Microgrants/Microgrants 2020/Proposal/Addition of USRNs and outreach to public sector

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Addition of USRNs and outreach to public sector
Research options to add a key public sector reference to OpenStreetMap, host a platform and provide training to our community.
budget (Euro)EUR 2020 to 2820
location(s)Great Britain
contact(s)• baord@osmuk.org• osmuk.org
organization (if applicable)• board@osmuk.org
links• twitter.com/osmuk

About your Mapping Community

Tell us a little bit about your mapping community at the moment, some examples of details to include are below, but please provide us with any information you think is relevant. Please write 100-200 words The history of our community in the United Kingdom is as long as OpenStreetMap itself. Indeed when OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 the initial focus was on mapping the United Kingdom, and the very first edit was in London. As the project has grown and evolved, it has become increasingly hard to determine the exact size of our community, however 250 people typically edit every day [1], whilst an average month sees up to 2,000 unique mappers [2].

The UK has had a Local Chapter since 2017. We currently have 101 members and and an audience of 1,778 twitter followers and 206 newsletter subscribers. Our aims can be seen in full on our website [3]. They include the aims to increase the size of our community, to improve the quality and quantity of data in OpenStreetMap and the promote the use of OpenStreetMap by individuals and organisations in the UK.

[150 words]

What do you need the grant money for?

We want to understand what you plan to buy, how much you plan to buy, and why this will help you to scale your community mapping efforts. There are two tables for you to fill in your response, and you may add more rows as needed. Some examples are in the table for your reference. You are welcome to use a different format in your response, but please make sure to include these details. On 1 July 2020, the UK’s national mapping agency will release Universal Street Reference Number (USRN) data as Open Data. Additionally, the Government Digital Service has mandated [1] that the USRN are to be the public sector standard for referencing and sharing property and street information.

You can read more about USRNs here [2], but in short this is a key identifier that is used across all of Great Britain’s public sector organisations during the provision of key public services. This include highway maintenance, environmental panning, health provision and reporting, waste management and so on. Currently it is also being used to support the Covid-19 response [3].

The UK community recognises the importance of this data and has already started to discuss on talk-gb the tagging that is most appropriate. We have seen success in previous efforts to add public sector information to OpenStreetMap, including a coordinated effort to map schools which saw 362 people contributing 15,548 edits across three months [4]. Another example is Food Hygiene Rating Scheme identifiers, where our community has contributed over 85,000 entries [5].

The grant will be used to allow the UK community to investigate the best way to add Universal Street Reference Number (USRN) data to OpenStreetMap. A platform will be created to facilitate the community effort to incorporate this new data into OpenStreetMap and training material will be produced to support this. Finally we will promote our work within key public sector circles.

Budget breakdown

Give your budget breakdown here. If you would like to present your budget in a tabular format, you can use this tool to convert your spreadsheet into a wikitable and paste the code below here

Addition of the USRN to OpenStreetMap in Great Britain

Item What do you plan to spend the money on? Expected cost per unit (in Euros) Quantity you plan to buy / subscription length Expected total cost (in Euros) Why is it needed? (Please give as much detail as possible.)
1 Community engagement Nil N/A Nil The project will be kicked off with community engagement and this will be covered by OSM UK volunteer time.
2 Research and documentation EUR 200 1 days work EUR 200 We will research what conflation options are available and update the documentation on the OSM wiki.
3 Community engagement Nil N/A Nil By proceeding, we will again engage with the community and this will be covered by OSM UK volunteer time.
4a Deployment of an conflation platform / Developer time EUR 200 2 days work EUR 400 Our initial view is that there are existing solutions that can be deployed to meet our needs with minimal additional work. We are therefore budgeting 2 days work
4b Developer time (Contingency) EUR 200 4 days work EUR 800 Contingency in case additional development work is required.
5 Hosting costs EUR 85 12 months EUR 1020 Our initial view is that we will require a dedicated server with 16 GB of RAM on which to deploy our toolset. Cost estimate from Digital Ocean.
6 Creation of training/course material EUR 200 0.5 days work EUR 100 Training material will be developed and published to assist our community in adding the USRN to OSM.
7 Webinar Nil N/A Nil A webinar will be set up to share the training material and allow for a live Q&A session. Any associated costs will be covered by OSM UK.
8 Outreach to public sector EUR 300 1 EUR 300 There are circa 150 top tier local authorities. For outreach we have provision for an average of 2 EUR per authority. Outreach is likely to be via groups – for example to cover travel expense to film an interview (as we did with CLGdotTV).
TOTAL EUR 2820 With Contingency
TOTAL EUR 2020 Target without going in to the contingency pot.

If you receive a grant, what do you aim to achieve?

It is recommended that this supports mission of the OSM Foundation and your local community. Please provide us with any information you think is relevant including the metrics you expect to achieve. Please write 100-200 words.

As we already have a good map of the highways in the UK, we expect the process to focus on the transfer of attribute data rather than geometry changes. With around 5 million highway features to update [6] the task ahead of us is huge. Stage one of the project is therefore to examine the conflation options available to us.

We then envisage that a platform will be established to ensure that our community is equipped with the right tools to accurately and efficiently add this data to OpenStreetMap.

Training will be provided – e.g. a webinar and reference material (webpage or slides). The aim is to engage over 100 people during the process and we hope to add 90% of the data within the first year.

Each stage of the work will only proceed if we are confident that we can deliver this work with the support of our community and in accordance with the organised editing and import guidelines.

The project meets many of our Local Chapter aims [7] including increasing the skills and toolsets available to our community and promoting the use of OSM in the public sector.

Learnings will be shared with the global community.

[198 words]

Do you receive funding from any other sources at the moment?

If you receive funding from other organisations currently, please state how much this is, whether the donations are regular or one off, and how these funds have been raised. Please write no more than 300 words. If you have any sources of co-funding for this grant application, please provide details. Examples of this might be if you have any partners who would be willing to match grant funding if you receive it, or if your project has existing funding. Please provide as much detail as possible.

Our Local Chapter receives a small fee from each member. At GBP 5 (EUR 5.70) per year this is one third of the price of OSMF membership and significantly lower than fees charged by similar organisations (both within and outside of OpenStreetMap). Combined with one off project income, at the date of last full financial reports we recorded a total balance of GBP 1205 (EUR 1380). [8]

To keep OpenStreetMap UK afloat, it is prudent to hold back a certain amount for contingency. Accounting for this and ongoing costs (hosting, domain registration) we have minimal working capital and hence we are applying for this grant. There are no other sources of co-funding for this grant application.

[116 words]

Is there anything you would like OSMF to support you with?

If there is anything which you would like OSMF to support you with in order to strengthen your project, please let us know. For example, this could include building relationships with OSM communities, sourcing updated imagery for mapping projects, or guidance on how to use some of the tools we have created. We want to do our best to support OSM communities, so please let us know what you need. Please write no more than 150 words.

Access to the microgrant scheme is much appreciated and we have submitted applications for a number of projects that we feel have high impact at low cost. Some of our ambitions did not meet the criteria – for example, we have been quoted a price for updated imagery however this was above the EUR 5000 limit. We welcome all opportunities to further engage with the OSMF as we believe that collaboration in all aspects of OpenStreetMap is what makes our community great.


By submitting this form to the OpenStreetMap Foundation, you certify the information contained in this application is correct, and that if you are awarded a grant, you will use it only for the purposes described above. You will provide written documentation and receipts for all of your expenses to the OSM Foundation to demonstrate this. You understand that the decisions made by the OSM Foundation Microgrants committee are final.

I agree [on behalf of OpenStreetMap United Kingdom C.I.C (an OSMF Local Chapter)]. For follow up communication, please contact us at board@osmuk.org.


Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!

This application is submitted and endorsed by OpenStreetMap United Kingdom C.I.C (an OSMF Local Chapter).