Night of the living maps

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Stay awake, for a better map!

Night of the Living Maps was a global Mapathon on Tuesday 7th Feb. 2012, where all mappers come together in local meetings and trace imagery the whole night long, while the moon shines bright! It's a LAN-party like feeling for map enthusiasts, and because you may have blood-shot eyes after 8hrs of non stop mapping, we decided to give it a zombie theme ;)


Work on a remote armchair mapping project in a particular area. Set your goal and go for it. Mapping from dusk till dawn! Experienced OSMers can put their head down and aim for a big target, but the events are very much open to new beginners too, and so this all-night party will involving some chatting to each other and showing the ropes to new people. We're trying to give a big boost to mapping completeness in countryside areas, just using Bing imagery for example.


Where's the party?
Check the map with the worldwide party locations and join the event most convenient for you! For more details see the "Join" tab above.

There is no party next to me, so I'm going to start my own! What do I need to do?'
Great! Check the "Start own" tab for details of how to set up your party!

How to stay awake?

  1. Go to bed early the day before or get a nap during the day
  2. Get more people going to your party. More people. More partying. Less sleep!
  3. Have a chill out corner to get at least some rest for your zombified brains
  4. Caffeine of all kinds (coffee, cola, clubmate, pills, ...)
  5. Fresh air, progressive music, ...

Do I have to pay for the drinks?
Actually, it might be that you don't have to! The OSM Foundation and the FOSSGIS e.V. will support your local party with a small amount of money, so you can buy junkfood and drinks. Setup a wiki page for your meeting (see Template:Night of the living maps) and contact user:!i! with a request.

Is tracing imagery such a good idea?
Well, in a perfect world, we would be able to do a global mapping party involving real world surveying, sending mappers out to collect data throughout the whole world. It's true that tracing Bing isn't perfect, but it is a chance to do work and hopefully to attract others, who wouldn't help us if the map showed only the two main roads in their village. If we do the job well, it can form a good starting point, to let others easily participate using OpenStreetBugs and to enable good Walking Papers printouts for later surveys during Mapping Parties. Further notes on how you should work with aerial imagery to avoid problems, can be found at /join. Participants and organisers should make themselves aware of the new armchair mapping guidelines.

Why use '#notlm ...' in the changesets?
You remember the great Animations by ITO World or Geofabrik? We hope to create something similar to present our results and to get some material for statistics, by filtering the changesets for this "Night of the Living Maps" tag.


  • restart some outdated local meetings?
  • Clip compilation from live webcams?


  • more GFX and material?
  • An animation by ITO or others? Statistical analyses?
  • linking/adding tips&tricks on tracing Bing
  • attract medias: radio stations, TV, GIS Podcasts, Geocachers, ...