Microgrants/Microgrants 2020/Proposal/OSM Sandbox: Mapping Tools for Schools

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OSM Sandbox: Tools for Education
OSM Sandbox acts like a full-function instance of OpenStreetMap. The ‘Sandbox’ technology will use the same apps and tools as OpenStreetMap, but allow the database to be restarted from scratch for each classroom.
budget (Euro)€4450
grant_typeplease specify whether this grant is for an individual, group, or organization
contact(s)• Steven Johnson
organization (if applicable)• OSM-US/TeachOSM

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

We are TeachOSM and our purpose is to foster the adoption of OpenStreetMap (OSM) and open mapping techniques to teach geography and spatial citizenship in academic settings. TeachOSM is a chartered project of OpenStreetMap US, a 501(c)3 organization that supports the OpenStreetMap project in the United States through education, data, and membership services. Over the last 5 years, TeachOSM has trained hundreds of teachers in open mapping methods. The project supports educators year-round with workshops, conferences, and seminars, and produces training materials for teachers. We have created modules that help teachers apply open mapping to the broader curriculum including issues related to mapping for humanitarian needs, such as working with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT).

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.

Teachers and students new to OpenStreetMap can be both hesitant and over-zealous in editing, often leading to poor data quality. We propose creating an OSM ‘Sandbox’ where educators and their students may edit worry-free and develop with the editing experience before editing the primary OpenStreetMap database. The ‘Sandbox’ technology will use the same apps and tools as OpenStreetMap, but allow the database to be restarted from scratch for each classroom. This tool provides security for students, and greatly lowers risk of poor data to the OpenStreetMap project. Each instance will consist of a ‘classroom’ with an associated ‘lesson plan’ and an associated OSM API. Each instance could be erased and reloaded periodically so that successive waves of students could train in the same area (e.g. mapping features around the high school). Or, a variety of small areas can be served so students can experience mapping in multiple landscapes.

A sandbox benefits the entire OSM project. For teachers new to open mapping, it minimizes the risk they take introducing open mapping and allows them to concentrate on acting as technical backstops to their students. For younger students, the OSMSandbox can give them space to develop good mapping habits and focus on contributing quality data. A sandbox also helps the project avert vandalism, edit wars, and mapping of spurious and trivial data.

The key innovation of the project is the lowered organizational overhead to educators. By removing these barriers, we can significantly increase the adoption of OpenStreetMap in classes. That, in turn, unlocks reflexive benefits: the larger OSM community gains new mappers and high quality, validated spatial data, and students learn geography by doing geography.

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

Item What do you plan to spend the money on? Expected cost per unit (Euros) Quantity you plan to buy / subscription length Expected total cost (Euros) Why is it needed (Please give as much detail as possible)
1 Use Case Development 80 5 hrs €400 Articulate the need for the sandbox, develop concept of operations
2 Architecture 80 10 hrs 800 Develop a workable system architecture
3 Requirements Development 80 10 hrs €800 Identify users and user requirements
4 Documentation 80 25 hrs
€2000 Consolidate design artifacts, proposed architecture use cases, notional workflow, prototype of OSM Sandbox
5 Project Management 80 5 hrs €450 Oversight, review and receive deliverables
Total €4450

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.

With this grant we aim to initiate the design and prototyping phase of the project and attract additional funding to complete and deploy the OSM Sandbox. In this phase, we will develop use cases, develop a notional architecture, and preliminary requirements for development.

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.

Limited funding, all volunteer contributions. We are seeking grants, soliciting donations via our website and targeted outreach.

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.

Support for localization of TeachOSM resources, relationships with geographic educators and support organizations outside of the United States.


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.

On behalf of the TeachOSM project I, Steven E Johnson, agree to follow the above declaration.


Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!

  • I endorse this proposal. - kcarini 18:13 21 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I endorse this proposal. - DrMcKinnon May 23, 2020
  • I endorse this proposal. – jbelien (talk) 15:25, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I endorse this proposal. – Craig Allan This proposal is all about the development of user skills building systems which will eventually be to the benefit of all of OSM.