Project of the week/2010/Sep 22

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Meet a Mapper

Contributing to OpenStreetMap is a collaborative activity. We each submit data knowing that our personal data becomes our collective data. At times we hope that our contributions will be seen as acceptable and good enough. At other times we hope that other mappers will help us refine and improve our contributions. As much as OpenStreetMap is a group project, often we each make our contributions in isolation.

This isn't always the case. We have Mapping Parties and Stammtisch and meetups and various social tools to contact and connect with other mappers.

The Project of the Week is to meet another mapper in some way.

Who to Contact and What to Do

Some of us prefer to meet virtually. Others like to meet face to face. Still others like to organize and facilitate. Participate in a way that you feel comfortable. When meeting people in person for the first time, take reasonable precautions.

Greet Another Contributor

There have been several excellent OSM introductions published recently. Try contacting a new mapper in your area, and welcome them to OpenStreetMap.

  • Zoom in to your town on
  • Use the History tab to find recent edits.
  • Ignore the bots.
  • Look for usernames that you don't recognize.
  • Have a look at their editing history and some of their edits.
  • Send them a user-email to say hello.
  • Introduce yourself and tell them something that you liked about something that they mapped.
  • If they are a relatively new mapper, welcome them to OSM. Offer to answer questions if they have any, or point them to your favourite OSM resource for answers.

Meet an Existing Group

Attend a Mapping party, Mappy Hour, Tapas and Mapas, Stammtisch, Meetup or OSM presentation to a local club if you enjoy meeting mappers and potential mappers face to face. These events might not be scheduled this week, in your area. That's fine. Find one this week that you can plan to attend some time soon. Look for one in a nearby town if you don't have a local group.

  • Check the OSM [1] Calendar
  • Check your regional OSM Group [2]
  • Check your favourite social network for like-minded mappers.
  • Check an event site like [3] or [4]

Organize a New OSM Group

If you don't have a local group, or one local-enough for you to reach, consider creating a local group. There may be other local mappers just waiting for you to say, "Hey, let's get together and talk about OSM." It's easy to do this.

  • Select a location that makes you feel comfortable and will be welcoming for others. This could be a coffee shop, community centre, bar, or something else.
  • Select a date and time that will be convenient for you and others. Weekday evenings tend to be good for the after-work / after school crowd. Pick a date that is a couple of weeks in the future so folks can learn about your event and plan to attend.
  • Tell folks about your event through on the OSM calendar [5] your favourite social sites, and by contacting local mappers via site-mail.


Let us know if you start a new OSM group or revive a dormant one.


  • Jonathan Bennett's Introduction to OpenStreetMap adapted from his OpenStreetMap book. [6]
  • Harry Wood's Introduction to OpenStreetMap on Hodder Education. [7]
  • Jonathan Bennett's Introduction to collecting data with a GPS [8]
  • Harry Wood's How To Edit Tutorial [9]