Tasking Manager

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Job in progress on OSM Tasking Manager

The Tasking Manager is the tool for any organised OpenStreetMap editing and coordination. It has been initially designed and built by and for the Humanitarian OSM Team, and is nowadays used by many other communities and organizations. The purpose of the tool is to divide up a mapping job into smaller tasks that can be completed rapidly. It shows which areas need to be mapped and which areas need the mapping validated.

This approach facilitates the distribution of tasks to the various mappers. It also allows control of the progress and the homogeneity of the work done (i.e. elements to cover, specific tags to use, etc.).

Basic instructions

For a better guide please see Tasking Manager at LearnOSM. The following is only a very basic outline of how to use the tool.

Check the default instructions for tagging roads, buildings, waterways (prepared for H.O.T. projects).

Logging on

The Tasking Manager requires you to log on and authorise using your OpenStreetMap Account before you can work on tasks (although can browse the projects without doing so)


The task manager homepage lists a set of projects. Each projects will have a description of what data is required and if necessary details of source imagery. Some projects will be more appropriate for beginners than others.

Each project is subdivided into a number of tasks designed to be manageable in size.

Setting up your editor

To use the Tasking Manager efficiently you may need to setup your editor

  • iD Editor – The task bounding box should display automatically in iD.
  • JOSM – The task bound box will launch in JOSM only if you enable remote control. For this and other instructions see /Setting up JOSM. JOSM users should also see /Offset db on how to use the imagery offset database, and JOSM/Plugins/BuildingsTools for a recommended plugin when tracing many rectangular buildings.
  • Potlatch 2 – Potlatch will not automatically display the task bounding box, but you can do by adding a vector layer. See /Potlatch 2

Taking a task

After reading the instructions...

  • click 'Take a task at random' or click the map to select the task square you fancy working on;
  • click 'start mapping' – At this point, and for the next two hours, the task square will be "locked" indicating to others that you are working on it;
  • click 'Edit with...' button to launch your preferred editor with the task square highlighted.

You should be able to keep your browser window open in the background while your preferred editor is launched. When doing a task you should map all the features indicated on the project description. When you're done, return to the browser window. Write a brief description of the kind of thing you've added, and special problems you've had with this particular square, and click "Done" or...

If you are unable to complete all of the area then you should upload the features you have added to the map and then back in the browser window click the 'unlock' link. To unlock the task. Again you can add comments describing what you've done, and any problems you've had. This will enable other mappers to pickup the area and continue.

Feedback on your work

You should receive emails if our "validating" team have important feedback on your mapping work, but you can also find feedback in the tasking manager comments.

Locating just the squares (Tasks) you have completed, as follows: Click on the heading for one of the projects you have completed a square(s) for, then click on the Stats tab, and scroll down until you can see the users that have worked on this project, locate your user name in the list, and hover the mouse pointer (don't click, just put the pointer over) over your username. All of the squares that have been completed will fade, leaving only your squares visible. Click the square you completed and you can see all the comments relating to that square.

If the square is green, it has been validated and the validator's comments / feedback are visible to you.

The feedback is important and we need our more confident mappers to join in with the process of validating. To learn more about this, see Tasking Manager/Validating data.

Beginners guides to mapping with H.O.T


LearnOSM is the principle guide recommended by HOT. As well as overviews of the process there are specific sections on.

In development & mainly dealing with JOSM, but also includes information which will be useful when using the iD editor, guide in development. Use with caution – this is still in the 'construction phase', but it may help you if you are just starting to learn to map for H.O.T. Work in progress can be found at User:Tallguy/Thoughts & ideas/Beginners guide


The tasking manager was designed and built for the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and is still under active development.

Operational installations of the Tasking Manager

Note: Some instances are with Tasking Manager v2; others are still under Tasking Manager v1.

It has been suggested that this page be translated into Portuguese as well as other pages in Category:Translate to Portuguese.
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