How do you identify as contributor?


I have a problem, and I ask all contributor:

I mapped with GPS from cell phone, I recording the trace; while another app (same cell phone) I’m recorded voice, parallel to the trace

What is the record? I record the condition of the streets, and sidewalks, surface, lighting, directions, current and former names; and the numbers in which it is visible on the facades of houses, apartments, buildings, or places.

One problem I had yesterday, and already the third, is that some people seem to suspect them because they see me talking possibly indicating his home, and making several turns around.
Therefore, they stop me, and I identify me; I identify me, with my card voter (official ID here in Mexico).

But to say that “I’m mapping”, they ask me What company?, I saying “OpenStreetMap”, then they ask for the ID from OSM. Then I say that:
“OpenStreetMap are free maps, made of and for everyone, where everyone can contribute”, but they not believe me.
They argue that no one works for free, and it happened to be a criminal to be giving “someone” addresses (when I indicate for voice the characteristics of a street when i’m recording).

How is it that I can identify myself as a contributor to OSM?
Can I make an identification OSM “created by me”?
What phone put in the card? because they will want to confirm that " I’m employee" of OSM.
Have you had this problem and how they resolved?

I, for now I’m just mapping in my city; I see any edits, but are partners in other cities but they knows from this city; and others have not answered the message that I send, and not have gone through here (the forum).
And those who have passed through here, it seems they are no mapping. Basically, we can not get together to map an area, and so are more credible reviewers who without bad intentions. Or at least as a group will be easier to convince people that it is a team work, although people do not understand that it is a free work, without receiving anything in return.

I hope your answers, and if you give me a link with someone guide me better as a president, organizer, etc, OSM officer, I’ll be in touch.

I thank you.

(sorry, I understand a little english; but i used a translater on line. Sorry for my bad english)

There are some designs for business cards here:
Also some flyers or posters:
So you could print out some of those, to give to anyone who is interested.

I don’t think there is any sort of official phone number available.

You could wear a hi-vis vest, it could make you look more like an employee. You can buy an official OSM Surveyors vest here:

Quizás la comunidad de Nicaragua tenga experiencia con esto. Me imagino que la situación allá no es tan diferente. Se los pueda contactar a través de o por el correo del grupo.
Bueno, cuando yo tengo que explicar a OSM siempre empiezo con que hay que ser un poco loco para querer hacer esto.

(For those who don’t speak Spanish: I referred him to the active Nicaragua community)

I’m not using any voice recording. For me, for collecting addresses, POIs and road characteristics, hand-written notes on printed maps are the best :slight_smile: And this way, I don’t attract so much attention.

I’ve got myself some German-language flyers from Geofabrik to give to curious people, but I rarely have to give them out. It seems these flyers work like an invisibility cloak :slight_smile: If I somehow go mapping without them, I will always meet some worried citizen. If I’m carrying some flyers in my pocket, rarely does anybody notice me!

In case I get questioned, I explain calmly what I’m doing. People usually understand and I’ve never been accused of lying.

Oddly, walking around with a clipboard and my taking notes got me more attention than I wanted, including a discussion with a local law enforcement officer who was notified of my presence by neighbors curious about by what I was doing.

My current method is to use OSMtracker with a set of earbugs with microphone and simply walking at a good pace through a neighborhood reciting house numbers, traffic signs, and street names. In my area everyone is used to seeing people with mobile phones and earbuds talking to themselves as they walk so they take no notice. :slight_smile:

OT: That sounds like your police has a better reputation than ours :expressionless:

Same for me, but not with a headset, thereby a bit more suspicious. Additionally I use photos, but usually not in residential areas (would be slower and requires too much battery and storage), targeting the road preferably when there’s no traffic. But I’m still having car-drivers apparenty noticing they did something wrong and asking me to remove a non-existant photo… And for railways photos aren’t suspicious anyway :wink:

When someone asks me what strange things I’m doing, a short explanation usually is enough. For example a man who was getting his newspapers in underwear (it was early morning, still dark; me in dark clothes on a bike, stopping at about every second house for taking a voice-note and doing some unusual u-turns) asked me if I was looking for something. Indeed I did: His house missed a housnumber, and he told me. Or a farmer, who allowed me to wait in his barn during a heavy rain.

The only bad reactions I had were related to trainspotting (or rather whatever it’s called with busses), because some drivers don’t want their face being visible (no issue for me, often they aren’t anyway), or didn’t know it’s allowed to “shoot” them (“well, too bad, it’s time for you to depart”).

I have seen the cards. I have a idea of as create some, because I need that my card have the map from here. To be more credible.
¿I can make a of myself? true?
Or only of those cards?

The vest need be orange?
I have a vest in color yellow, but I not have the logo OSM. So it can be used so?
I can use a vest yellow, without logo “OSM”? (I not have a Credit Card)

Gracias, los contactaré más tarde.
de momento intentaré con lo del chaleco y una credencial de las que me dieron en el link.

Yo expliqué que OSM son mapas gratis, hechos por cualquier persona, y para cualquier persona; pero quedé peor, pues además de sospechoso, quedé como “loco” al hacer algo gratis para otras personas. Ahora sí que como dices: Habrá que estar loco.


In my case, write in paper, or printed maps, is more suspect (As say n76). Therefore, it is better for me to record an audio.
The people here, not understand to easily. The uncertainty here is common.
I will try with flyers; I will need save money. (and I need design them in spanish)

I used OSMTracker. But I walk fast (6 km/h – 3.7 mi), and is difficult for me indicate the characteristic of the street.
So it is better for me record with voice.

Furthermore, there zones where, if you bring a cellphone in the hand, is probable that later mugged.
I record with hands free. So I have my cellphone hidden in my pant.

Therein lies my problem.
I charted residential areas. I charted more when I walk. Also I do by bus, but I record my voice in low volume to avoid disturbing other passengers.


Much thanks to all.
I will try with the vest, and I design a Card.

I will back later.

Sorry, I not have Internet; So I will not answer soon.