Volunteer to map my neigborhood in Michigan USA for an art festival?

I’m looking for volunteers to help map my neighborhood. OSM is much more useful especially for pedestrians than a well know mapping provider, (which even omits a small but important local street.)
Here’s our area [https://www.westsidearthop.com/art-hop-map]
The main issue is that OSM doesn’t include all the houses, and various homes, garages and porches are hosting our artists. Once all the houses are marked, it would be terrific! :slight_smile:
Can anyone help? If not by this June, then for October?


For completeness, I think the neighbourhood in question is here: OpenStreetMap


Unluckily I can’t move this for you, but I would suggest that your request would be better suited and more likely to find suitable mappers in the US sub-forum United States - OpenStreetMap Community Forum

Ann Arbor is a large city so be specific about the area you need help mapping. First I would put a request out to the OSM Slack Michigan local channel. There should be a couple people who might be willing to help and somewhat familiar with the area. I would also reach out to UofM itself. It is a large university and likely has a GIS department and students who might want to get involved. East Michigan University is in the next city over. Its students probably hang out in Ann Arbor as well. At the very least college student will work pizza and soda/pop. :slight_smile:

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Ann Arbor (I was born near there, my sister was, my folks went to school here…) is a “medium-small” city of ~125,000, “the fifth largest city in Michigan.” No doubt you can find existing human editors (OSM people) there you could connect with, I did simply by zooming out of the area and clicking our web map’s History button (a few times makes it reach further back in history, there are other tools to help find nearby users in OSM).

What I might suggest is that being harmonious with other patterns in the map (like how residential zones might be how neighborhoods are named, or maybe place=neighbourhood nodes are used…) can help you “fit in” for this endeavor. There are many aspects to this, like how sidewalks are (locally, networked around…) constructed in OSM or how primary, secondary, tertiary and unclassified are denoted in the highway network around there.

Of course, if it is something like (what we have locally in my county in California) “Open Studios” where you go to the house / art studio (sometimes garages, sheds or even decent-sized warehouses) of the artist(s) themselves and often watch them make art and/or peruse art to buy. For THOSE, you’ll want to prominently put the house / studio / barn / workshop of the artist “on the map” (into OSM). You might note if their restrooms will be open (to the public) during the Festival. You might note other “artist offers this amenity…” sorts of things, too (everything from drinking_fountain to pet_snacks to kids_games=disc_toss…) etc.

After the event is over (and artists no longer open their house), simply remove the nodes which are no longer true. This last step is very important not to “go away and forget to do.” You must try to “be ready with the map ‘done’ for the day” and then properly do the “tear down” of the data. I have seen this work in OSM, but you must be responsible in how you do it.

Slack Michigan and even paper posters at University kiosks (“Help map the Old West Side for Art Hop!”) with little tear-offs of a phone number or a QR code of a site you might link (for online community building, perhaps with a “meet here at 11AM” connection). There are a million ways to do this. You want to get people who strongly associate with the very local community who are interested in participating in a “public map fabric we share” and then build it together in real time. It can be exciting!

Finally, be aware that using OSM like a “real time map” where things come and go for a festival isn’t necessarily OSM’s strong suit. If “mappable things last through time” (like sidewalks, buildings, permanent art installations…) are getting mapped, they can stay in the map. If “ephemeral” things (for the festival, like whether a restroom is open or something that won’t last more than a day or a week), it is possible for people to get “old data” which is “no longer true.” Be careful of this truth about OSM.


The problem is that not all the houses appear on the map :frowning:
I’m already overwhelmed with organizing, so no time (or inclination, tbh) to learn how to do this.
Thanks v much for responding tho

As mentioned earlier this is site is not meant for small project. Please post this in the Michigan slack channel. I would suggest to include links the the festival website along with any related/helpful information. If you do have any maps, make sure they are not from Google other commercial map sources. Most importantly we need written permission from the event organizers and along with other creators saying that the OpenStreetMap has permission to use thier intellectual property. The permission is required to make sure we are not volatiling copyright law and generally heading off any related legal issues.

As an alternative to getting volunteers to drop their personal interests for a while and focus on this area you might be able to find a map style that just doesn’t show buildings? The “incompleteness” would be less apparent then.

I suspect most of those who are interested in being directed to a place to map will default to whatever the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team have as their most urgent disaster response.

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Another option (and yes, this would take time) is to create a map without buildings and overlay one of the sets of autodetected “buildings” instead, such as Microsoft’s. Facebook offer that here, although I’ve not looked at that particular download myself so can’t personally recommend it.

I didn’t realise there were pre-exsitng tiles with the Microsoft Buildings as fill-in. The esri page for the daylight tiles has a broken policy link, but their FAQ implies their TOS might not allow access through non-esri apps.

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Thanks for responding to my query. In this case, the whole problem is the lack of marked buildings, since the art fair takes place on porches and in front yards :slight_smile:


Hey everyone, hello @Art_Hop ,
I just surveyed the area of the June 2023 Art Hop using JOSM. I have to say I’m impressed with the detail everybody put into the West Side of Ann Arbor Michigan. Cudos! (is that the way to say it?) There’s close to every single adress, nearly every house, sidewalks, crossings, the whole shebang. Love it!
To create something like your clickable map you used for the June Art Hop you might want to try out uMap
It allows you to choose from a pretty variety of map styles and offers many options of interactivity.

In my mind this neighborhood is pretty well mapped. The playgrounds could use some detail but the roads and ways and buildings are way better than most of the US will be in the forseeable future.

I wish you all the best for your next Art Hop and maybe you’ll even start contributing to OSM yourself :slight_smile:



Indeed, the level of detail in this part of Ann Arbor is impressively “above average,” especially specific house addresses, helpful for those seeking navigation. I would think it quite sufficient to “well support” an endeavor like Art Hop — again this is an event similar to one we have in Santa Cruz County, California called Open Studios (and held in the beautifully-perfect weather month of October here).

If it isn’t too forward of me to suggest it, might your web page for the '24 version of this no-doubt-fun and fruitful event “switch2OSM” (from Google Maps)? You could use a simple Leaflet javascript snippet to zoom in on the area and “ditch those guys.” I think OSM’s data is sufficient to “well support” the mapping needs you might find the patrons / participants in Art Hop need, but if the data need to be beefed up, well, you have a whole year to prepare for '24, and I wish you all the best in that endeavor!

I’ll say “kudos” myself to this, and chalk up this Art Hop / OSM collaboration as a very nice “first draft success,” with more growth and a “deeper, richer experience” virtually ready-to-happen again (and again and again!) in future years of this event. Good luck!