Catalina island mapping party

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This is a future event planned for Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, 2016. MaptimeLA and Mapillary are planning a mapping and camping party on Santa Catalina Island, which is located about 20 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, California.

Meetup page:


  • Strengthen the OSM community in Southern California.
  • Train locals to edit OSM, add to Mapillary and make their own maps.
  • Improve OSM and give "street view" to the island through Mapillary

Elevator Pitch

We don't expect anyone to memorize a pitch, but these are key things to keep in mind if anyone asks what we're up to or where information we're asking for will go.

Our volunteer group is spending the weekend focused on three tasks:

  1. Collecting data and improving Avalon's presence on OpenStreetMap, an community-driven map that anyone can improve.
  2. Capturing images to add Avalon to Mapillary, a crowd-sourced platform of street view imagery.
  3. Partnering with locals to teach them how to continue improving these resources and how to use data from them.


The work on Catalina will require several teams. They are loosely defined as the following:


Most members of the trip will stay at the group campsite at the Hermit Gulch Campground. One small group will add features found in the campsite. Add features of the Hermit Gulch Campground including the ref=campsite number following these proposed tags.

Address cleanup/businesses

About 1,100 addresses need to be verified. A temporary tag of maptimela:reviewed=no is being used to keep track of any unfixed address nodes. Team members should remove this tag after doing the following:

  1. Check that the address information in OSM matches the one on the ground.
  2. Move the address point, or node
    1. If only one address exists for the building, move the point to the building's main entrance. Add tag entrance=main
    2. If multiple addresses: move the nodes to location matching that address as it appears on the ground
    3. Tags for business information should be attached to the entrance node rather than the building polygon.
  3. Add any missing addresses.
  4. Don't forget to remove the maptimela:reviewed=no tag.

Some examples of other business information that can be collected:


This team will walk streets of Avalon collecting 360 imagery for uploading on Mapillary. Will work in teams of two. Progress and splits will be tracked here.

One team of two will hike the Hermit Gulch, Divide Road and Garden to Sky trail, collecting imagery tagging OSM features.


Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden

This team of 2-3 people will map the different species of plants found in the garden. Users will also update trails, the garden's border and smaller features. At least one person should shoot and collect 360 imagery using Mapillary. Admission is $7. The garden is managed by the Catalina Island Conservancy. The conservancy has asked us to complete a research permit for our work. We have completed the permit, but have not heard back as of Sept. 29, 2016. The team should be able to access the garden pending approval. External link

Tags to use:

leisure=garden and garden:type=botanical on the area of the garden's boundary

specieis=* for use on any plant or tree. Should be in Latin. For example, species=Lyonothamnus Floribundus

specieis:en=* the English for use on plants and trees. For example, species:en=Ironwood Tree


amenity=drinking_water for any drinking fountains

highway=path for any unpaved foot trails

bridge=yes for any bridges along trails

barrier=gate for any gates

natural=tree for any trees

Small feature check/add:

These features could be done in small teams of two walking on Avalon streets. These small features provide high detail, which could be used to make customized maps or zoomed in maps of locations.

amenity=atm see the tag's page for other complimentary tags, such as operator=

amenity=telephone payphones, helpful with the telephone's number on phone=*

amenity=bicycle_parking for any places to lock and secure bikes




highway=bus_stop for any bus stops, which should include name, ref, operator and other tags


amenity=drinking_water for any drinking fountains

amenity=fountain for any decorative water fountains (though none are likely to be active because of California's ongoing drought)

Historical monuments

The Catalina Island Museum has an archive of maps and a list of notable historic buildings and locations. This team will work with the museum to add those important locations.

Verify/coding/central command

Located at Los Angeles County Fire Station #55, this group will review edits and provide verification for folks in the field.

Tourism tags

Artwork, attractions, camp sites, gallery, hotels, motels, information centers, picnic sites and viewpoints. More on OSM wiki


Following a recently proposed schema. A field papers tutorial is available here and an iD tutorial is here.


For anyone botanically inclined. Species name. Might be handy for the city or fire dept. Could be aided by command center.

Schedule of events


  • Head to island via ferry and set up camp


  • 9-10 a.m. - Breakfast on your own
  • 10-11:00 a.m. - Meet at Fire Station 55 with team leader & training, some teams start
  • 12:00 p.m. - Lunch provided by Carto at Station 55
  • 1-6 p.m.
    • (1-3p.m.) Training on Mapillary, OpenStreetMap and making your own map from free tools on making own map in Fire Station 55
    • Breakout teams
  • 6 p.m. - Pizza dinner provided by Carto at campsite


  • Any cleanup of team projects
  • 1-3 p.m. - Make maps out of the data we’ve collected at Fire Station 55
  • Day on your own / return to mainland (3:30pm/5:30pm/7:50pm)

List of users participating

  • Christofer Beddow | cbeddow
  • Roger Bivens |
  • Tim Black |
  • Eric Brightwell |
  • Omar Campuzano |
  • Erin Coleman |
  • Johan Gyllenspetz
  • John Hickok
  • Regan Hutson |
  • Torsten Karzig |
  • Friederike Karzig |
  • Nina Kin | ninakin
  • Nathan Mixter |
  • Leigh Phan |
  • Susan Roberts |
  • Jon Schleuss | Schleuss
  • Jim Thoburn |
  • Omar Ureta | cityhubLA
  • Charlotte Wolter |

Tools to use

  • Slack: Users on the ground will communicate at
  • Go Map!! is an iOS app that allows users to move nodes and edit tags
  • will allow you to add some features such as businesses. Won't let you reposition items.
  • OSM Tracker will let you record GPS traces of your movement over time.
  • Vespucci is a full Android-based map editor.

Better aerial imagery

Bing coverage is non-existent on over the island and Mapbox's imagery is from 2010-11. Use these tile servers for better aerial imagery:{zoom}/{y}/{x}{zoom}/{y}/{x}