“We need to think about smartphone editors”

posted in: Observations, Participate | 3

During the cold, wet days of a UK winter it is tempting to contribute to OpenStreetMap via the comfort of your own living room. Unlike when OpenStreetMap started in 2004 this is actually now a reasonable way to contribute to the map – we have high quality aerial imagery (including that from Warwickshire County Council), a licence compatible version of ‘StreetView’ courtesy of Mappillary, and numerous OpenData data sources.

Despite this we do still encourage contributors to get out and map ‘on the ground’. The benefit of an on the ground map survey is that you are always seeing up to date data (what is there now, rather than months/years ago when imagery was recorded) and you get to learn many of the intricacies of the environment around us. It can also really fun!

So how easy is it to be a mapper ‘on the ground’? According to seasoned mapper, keen cyclist, and Potlatch developer, Richard Fairhurst, it’s not easy enough. In this fascinating talk at State of the Map US last weekend Richard makes a plea for OpenStreetMap apps for iPhone and Android. A lot has changed in the last 10 years and OpenStreetMap needs to keep it’s tools up to date whilst continuing to make it easier to contibute to OpenStreetMap.

Introducing smart editors…

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