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Hi, my real name is Nick and I am a student at CMU. I happened upon the local OpenStreetMap Meetup group when it was about to be deleted, so I became its organizer.

Pittsburgh Meetup

I have two events in pre-planning:

  • A collaborative day / weekend / week in October to make map content
  • GIS Day on November 18th, 2009 - clearly good for a real event

$100 Laptop Project

I took an existing program for the $100 Laptop and made it into a fully-fledged, collaborative mapmaking activity. Students can share information over the laptops' mesh network or use an online wiki site. Simple syntax enables students to embed photos and Wikipedia articles in their language. Google's Static Maps API was used to minimize bandwidth.

Screenshots and download:

The activity has been run from India, Nepal, Rwanda, Uruguay, and many locations in North America and Europe (including ESRI in California). I am working with a school in Massachusetts that is using the program.

Maps Library

Students can download and explore interesting maps using real-life GIS data, such as a GPS track of an elephant or a map used by hospitals to get resources to patients. A few example maps and lesson plans can be found on the laptop maps site:

GIS Collaboration

Maps can be generated for the library using the Beta MapWriter at

Between now and October I hope to make the MapWriter user-friendly enough for our collaborative mapmaking event.

Campus Inventory GIS Project

My engineering projects course is making an ArcGIS map of sculptures, and outdoor areas on CMU's campus. The public data produced by this project will be released to OpenStreetMap, along with some building positions.