Organised Editing/Activities/Trains of Botswana mapathon

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Trains of Botswana Mapathon

This is a sample page for a detailed description of an organized editing activity.


During the 1950s and early 1960s the Surveyor-General of Botswana, along with the British Chief Directorate Surveys & Mapping, comprehensively mapped Botswana and produced a series of 1:5000 Topographic Map sheets of the country.

A complete set of digital scans those extremely rare sheets was purchased through a crowdsourcing campaign in late 2018. If you participated, thank you! The scans are now available for tracing in every good OSM editor.

Many of Botswana's abandoned train lines still exist, covered by a thin layer of sand. This makes them extremely hard to see on aerial imagery.

During the first Sunday of February, our mapathon at the University of Botswana (in Gaborone) will try to make OSM the best map of Botswana's forgotten train lines.


You can contact Slant Grater at with any questions. We'll also instruct our core team to watch out for possible changeset comments and reply to them!


We'll ask participants to use the hashtag #botswanaexampletrains with their edits.


3 February 2019, between 2 and 6 pm.

Tools and Data Sources

We'll be using the iD editor, standard aerial imagery and the scanned old maps to precisely locate the railways.

Well also demonstrate some specific map editing procedures for those unfamiliar (and a bit shy) with the OpenStreetMap editing software.


Our core team of active and experienced OSM mappers:

Our support team:

There will be hopefully 30-40 volunteers participating and we'll ask them to link to this page in their user profile.

Measuring our Success

DesertAnorak is planning a live dashboard showing completion.

Because the standard OSM QA tools take too long to update, the core team will be using the overpass API to download changes locally, and use the JOSM validator to provide feedback to participants.

Our friends at Botswana Railways are giving one free return ticket from Gaborone to anywhere in the country to each of the top 10 contributors.


We'll demonstrate the specific map editing procedures for those unfamiliar (and a bit shy) with the OpenStreetMap editing software. Our slides are at File:BotswanaTrainsMapathon.pdf.

Post-Event Clean Up

Our core team will frequently look at new changesets being uploaded with our hashtag, and apply corrections where necessary. They will be present at the mapathon to assist anyone with questions.

A few days after the event, the core team will look at the common QA tools (OSMI, Osmose, Keepright) to repair anything that might have slipped through the cracks.


We'll post some results here after the event.