Mappa Mercia is a project to grow OpenStreetMap in the West Midlands, UK. First established in July 2006 as the Midlands User Group the initial idea of the group was to focus the efforts of local OpenStreetMap contributors under a single banner to help increase local interest and participation. Today we run community events, provide training and support local organisations wishing to open up their data.

There is no restriction as to what the Midlands includes so if you feel you fit here, pull up a chair and get comfortable.

From maps to conferences

Our first goal was to map all roads within the motorway ring around Birmingham – a pretty big target, but one that we achieved by Christmas 2008. However, that does not mean that there is no work left. It is rather the opposite! There are still plenty of opportunities to get involved and improve the representation of your neighbourhood on the map.

In 2013 we were delighted to be selected to hold the official annual OpenStreetMap conference, State of the Map. The conference was held from 6-8th September 2013 and was attended by 300 people. For more information on the conference please see our dedicated website.

What does “Mappa Mercia” mean?

The name Mappa Mercia is derived from two historical names which are closely linked with the Midlands: The Hereford Mappa Mundi and the ancient kingdom of Mercia.

Mappa Mundi is a general name for medieval European maps of the world and the largest preserved example of these maps happens to be the Hereford Mappa Mundi from around 1300 which is on display in Hereford Cathedral.

The kings of Mercia reigned from the 5th to the 9th century over the area that we nowadays call the Midlands. The Offa’s Dyke on the border of England and Wales is probably the most famous relict of Mercia.

So, Mappa Mercia basically means a Map of the Midlands. And that’s what we want to create!