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Gamification is the act of using game design techniques to enhance non-game experiences. It has been used by companies in order to gather big data [1] or change user behaviour.[2] Gamified applications are different from games because it has an ulterior purpose: that of cleaning or collecting data.

In the context of OSM, these are tools that "gamify" of OpenStreetMap contribution, i.e. make OSM mapping feel more like playing a game, by applying game design techniques. This holds the prospect of attracting many contributors, perhaps from different demographics. The idea has been pursued by quite a few different projects.


A list of game design elements used in gamification schemes:

  • Achievements
  • Badges
  • Levels
  • Missions
  • Points
  • Reward schedules


  • How did you contribute to OpenStreetMap? - scoring and ranking your contribution
  • MapRoulette A website used for adding new data to existing OSM features. The website presents the player with a random OSM data feature which needs improving from around the world.
  • OSM Streak Map a random task every day. Some tasks are very funny, no spoil...
  • OSMFight - Compares two users in a map contribution face off
  • StreetComplete - Android app making easier to edit OSM (no prior OSM specific knowledge necessary). It has some minor gamification with more planned.


  • Mapper baseball cards [1]
  • MapCraft A collaborative Walking-Papers website. Gamification element is present because it encourages competition between players who have been assigned different areas.
  • Kort Game A gamified app for adding new data to existing OSM features.
  • AddressHunter A website with an role-playing game-like interface, featuring a multiplayer quest system for adding addresses to OSM.
  • MapATag - Mobile gamified app for adding accessibility tags, by Wheelmap


While gamification of OSM is more ethical than gamification by proprietary applications since there is public accountability for the produced data, there can still be concerns. One is that editors are more compelled to editing, which may lead to a better quality map, or it may not. See for example the varied response that Pokémon Go (which could be considered a natural experiment for gamification) garnered as far as quality of edits. Also, increased editing of OSM may be bad for an editor - their sleep schedule or privacy included (search this wiki for 'addictive' to see some editors' opinions on this). Ultimately, as long as the conditions of editing are conducive to clear and rational thinking, everyone will likely benefit.

See also

  • Gamification on Wikipedia
  • Games – for games that use OSM data, but are not intended for contributing to OSM
  • Simulators – for more serious uses of OSM data in interactive worlds


  1. ALLEN, A., 2013. Where should Foursquare check-in next? B & T Weekly. Last accessed: 8 October 2013.
  2. Angela Ashenden. (2013).Changing people's behaviour with social gamification. Last accessed 8 October 2013.