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News — 24 May, 2017

Organized, distributed OpenStreetMap field mapping

One month ago we held a community chat about developing a new application to support OpenStreetMap field mapping. Our chat focused on getting input on priorities and the problems we want to solve. Developing this work came out of the need to strengthen our tools for the new Crowdsourcing Non-Camp Refugee Data Project. Below is a quick recap of the community chat along with some other input from key stakeholders as we've kicked off the project.

Improving how field mapping is organized

The Crowdsourcing Non-Camp Refugee Data project started this spring with a focus on improving program planning and service delivery to refugee communities in Turkey and Uganda. With over a million refugees in Uganda, and over a quarter of a million of refugees in Istanbul, mapping community services fills an information need to provide quality services. As a part of the project, we want to look to improve the way communities coordinate field mapping. We've identified two core areas we're looking to improve through the application development: 

  1. Enable a mapping organizer or project manager to:
    • advertise and encourage mapping of specific features in a specific area of interest;
    • monitor the progress across an area of interest and communicate publicly about it;
    • check the quality/errors/completeness of the edits happening in an area of interest and coordinate fixing/validating them. 
  2. Enable a mapping contributor to:
    • see the errors/completeness in an area and help edit or fix them; 
    • understand what mobile editors are being used and have access to the files needed to use them.

We plan to begin testing the application in June on a small scale on our current project location in Uganda, followed by testing in Indonesia and other project locations. We'll be reaching out to other community members and mapping projects interested in trialing and providing feedback. Please get in touch if you're interested. 

We're working with the team from Kartoza on the development of this work. We'll be communicating more about our approach, progress, and getting input from the wider OSM community as we continue to test and develop. If you're interested in the development keep watch on GitHub, or join our Slack community channel: #field-campaigner.


Gift of the United States Government - Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration - US Department of State.

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