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MappingDC – OSM around the District

Published in OpenStreetMap  |  2 Comments


Last night we kicked off MappingDC, a local OpenStreetMap chapter for Washington, DC and the surrounding metro areas of Virginia and Maryland. It held at HacDC, a hardware hacker enclave in Columbia Heights Neighborhood and led with much enthusiasm by Serge.

Where traditional OSM mapping parties are about raising awareness, MappingDC will focus on identifying local open datasets, building relationships with organizations, running hyper-local mapping parties to map neighborhoods, and other technology and outreach projects. We brainstormed on initial datasets we could clear up licensing issues such as from DC GIS.

We created a few new sections in the Washington DC wiki page: datasets, mapping groups, and projects. The Datasets is a list of departments or organizations that may have data that would be useful to import and a point of contact and MappingDC member that will reach out to them to work on getting it released into OSM. The mapping groups are to identify who would like to help out with local neighborhood mapping and once there are 4 or so people, setup a day to meet and go out and map it. The last section, projects, is brainstorming around how developers can work on building out useful tools such as geochat, or DC specific map styles such as metro lines, bike routes, or other characteristics that match with local culture and features.

Our first event will be mapping Silver Spring, Maryland on August 8th. Watch the wiki page for more details, subscribe to the mailing list, and follow on Twitter.

We want to build local OpenStreetMap such that it fits within the larger local community. Getting OSM working with local bloggers, transit discussions and planning, and who knows – perhaps powering the National Map?

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  1. natevw says:

    July 25th, 2009 at 2:04 pm (#)

    What benefit(s) do you see from OSM powering the National Map? What I love about US government produced geodata as it stands now is that we don’t need to worry about making sure we and our customers understand and comply with the licensing implications.

  2. Mikel says:

    July 27th, 2009 at 12:55 pm (#)

    Awesome to see DC take off!

    What thought has been given to promoting OSM in economically and socially deprived areas of DC? There will be many community organizations looking for new ways to engage young people, seeking tools to enhance civic dialogue, and increase visibility of a part of DC that’s just outside of the very bright spotlight.