Organised Editing/Activities/2020 Mapbox TIGER desert mapathon

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To celebrate OpenStreetMap's 16th birthday, Mapbox is holding a voluntary mapathon for employees with multiple suggested editing activities. Most of the activities are piggybacking on existing projects, so they aren't covered here. This page covers a short-term project to introduce Mapboxers to TIGER fixup by focusing on TIGER deserts by ZIP code.


OpenStreetMap is at the core of many Mapbox products, but some employees are several levels removed from OpenStreetMap mapping. Hands-on mapping activities help Mapboxers "see how the sausage is made" and understand OpenStreetMap's relevance to their work.


You can contact User icon 2.svgMinh Nguyen (on osm, edits, contrib, heatmap, chngset com.) in the #mapbox channel of OSMUS Slack, in a private message on, or on his talk page. We'll also instruct our members to watch out for possible changeset comments and reply to them.


We've asked our contributors to use the hashtag #MapboxCelebratesOSM16 on any changesets related to OSM's 16th birthday mapathon.


The mapathon itself is being held on August 7, 2020, across multiple time zones, but we're encouraging contributors to continue TIGER fixup efforts if they find it enjoyable.

Tools and data sources

Mappers will use the editor of their choice. We're coordinating efforts in a spreadsheet (TSV) based on this Sophox query and this Overpass API query.

Mappers will focus on the usual priorities for TIGER fixup: aligning streets, ensuring correct topography, and deleting ghost streets. We'll briefly go over how to choose the best aerial imagery layer and offset it as needed.


Measuring our success

We'll rerun the query afterwards and diff the results to see where we made the most improvement.


This activity is intended for Mapboxers who have had some mapping experience in the past. We only want mappers to contribute to TIGER fixup within their comfort level at first.

Post-event cleanup

We'll spot-check changesets that use the suggested tag to identify potential issues. We'll follow up with the participants and also engage the U.S. community for additional help with these TIGER deserts.


After the mapathon, we'll update the #Participants list and note how many ZIP codes were assigned and improved.