A Survey of Mapping Parties – Transcription

I would like to welcome Brian DeRocher up here for the next talk.

I’m Brian DeRocher, I’m on the board for OpenStreetMap U.S. And thank you for coming. I’m going to talk about something a bit more pedestrian, literally getting on the street and street surveys. So first, I would like to do a city shout-out. We have Seattle here, we have Portland, we have Colorado with Ross, hands up, and we have Utah, he is in the other room. We have bay area here, and we have Boston in the house, too. That is Lars. And OSM NYC, anybody here from New York City? Awesome. And Boulder? A community to be formed. We have two places where you can record a community in your organization, in your city. And first is on the Wiki itself, and then also we have a GitHub repository, with a JSON file. So you can submit a pull request, just like Madeleine did. All right. So – before I talk about this, I wanted to give a short layout of my talk. There is going to be how to do street mapping, how to do a mapping party, and then also what are some good ideas that you can incorporate into your street mapping parties to make them a bit more fun. So I want to acknowledge that there are other mapping activities, like mapathons, Mappy Hours, but I’m talking about getting on the streets and recording the data. I’m not a big fan of mapping party, and I’m looking for ideas for a bigger name. I say, let’s have a mapping party to others, and they are not thinking about the party you are thinking about. So how to host a mapping party, you have to think ahead. You have to think two to three months in advance and get them on the calendar. For example, GIS day is coming up, I think it is November 7. So put that event on the calendar and figure out what you are going to do later. But, you know, let it grow. And we can do OpenStreetMap Utah, and they have events planned out through May 3, 2018. Another thing that you can do is get your event on the Wiki.OSM.org on their calendar. And also, I would like to say it is good to build a team to help you out, and I would like to say thanks to Andrew Wiseman there you are, thank you, and Steven Johnson. So one of the questions that stumped me is where should we go mapping, and what are one of the places that need mapping. So Peter Miller at ITO has this tool that gives you the last modification date of the features. So you can see here that Nassau County in orange was edited pretty recently, but Suffolk county was not, and New Jersey not at all. And this is – this is kind of like broad strokes, but you can see this at a lower level, street by street. You can go to where editing hasn’t happened pretty recently. And after you captured your data, where can you go to edit that? It is tough to find a place that is quiet, has good WiFi, and metro accessible, or public transportation accessible. You want to avoid a bar, and coffee shops are hit or-miss. Yeah, as I said, you want a quiet place where you can sit and chat with others and learn more. So, when you are pitching this event, how can you gather the attention of your mappers? I have a good reason, one is you can learn about this modern, hip, geospatial technology, because they get to improve the map, because they get to learn about new places in their neighborhood they never knew before, and you get to know your neighbors, like Mr. Rogers, these are people in your neighborhood. You get to build a resource the entire world gets to use for free, and that is not true for a lot of things. You get exercise in, as you go up and down the streets, you are doing a fair amount of walking. And you get a warm fuzzy for building the community. So here are some ideas. Get a banner – this is Clifford, I think this is yours. The nice thing about a banner is it draws attention, so you are saying, what are you doing, OpenStreetMap? You just say, we are going to be mapping today, would you like to join us? And it works. Of course, tweet about your event, don’t just tweet it once, you have to follow-up every two weeks. So here we are in mapping DC, talking about an event coming up. Get on meet-up, I would suggest getting on meetup.com. I know that some communities do not do that. Here is an email I got yesterday: We just got our 330th member, and they just came out of the woodwork, because are associated with other groups that you’re in, or they search on the key words in your group. And if you need an excuse for mapping, there are special dates all throughout the year. So Red Cross month, open day-to-day, bike to work day, national day of civic hacking, GIS day is November 7, so plan your events, and geo graphic awareness week. And there are also mapathons. There are also special events, Operation Cowboy, and the Night of the Living Map, which sound appropriate for Halloween. So there are maps for catastrophes, disasters, and organize a mapping event. So here is one from Russel. That was pretty recently, and this is for hurricane Irma can he. Collaborate with the sister groups in your city. So maptime has presence in many, many cities now. And there is, like, geo DC, geo NYC. These groups are not always 100 percent focused on OpenStreetMap, but they have a common interesting. There is geo breakfast, geo lunch, humanitarian meet-ups, and often the universities host events like this. Code For America, and Code For DC, or code for your city, and some other groups here. Here is an event where we partnered, this is the work of Andrew, where we partnered with a local group in Washington, D.C. called MOMIES, it is an acronym, I don’t know what it stands for. It is about kids that want to build up their resume, learn what it is like to have a job, and what we did on this event was walk up and down the streets of DC and look at the storefronts, and we were saying, we were also partnering at the same time with DC, the government of DC, because they are providing capital funding for sprucing up your store fronts. So while we were doing mapping, we were giving the store fronts an A, B, or C record, and the kids really helped out with that. This goes hand-in-hand with what Cliff was saying a minute ago. You have to get the buildings on the map first, even if they are empty buildings without an address, because later on, when you are doing street mapping, you can put points in the buildings and it is easier to find things like that. And there is also the idea that you print up your field papers, you should have a good way to break it up into routes. So if you expect 10 people, break it up into five routes, teams of two. I find that mapping up and down the street, one person has their hand taking notes, the other is capturing data, like opening hours, street address, and websites. On the date of mapping, take a lot of pictures. This is good for documenting your stuff later. Some equipment you want to bring, it depends on where you are. If there has been absolutely nothing mapped, like trails, bring your GPS. If you are out of reach of cell phone towers, then bring a true GPS and not a cell phone. Of course, bring clipboards and pens and lined paper. What I do, I build a kit that I put in a bag that I got from Thea, a previous board member. And I could help other groups get that equipment, too. For the mapping part, make sure you bring a mouse, that is really important. This is the gear that I have when I go out sometimes, that is my daughter. It is a win-win. Actually, it is a win win-win. It is a win for my daughter because she gets a fun ride in the bike, I get to map, and my wife gets a little peace and quiet. These tools are great, these mobile tools that allow you to go to the street rather than editing later, I would highly recommend street complete. It is fine. It is sort of like – maybe I’m abusing your term nudge here. As you are walking down the street, it gives you a prompt, like, oh, there’s a building here that is labeled as restaurant, what cuisine is it? There’s a street over here, what pavement is it? It gives the next feature to make that question a little bit better. And there’s other tools, of course. So I would like to give a quick example of an awesome event description. This event description for OSM Colorado really set the expectations. So some people come to this event and they are like, what, I have to walk up and down, take notes, and do data entry manually? That is not a great precedent to set. This email sets it up pretty well. So what to bring: Directions and parking. FAQs about what software will we be using, and what should you do to prepare, what if I don’t have a laptop, really good questions here. What can I expect. Can I make it exactly at 5:00PM, can I come later, these are really good questions that you can include for your events. Of course, it is good to tell a good story when you are done. So, for example, Nguyen wrote a dialogue on the OSM blog, and he wrote about the work, I was truly amazed, and wrote an article about it. If that is not enough, try to get yourself in The Washington Post. This is the work of Wade, in the purple there. I’m not sure how this came about, but it was a great story in The Washington Post. Okay. So that’s how to map. Let’s talk about some good ideas that you can do. All I did was pluck these ideas from all the different cities across the nation. So, rack attack. Who is that? Portland. So, what they do is they walk around the city just looking for bike racks, and that is all they have. It is just great. Mapping party, and a hike. So that’s what the Bay Area has been doing for about five years. I look back on the history of all the meet-ups I’ve done, they are all mapping and a hike, which is great because you get more exercise. Wine tasting, I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to that. And this is a great one, this is Chase or Cliff. Chase. And you look on the map, you see a bunch of notes, people are leaving notes. There’s an error over here, an error over here, there’s a cluster and you eliminate the notes. Mapping cemeteries, this is in DC, we have done four now. Congressional cemetery, Arlington, and I forget the last. We don’t map every single gravestone, but just the famous people. And that is great for Halloween, too. Mapping sidewalks for pedestrian mapping, Madeleine, you will talk about this tomorrow. Go to her talk. So bus routes mapathons. This is the mapathons that we did over the summer, ride a bus route, and as you go around, try to capture the features of the bus shop. Do they have seating, a bunch, shelter from the rain, shelter from the sun, do they have a bike rack nearby? The sad news is this was in the summer, but the good news is you can do it whenever you want, and it would always benefit OpenStreetMap. Any ideas? If you have ideas for a future mapathon nationwide, let me know, and we will try to organize it. Just a bunch of other Ideas: Mapillary, OpenStreetCam, something focused just for women that might be pressured being around, like, men who talk down to them. What is the phrase? Man-splaining. So let’s map a theme, we will just do trees, it makes the event a lot easier. It makes the event more accessible to people. Maybe, I don’t know if we are willing to do this, they look like some advanced mappers. Oh, it is just trees? I can do trees, and then just do it trees. There is also a trail blitz, mapping things that you know, and an event that is just guided for newby mappers. Here are some crazy ideas with the bus map, I was thinking about providing an app that lets people follow everybody else on, you know, on the – in the city as they are going across the bus. That would make it fun. Bike repairs, and renaissance festivals. We did a renaissance festival in Maryland, and map on your way to other events. And, do you have any questions? Yes?

Have you heard of a mapping party that was geared towards mapping elements specific to people with disabilities? For example, a friend of mine in Chicago uses a powered wheelchair that is quite wide. So he was asking me if we could walk around downtown Chicago and measure the widths of doors on buildings so he can know whether or not he could access that building. That is an amazing idea. I know that, at the University of Maryland, they have a good implementation of OpenStreetMap. They have wheelchair-accessible routing. Any other questions? Hi, Brian, sorry, it is not a question, it is a follow-up to the previous question. I did a mapping party for wheelchair users at the University College in London, and the difficulty that we found there, we are trying to map dropped curbs so you can get in and off of sidewalks. But sidewalk happening is hard to do for beginners, so they need a lot of enthusiastic people trying to do the mapping, but struggling to get into OpenStreetMap.
One thing, you can separate the data capture with the data entry. You can have a team of people capture all the data, and then just take photos of every single page captured and then you can set up a task manager where you have all the people do all the editing.

Do you have any tips for recruiting people to help you organize these events? I’m having fun do it by myself. People are helpful, but I would love to have a team thing going on in Seattle, like you are in DC, I’m trying to figure out how to set it up and make it happen. Brian: Andrew? I will get Andrew answer that question.
(Speaker far from mic). It was pretty proactive. I was like, hey, Brian, I want to help out. And Brian was like, that sounds good. That’s it. (Laughter). So don’t rule from above, if somebody wants to do something, you say yes. You let them do it. Cliff says keep on asking people. Great, thanks Brian.
Brian: Thank you. (Applause). Live captioning by Lindsay @stoker_lindsay at White Coat Captioning @whitecoatcapx.