OSM fieldwork

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Current mapping state of Grenada rendered in Mapnik

OSM fieldwork was a project which took place in 2008/2009

At the State Of The Map 2008 conference in Limerick, Ireland, Ed Parsons spoke about the recently-launched Google Map Maker, Google's process for getting the public to supply map data for them. The countries initially covered by Map Maker included many Caribbean islands, leading Ed to express sadness that fieldwork was not involved.

This off-the-cuff suggestion, and a spirit of friendly competition, caused Gervase Markham, an OpenStreetMap contributor, to set up a pledge on Pledgebank. People pledged to improve OpenStreetMap's coverage in the Caribbean themselves by tracing over available aerial imagery, and to donate £10 each towards sending one lucky mapper on just such a field trip.

74 people, including Ed Parsons himself, signed the pledge, raising £740 to fund the expedition in order to significantly improve the OpenStreetMap data. One name from the pledgelist was chosen by a verifiable random process - Steve Chilton from Middlesex University, UK (who happens to be a professional cartographer, and is the driving force behind the look of the default cartographic styling for OpenStreetMap). The OpenStreetMap Foundation sponsored him to travel to Antigua from 5th to 12th of June to add GPS traces, classify roads, and to add road names and points of interest, building on the work already done from aerial photos by the pledgers.

(Osmfieldwork Press Release and blog post)

Steve reported back on his mapping experiences. While he was out there he also appeared on local TV and radio in Antigua, and gave some presentations about OpenStreetMap to the locals. this article has a photo. There are other photos elsewhere todo: find them. We even got onto slashdot: OpenStreetMap Sends UK Volunteer Mapper To Antigua

When he got back he gave a lightning talk about it at State Of The Map 2009...

Mapping Antigua talk video

slides on slideshare.

He also gave and a talk at Society of Cartographers 2009

Tracing coordination

The list of islands people tackled by tracing aerial imagery, is as follows:

(*) There is no promise, because then this would become a lottery. But then, we can't make the fieldworker promise to work on the map either. So it's trust on all sides.

Tagging the Yahoo traces

It is suggested to tag stuff (ways, POIs, landuse, etc.) that you've mapped based on Yahoo satellite imagery with these additional tags:


Please tag work derived from other sources accordingly.

Road categories

There is no road tagging scheme for the whole carribean area yet. If you cannot tell a way's exact class it's better to tag it


Other sources