Engaging in OSM: dialogue before SOTM

What inspires or would inspire you to play a role in OSM working groups, boards, committees, chapters, and meetups? What motivates you to get involved in OSM (specifically in how we organize)?

(We are co-creating a session “Engaging in OSM” at State of the Map 2022 and thought we’d start the conversation here. We have three general questions and will post one a week for a bit.)


I was one of the scholarship recipients in SotM 2018 and had a very positive experience not only during the conference but also pre-conference. The work of the scholarship team of SotM WG inspired me to join the WG as a way of giving back.

I am also part of the LCCWG and my main driver is passion for communities which is the main mandate of the WG :slight_smile:

Although I super love mapping, I believe it is the people and community of OSM that’s been a major motivation to keep being involved and engaging in OSM :slight_smile:


I came to OSM in 2010 as a user: long distance cycle tourist (route planning and using that route on my old-fashioned Garmin etrex). After that I felt obliged to pay back to OSM by contributing.
This is most likely still today a potential common entry door into the world of OSM…
The hard thing was to learn first how to find planning sites, and get out the GPX track on the Garmin.
That part is today common knowledge via apps and on dedicated navigation devices.
What is still not there is the a good introduction to mapping for cyclists, not helped by the facts that cycling-related mapping comes in many flavours, is partially undocumented, and also editor-dependent.
So many people use our data, do find errors, but do not feed back anything into the data base. Even users of the komoot app, that invites people to give detailed feedback, when they meet errors, mostly even don’t know about the existence of this feature in the app. (Might be interesting to get one of their staff to talk about their experience with that feature of the app)
Another side remark: most users of the various OSM-derived services, do not know that at the base there are open data in the form of OSM. I am not saying that the various companies do not put attribution somewhere, but they don’t go out of their way to make users aware of this, either.
Padua, Italy

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I have been adding hiking trails to OSM for about seven years. I want to record the trails so that I, and others, can use the trails in the future. Unlike other platforms on which I can post trail maps, trails I put on OSM are actually seen by people, mostly people who don’t realize that the trail data comes from OSM. I’ve never posted anything on this forum before. Maybe I can connect with like-minded people who can help me with my many mapping problems and questions. David Reik, Farmington, CT USA.


If Openstreetmap becames a projekt willing to build a volontary non-profit organisation. Just now the tecnical skills are the key to how you can use openstreetmap. I think we need a focus on how we engage people and a key for that is to keep it simple and following “human” logik.

More specific: a typ of “layer” modell som make it possible for all to follow their Special intressts without disturbing others who does not share this intressts. Any kind of working metod fokusing on “minimum standarts” i every aerea.

I got the impression that many people thinking in Terms like “openstreetmap is ready and good. Now we just have to wait tills de got all data”.

I am not Sharing this toughts. I see a need to develop the project and make it human. I see a huge potential like local “social geoportals” and i see a huge need of quality kontroll and update.

I am available for diskussions like “how can we bundle together a geoportal and Groups that need Geoinformation” - like diasable organisations, special intresset organisations (biking, hiking, riding mm)


HI Voschix - thanks for sharing. On the recommendation of an OSMer, I have tried to use Komoot for cycle paths. Super thankful that someone is looking at how to improve it.

Also, Padua is beautiful!

happy mapping


Hi Arnalie - I remember this! You have really touched so many lives, including mine. Keep shining.

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Thanks for sharing. I know that there are many people in the network far more versed in the ‘how’ of what you are talking about. I hope that they reach out.

Happy mapping

I would be more inspired if OSM working group has inclusivity and understood the importance of theoretical research in the field of OSM. Especially, learning and understanding of the communities in different regions of the world.

Furthermore, if the wider debate of data ethics group is created within the working group. I would love to be a part of that WG :slight_smile:

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This really resonates with me. The diversity in people creating, editing and using OSM is huge, and probably that should be translated into how the sites and tools optimize for an excellent user and contributor experience that is optimized for the time, skills and needs of them.

I would like to see a stronger role in this user and contributor experience coming from WGs, such as the LCCWG, and seeing how the right talent can be attracted to support the project in a sustainable and long-term way.