Birds of a feather where 2.0

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Notes from the BOF (Birds of a Feather) session for OpenStreetMap held May 20, 2009 at Where 2.0 in San Jose, CA

The discussion lives on here on this page. Please contribute by editing this page and feel free to add your name at the bottom.

2009 BOF Where 2.0

OpenStreetMap/OpenMapData discussion


Response to map-maker

-SAS (elite UK army)

-'Take the fight to the enemy' -respond to posts, engage dialogue

-They don't have a community, they have customers

-Who owns it? -Google

-Can't use it commercially

-Richness of detail; licensing

-More independent developers; eventually

-Better tools; make it easier to map

-Better clarification; what is OSM? what is CloudMade?


-Connection between water and climate change

-People think they are independent

-Scientific side; hard GIS side

-Community side; e.g. mapping trees

-Private layers in OpenStreetMap?

-Budget minded environmental groups

       -Easy tools for standard GIS folks are needed to explore the 'tag soup' of OSM

-QGIS plugin to read OSM and create layers on the fly based on tag filter?

How to convince other map movements to align?


-How do you get proprietary companies (Tele Atlas, Navteq) to donate data?

-Same database

-Personal relationships

-Convincing 'old-school' people of validity of OpenStreetMap

-Comparing to 'Wikipedia'

How to engage non tech-savvy people in OSM?

-Engaging people, make it easy to contribute


-Community representative 'map scribe' inputs map data

-Ease of use of editors

-re: Mike Migurski of Stamen, has been working on paper maps -> OSM (Springmeyer plans to help)

-Niche mapping communities (e.g. hikers, fishers, etc..)

-work flow

-Do you want to lower the barrier? Every idiot mapping?

Mapping more detail

-see Wikipedia: central listing of areas that need mapping

-RSS feed of stuff that changes in your neighborhood, or list

-Don't show unreviewed TIGER data in primary Mapnik tiles or make unreviewed streets a really ugly color (bright Barney purple)

-Make sure to motivate people to notice and fix empty areas and consider bulk import 'empty' until reviewed/cleaned up

-Different levels

-Allow people to take ownership of area, 'I am responsible for this area'

-local chapters, responsible for their area

-Meeting other local contributors


-Flicker meet-ups are popular


Retaining mappers

-Lots of churn in OSM

-70,000 registered users, have never edited

-Edit for one or two days, and drop off


-New sign-ups get a 'buddy'

-Notifying you when people are editing in your vicinity

-Creating a social network

-What is our map crack?

-Analogue to 'Adopt a street' or 'This Highway adopted by: XXXX'

-Inviting editors in your area

-Getting the word out

-Peer pressure

Bulk contributions

-OSMF set up a bulk imports working group

-Have a process set up

-Negotiating terms of upload

-Network of donors

-Finding motivations for companies to give up data

-Tapping into the "fat head", not the just "long tail"

-Hey, use OSM database to store your data

-Working Group established to help import issues

-Better tools

-Conflict resolution

-Promoting the foundation

       - Using FME (from safe software) for bulk imports - Drag and drop graphical interface for attribute/semantic mapping of data attributes to OSM tags

Who participated




Dane Springmeyer