OpenStreetMap Grants - Free money for free maps

Grants of between £100 - £1000 are available to support work around OpenStreetMap. Anyone can apply for a grant and it can be used to do anything that makes OpenStreetMap better. Here are some ideas:

Map somewhere - You need some funds to support a mapping expedition to Monmouthshire or even further afield. What is the most hardcore mapping expedition you can think of?

Build your OSM community - Live in a town or country thatÂ’s hardly been mapped? You can apply for a grant to help cover the costs of running a mapping party - promoting it, buying GPS units and providing lunch for hungry mappers.

Pledge to fix some bugs - Pledge to fix 10 big bugs in 10 days and claim a reward.

Grants, sponsorship and donations are not a new thing to OpenStreetMap. sponsored mapping parties in the UK in 2007, helping to pay for the organiser’s travel and to buy some beers for mappers. sponsored Greg’s ( mapping of Durham and Multimap sponsored OSM development for a while in 2007. Most recently, OSM has become a Google SoC organisation and Google are now funding development of OSM.

These grants are similar but a lot more open ended - its up to the OSMers to decide what to do and how much they want to apply for. To apply, just send an email to For more details see

What sort of justification is needed for requesting expenditures for mapping?

i.e. if I asked to go to Monmouthshire, most would ask what is wrong with mapping all the other empty bits on the way there… And to further that would the chances of getting a grant increase if the location (which is miles away) were of particular value, and if so what is valued (Munro’s?!..I’d grab some more of them if it weren’t for the cost of getting up there holding me back). Rightmove funded fuel (among other things) for the Lake district for example.

Would it be realistic to ask for grants to map places that are only 7-10 miles from you also? (speaking for all those boxed in mappers that mapped too much and have run out of tarmac)

Also would it be reasonable to apply for small grants to just fund things like bike repairs and batteries… (by far the biggest expense of mapping for people like myself).

In the long term is the scale of this likely to be to a level that it’s possible to sponsor/give grants to people to an extent that they could be mapping for OSM as a job? …if so…I’m there!

All of that would be in the guidelines of ‘anything that makes OpenStreetMap better’, but is it really as liberal as this sounds?

What about for people like me located outside Europe? I seem to be the only person tracking and mapping for OSM in my town.

Ben asks

There are no hard and fast rules about this. We have some money to give to people to help develop OSM - so your application for a grant should try to help develop OSM as much as possible. So far as mapping goes, asking for a grant to map areas that are typically under-mapped would be one approach. We know that rural areas and council estates for example, are poorly mapped. Think what you would do to ensure that the UK (for example) is mapped by the end of 2008.

This is a great example of using a grant.

I would certainly encourage you to apply.


Drop me an email (nick cloudmade com) about job possibilities - we have openings for Community Development roles - a mixture of mapping, evangelism and general OSM loving.


Yes! Anyone, anywhere can apply so please go ahead. We especially want to help develop OSM outisde of UK/ NW Europe.

Nickb, d’you think it would be interesting to send cheap GPS units to ppl in e.g. Afrika, like this bloke who lost/got robbed/got stolen their GPS units?

@Lambertus - Definitely, people just need to have a plan of action.

Well that would be the GPStoGo scheme, which has just been launched by the foundation. That guy definately fits the bill for GPStoGo. But I guess this is not the same as the pot of money the foundation has.