Milton Keynes Mapping Party 2009

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This was a past event. A big mapping party in Milton Keynes back in May 2009. This predated access to bing imagery, so we were positioning data purely with GPS.

Blogs: Harry's diary entry & Jim Brown's cloudmade blog entry 'mapping with the kids'

Photos: on flickr here (Use the special machine tag 'upcoming:event=2137179' and also send them to the openstreetmap group).

See an animation of the Milton Keynes Mapping Weekend GPS action (20MB) and the following image shows the final set of traces:

MK party render.png

Who did what

  • AChadwick - 42+43
  • Blackadder - 14+15
  • ChrisP - 3
  • Ed Loach - 45+46
  • Firefishy - 38+39
  • FixieDan - 26
  • Harry Wood+1 - 0+24
  • Jaszmania - 31+32
  • Jbrown+3 - 5
  • Jvvw - 19
  • Kepa - 8
  • Ojw - 2+39
  • Ollie - 22+23
  • Simonthomas - 7+50
  • Smsm1 - 49
  • Steve8 - 40+47
  • Thewinch - 6+8
  • TomH - 29
  • TomS - 6+27+33+34
  • Twain - 21+25+30

Other areas that were done but without public GPX traces:

  • John D - 16
  • Loughton - 10+17 (& 11+12 earlier in the week)
  • Ben?
  • Blaine?
  • Anyone else?

Areas done after the party:

  • Ojw - 1 (partial)

Social Networks

Facebook Event


Myspace Event

CloudMade Event

Old organisational details:

Mapping party

Mapping parties are events where anyone can come and participate in the OpenStreetMap project. OpenStreetMap is a free, open source map that can be contributed, edited and used by anyone anywhere. Mapping parties are social events where experienced and new mappers can meet to share and learn more about the project. The events are generally held in a public place, and allow time for discussion, mapping and editing. The event is open to all.

It's fun. It's free. You can help.

More about Mapping parties

Main OSM wiki page: Milton Keynes

Wikipedia article: wikipedia:Milton Keynes

Where? When?

  • When: Saturday May 16th and Sunday May 17th 2009 from 10am.
  • Where: The Holiday Inn Milton Keynes: 500 Saxon Gate West, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2HQ [1]. We are in the 'CHESTNUT' room on the ground floor.
  • Contact
  • Event schedule:

Hopefully we will have someone in the room at all times to cover passing trade and look after the kit

    • Saturday
      • 10am: Room will be open for setup, training, allocating areas.
      • 11am-1pm: Morning mapping.
      • 1pm-2pm: Room will be open for lunch (BYO), discussion, or you may want to stay out if far away.
      • 2pm-4pm: Afternoon mapping.
      • 4pm: Room open for uploading the data, adding it to the map, training.
      • 6ish: To the pub. Kit can be left in room overnight.
    • Sunday
      • As Saturday
  • Getting to Milton Keynes:
    • Train: Milton Keynes is 30 minutes from London and 45 minutes from Birmingham New Street on the fastest trains (Virgin). Note you need to reserve space in advance if carrying bikes on Virgin Trains. Bike reservations are recommended but not required if travelling on the slower London Midland services, which are also much cheaper.
    • Car: Milton Keynes is just off the M1 and A5 roads and has numerous car parking spaces everywhere. The hotel itself has 'limited chargeable parking'. For more details on parking in central MK see this map.
    • Coach: Milton Keynes is also on the National Express coach network - but be aware that Milton Keynes Coachway is several miles from the centre of town - local buses go to the centre.
  • Weather: This event is rain or shine.


The Holiday Inn Milton Keynes: 500 Saxon Gate West, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2HQ.

The venue is around a 1 mile walk from the railway station, up Midsummer Boulevard.

  • User:twain has arranged for a dedicated meeting room for us at the Holiday Inn Milton Keynes. CloudMade are sponsoring the weekend which means there will be dedicated wifi for us at the meeting room. We have the room for the whole weekend.
  • Note: This is NOT the Holiday Inn Express Milton Keynes which is on the edge of town.

We have been offered a special price on accommodation at the Holiday Inn for the weekend - £50 for a twin room for the Saturday night. If you are interested, please email enquiries[AT] with your name and address and a contact phone number.

What You Need

  • Laptop computer with wifi, if you have one. We can store it at the hotel while you are out mapping.
  • GPS receiver with recording capability, e.g. Garmin Geko 201, Garmin Forerunner 305, NaviGPS.
  • If you don't have a GPS receiver, we will be borrowing some units from the OpenStreetMap Foundation.
  • Pen/paper/pad for noting down features.
  • A digital camera may be useful for noting down street names or complicated areas.
  • If you own a GPS or laptop computer, please bring it along. If not, we will have GPS units to loan.

Mapping objectives

Please feel free to suggest locations and goals for this mapping event as well as future events.

  • Add in the road network, which is largely missing in the non-central parts of the town, particularly west of the railway. Here, the minor roads are extremely bendy.
  • Add in the usual POIs (pubs, major retail buildings.) Central MK's well-spaced out (and grid-like) structure means this will be straightforward to do.
  • Car park areas - as there are lot of them.
  • Wikipedia has a good indicative list of major POIs.
  • Include the Redway system - MK's extensive, integrated and grade-seperated cycle network.
  • The famous Concrete Cows.
  • Try and find the missing section of cycle route 51
  • Perhaps try and extend cycle route 6 to the north and/or south of the short section already mapped

Who's Coming?

Edit this and add your name (and any area you want to reserve from the cake below) if you can make it! If you need to borrow a GPS please add a note to that effect and we'll reserve one for you.

Both Days

  • Ollie - both days
  • Brian - Hope to be down for both days
  • Ojw
  • TomS - Both days. Will be staying in Newport Pagnell so will try to do a bit there too
  • Ben - Maybe, Dunno...hopefully.
  • Smsm1
  • Juliette Culver - both days, will have car
  • Mark Gaved - some time on both days I hope. I live in Wolverton so I'd be happy to walk and cycle round there and try to cover as much as I can. It's not on your number grid below but it is in the Milton Keynes authority area ;-)
  • User:robert should probably go. Let's see if I remember.
  • TomH - both days, will have bike and car

Saturday Only

  • Jamie Slee - Saturday only
  • John Duggan - Can do Saturday, will be on bike!
  • Blackadder will be along on Saturday
  • Jbrown Saturday (maybe Sunday for part of the day)
  • Simonthomas - Saturday only, no GPS but got everything else inc. car, complete beginner!
Come and have fun, there will be lots of support, but don't be afraid to ask. - Firefishy

Sunday Only

  • Steve8 - can only do Sunday (car and bike)
  • Harry Wood - Sunday, on foot. Dragging the girlfriend along too
  • Ed Loach - Should make Sunday, by car, probably with bike in the back.
  • Chris Parker - Will try my bike, hope to do some interviews too!
  • AChadwick - hopefully, rubbish bus service permitting

Area Cake

A provisional cake with 51 pieces. If not sure, pick the lower numbers. Bear in mind that these cake pieces are larger than normal - typically 2km x 2km. Milton Keynes has a low-density structure, so progress should be quick, but most pieces will still require quite a bit of walking, cycling or driving. If you have a bike or car, please bring it - we'll reserve a few more central areas for walkers but you'll be more effective on a bike or in a car!

Your pace might be chipping away at one piece throughout the weekend, or, for the most experienced mappers, managing one each morning and afternoon...

MK Cake 1b.png

  • 0 - Harry Wood with Francine - On Sunday Morning. On foot. Found some new roads and corrections
  • 1 - Ojw - tracklog
  • 2 - Ojw - tracklog
  • 3 -
  • 4 -
  • 5 -
  • 6 - TomS - I did the eastern part between the V9 grid road and the canal. Will map over the next few days.
  • 7 -
  • 8 - TomS - I did the western part (west of Grafton Street) by mistake because I thought I'd got to 27...oops. By the time I realised my mistake I'd done most of it. I'll hold off mapping it for a few days to allow the rightful mapper of 8 time to add their bits!
  • 9 -
  • 10 -
  • 11 - (already done)
  • 12 - (already done)
  • 13 -
  • 14 -
  • 15 -
  • 16 -
  • 17 -
  • 18 -
  • 19 -
  • 20 -
  • 21 -
  • 22 - Ollie (Sun)
  • 23 -
  • 24 - Harry Wood with Francine - On Sunday Afternoon. On foot.
  • 25 -
  • 26 -
  • 27 - TomS - surveyed on Sunday. I didn't quite finish as I had to go home, but I think I've got all the roads and most of the cycle routes. Will map over next few days.
  • 28 -
  • 29 -
  • 30 -
  • 31 - Jamie Slee
  • 32 - Jamie Slee
  • 33 - TomS - surveyed, have mapped most of it
  • 34 - TomS - surveyed, have mapped most of it
  • 35 -
  • 36 - (already done)
  • 37 -
  • 38 -
  • 39 - Ojw - tracklog
  • 40 -
  • 41 -
  • 42 - achadwick Streets between the Ousel River and Brickhill Street/V10 all done. Southern part of Simpson needs road names still. Redway/cycle network needs work.
  • 43 - achadwick Everything residential between the lake and Brickhill Street/V10 done, minus the cycle paths. The industrial park and the paths around Caldecotte Lake are probably the priorities after that.
  • 44 -
  • 45 - EdLoach Road complete. Nearly all of the Redways
  • 46 - EdLoach Road complete. Some of the Redways
  • 47 -
  • 48 -
  • 49 -
  • 50 -
  • 51 - Like its namesake, the location of area 51 was top secret until the day of the party (east of 50 to the A5130)

Note that the following areas contain large open areas: 5, 13, 19, 25, 34, 35, 36, 41, 42, 49.

Research Interviews

I (Chris Parker) will be hoping to interview a number of you about your experience using and contributing to OpenStreetMap. My research as part of my PhD is to investigate the prominent emotions, social changes, financial aspects and performance issues relevant to users, which in turn creates this phenomenon known as value. More info is on my research blog (

If you would like to know more, and possibly book some time for an interview with me on the Sunday, email