Big baseball project 2011

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KAPOW! That's nearly as awesome as adding a baseball field to OpenStreetMap!

The big baseball project 2011 is all over!

This was a project to add baseball fields to OpenStreetMap while the play-offs and the World Series were playing.

The OSM baseball players and their rankings

Check out the above link to see a full list of all the OpenStreetMap baseball champions, that's anyone who took part in adding baseball diamonds during the two week period while the project was running.

This used to show the edits rolling in, but the edit tracker has now been stopped. It was just a temporary mapping sprint, but that doesn't mean you can't add more baseball fields to OpenStreetMap!

The champion - User:fx99

The aim of this project was always more about attracting new users to give this a try, so all the participants are champions! We had 188 people taking part, and between us we mapped 14,062 baseball diamonds!

But the prize for most baseball diamonds mapped goes to User:fx99 from Germany. Congratulations!

How to map

watch the tutorial video

If you're new to OpenStreetMap, welcome! You'll need to sign up before you can get access to the 'edit' tab. See also Beginners' guide.

To represent a baseball diamond on the map, draw a way around the visible green area of it. Make sure it's closed to form an area area, and then set these two tags:

If you're using the 'edit' tab (AKA Potlatch 2) you can set these tags by selecting the way, and then on the left choose 'unknown'->'Sport and leisure'->'Sports Pitch'. Then set the sport dropdown to say 'baseball'

Mapping baseball fields with Potlatch 2

Got stuck? Need help? There are several Contact channels where you can ask questions and get help from other OpenStreetMap enthusiasts. For a quick question, why not hop onto IRC chat? You're also welcome to contact Harry with questions

How to find baseball diamonds

Start by mapping baseball diamonds you know about, near where you live. The ones in your school. The ones in your local park.

Once you've done that, spread out! There are bazillions of them all over the U.S. You can spot them in the bing imagery. In particular any school will tend to have at least three or four of them (and you can spot schools fairly easily since they've been imported)

There is also a dynamic baseball data map, provided by ITO World as part of their ITO Map offering. Zoom in to see where baseball pitches have already been mapped. Some cities don't have any baseball data yet!

Baseball data.
View the big zoomable version of this map

What else can I map?

There's all sorts of data you can add to OpenStreetMap. See Map Features for a big list of features we can map. In relation to baseball...

Roads looking wonky? Straighten them out. See TIGER fixup for some details of that. An access road leading to a baseball field may well be missing. These small roads can be added. They would be tagged with highway=service

There's always lots of baseball fields as part of schools. Why not map some more details of the school while you're there? Most schools in the U.S. are already on the map with just a single node (amenity=school). A good thing to do, is to convert this to be an area looping around the perimeter of the school grounds. If you're doing this, you should copy the tags from the existing node, onto the new perimeter way, and then delete the old node. You can also map school buildings (building=*) and small roads around school grounds (highway=service

Likewise for baseball diamonds as part of public parks, you can map these with a leisure=park way looping around the full area of the park.

Do's and dont's

  • Do map lots of baseball diamonds. As many as possible!
  • Do map individual diamonds as separate ways, even if they're neighbouring each other.
  • Don't use 100 nodes to represent the exact curve of the edge of the field. Usually about 10 nodes would plenty even for a large one.
  • Do map other stuff too while you're about it. (schools & parks, see previous section)
  • Do have fun and get competitive, in a friendly way, with the rankings!
  • Don't try to game the system to score more edits. Yes we know there's lots of ways you could do this, but there's also lots of real mapping to be doing. No cheating! :-)
  • Do get your friends involved! Know any baseball fans? Time to tell them about OpenStreetMap.


This was a short sharp mapping sprint which finished on October 27th.

/press release

See Also

Harry Wood posted a diary entry about the results.

short link to this page: