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The Spatial People Award: Applications are Ongoing!

HOT Program



What we’re looking for…

The Spatial People Award is open to mapping groups in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. We expect lead applicants to:

  • Have edited on OpenStreetMap before (please note that we ask for your OSM username here to check this on our side) have attended a virtual or in-person mapathon
  • If you have experience organizing events (or have organized a mapathon before, that’s a plus!)

If you haven’t done any of the above, follow us on Twitter to learn more about upcoming events that you can participate in so that you can gain the experience to apply for the Spatial People Award.

The selection process will consider;

  • Clear and detailed event details (date, venue, activities, participants). Activities should be directed at improving OpenStreetMap data through remote or field mapping activities
  • An event with great participation and involvement of OSM volunteers and other spatial people in your community. Please note that in-person or hybrid events are preferred.
  • Social media indicating previous events organized by the applicants
  • Character reference, you are encouraged to check with your referee before listing them

Who can apply…

You are eligible to apply for the Spatial People Award if you are a mapping group within the Eastern and Southern Africa region. We consider a mapping group as a self-organized group of individuals who are interested in or plan activities that involve open mapping. This might include a Youth Mappers Chapter and a national (or local) OSM community group. Please note: your application won’t be affected if you are applying as a member of a “mapping group” or not.

Experience organizing mapping events will be considered. If this will be your first event, please let us know and we will be happy to support you.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

How to apply…

The application form can be found here: Spatial People Award Application Form. The Application forms consist of 4 sections:

Section 1: Provides general information about the Spatial People Award. The only action from you is to share your email address.

Section 2: In this section, we would like to learn more about you, the lead applicant, and your mapping group. We’ll ask you some administrative questions. These will include your contact information, where you’re based, some information about your group, and your mapping experience.

Section 3: Here we would like to learn more about your event. This asks about the date, venue, the number of participants you plan to host and the activities you plan to have during the event, and other logistics. Carefully describe what you plan to do during your event.

Top tip! Break down your description into 5 key categories: (1) who (2) what (3) where (4) why (5) how?

WHO? - Who do you plan to host at your event? Are they members of your existing “mapping group”? Are they new map contributors? Are they people from your class / academic course? Are they your friends? Etc.

WHAT? - You’ve already stated if you’ll be doing remote mapping or field mapping. So tell us more! If you’re planning on doing remote mapping, will you be using the Tasking Manager? Or if you’re going to be doing field mapping, which tools will you use?

WHERE? - Tell us the location that you will be mapping

WHY? - Tell us why you are mapping this particular location

HOW? - Tell us the format of your event. Will you spend the first 20 minutes training? Will you make a presentation? Will you have validators? Etc.

Please note that there is a word count on this, please stick to the word count of 400 words. Merit will not be granted to applications that go significantly over the word count (or significantly under!).

In this section, we will also ask you to complete a budget using this budget template. In your budget, we expect to see a list of things that you purchase with your Spatial People Award. A guide on how to complete the budget is included in the budget template.

Section 4: This is an opportunity for you to make a request from the OMH-ESA so that you feel 100% supported in rolling out your event. Tell us if there is any additional support that you think you might need.


You can apply for a Spatial People Award at any time of the year. Applications will be reviewed in the first week of every month. Since the awards will be granted monthly, we request applicants apply at least 4 weeks before your event. Successful applicants will be notified within a week of your application submission.

To share the Spatial Joy across all our countries, countries awarded in any cohort can only re-apply after 3 months.


If you are granted a Spatial People Award, there are some things that we expect of you. These include:

  • Adding high-quality data to OSM during your event
  • Promoting your event on social media platforms
  • Completing a short post-event feedback form
  • Taking photos/videos at your event and sharing them with us
  • A short financial report on how you spent your award (please note you will have to collect and share receipts of everything that you purchase with your award and any other supporting documents),
  • A short narrative report that captures (1) the number of participants that attended your event (2) what you did and how it went (3) any areas of improvement for your next event. This helps us to learn and improve our programs
  • Ultimately, we expect you and your peers to have a fun Spatial time!

Eligible costs…

The Spatial People Award is for individuals, groups, and communities looking to host open mapping events, locally. This means that eligible costs include all costs that are associated with hosting events. There are five categories of costs that the award will cover. This includes:

  • “Meals and refreshments” which can include all snacks/drinks etc. that you plan to provide at your event
  • “Transportation” includes the transportation of people or goods.
  • “Airtime and Data” includes the cost of the internet needed to run the event.
  • “Venue Hiring” can be used if you will need to hire a venue for your event.
  • “Equipment Hiring” can be used in case you need to hire equipment like Projectors or a PA system.
  • Any costs that are not associated with the above categories will not be covered. Examples of costs that are not included in the award include:

  • Equipment that does not align directly to mapping project needs, or may not contribute to the long-term sustainability of the community (for instance applications for purchasing or renting vehicles will not be considered)
  • Costs towards paying a personal stipend to organizers, hiring a consultant to support project implementation
  • Travel expenses that do not align directly to mapping project needs (for example costs towards attending a conference).

Frequently asked questions…

If you have any questions, you can reach out to But before you do, we recommend that you read through these Frequently Asked Questions first (just in case your question has already been answered!)

Do I have to write my application in English? No. You can submit your grant application in the language that you feel most comfortable using.

Can we, my mapping group, and my community submit more than one application for the same project? One application per community is eligible. If more than one application is received from the same organization for the same project, you will be requested to withdraw one of the applications, and consolidate the project into one application. We will then ask you to resubmit your application as one application.

Can my community submit more than one application for different activities/mapping locations? Yes, but please be aware that only one application from your mapping group will be funded (based on the selection criteria listed above) and you will not be able to submit or receive another Spatial People Award for another three months.

If I’m unsuccessful, will I receive feedback? Unfortunately not, but your application will have been unsuccessful due to the following reasons:

  • Not enough clarity on what you plan to do
  • Unrealistic budgets or timelines
  • Unclear mode of community engagement/ involvement
  • Insufficient character reference

Who will decide who receives the Spatial People Award? Awards will be decided across the criteria listed above by staff at the Open Mapping Hub Eastern and Southern Africa (OMH-ESA).

How many awards will be made? We will make awards based on merit, the number of awards we make is dependent on the quality of the application, not a fixed number of available awards.

What tools can I use for my project? We will only fund projects that aim to contribute high-quality data to OpenStreetMap using open tools, open-source software, freely downloadable materials, and media, and are published under open licenses. For full definitions of open source.