found some points of interests, like roads, cafes, intersections or other interesting landmarks that are not in the current OSM database we will try to form some groups of people - each group with at least one GPS Unit. In our group 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 NLA 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!