Mele Sax-Barnett's diary

Recent diary entries

PDX meetup for the OSM US Fall Editathon!

Posted by Mele Sax-Barnett on 16 October 2013 in English (English)

Portlanders, Oregonians, S. Washingtonians (and visitors), come out and map! We'll be meeting up at Urban Airship in the Pearl district this Saturday between 10 and 5. I'll be leading a beginner introduction around noon, and will provide some project ideas.

Details about the PDX meetup

About the OSM US Editathon in general

OSM US Board Election Manifesto

Posted by Mele Sax-Barnett on 4 October 2013 in English (English)

Hi there! I'm Mele Sax-Barnett, and I live in Portland, Oregon. I'm running for the OpenStreetMap US board because I think OSM is a valuable resource and I want to help it continue to succeed.

I've done quite a bit of editing (in 2012, I was one of the top 5 most prolific contributors in the US by # of changesets), and I use OSM data in nearly all of my side projects. I also love teaching people about OpenStreetMap, regularly giving trainings and presentations (including a couple at SOTM US 2012), as well as helping organize and lead our local editathon meetups.

Moreover, I've worked with OSM data in both of my most recent jobs. I was part of the OpenStreetMap improvement project at TriMet (the transit agency for Portland), where we updated roads, trails, parks, and bike facilities from jurisdictional data to get the area into great shape. TriMet is now using OpenStreetMap data for its trip planner, to plan and adjust routes, and even by the bus dispatch system. This has allowed it to free itself from proprietary datasets and trip planning systems. In my current job at Urban Airship, OSM is one of the most robust datasets we offer our customers to send push messages by location.

I believe you should elect me to the board because I understand various points of views about OSM. I have seen how most government agencies are wary to trust crowdsourced data, but how others can not only use it but also contribute back to it very successfully. I've also seen how it can be an amazing asset for private, for-profit companies, especially those just getting started.

I also talk to people all the time who hear it's great and want to start contributing or using the data but are overwhelmed, not sure where to start. There's a lot we can do to make OSM more friendly to beginners, and I think it has recently made a number of strides in the right direction. I would be honored to be part of the continuing effort.

I have learned so much from working with OpenStreetMap, and if you elect me to the OSM US board, I'll be able to give back even more.

Location: University District, Portland Downtown, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, 97202, United States of America

OSM Edit-a-thon PDX this Saturday 2-6pm at the Radio Room!

Posted by Mele Sax-Barnett on 23 January 2013 in English (English)

Please join us!

Groups all over the US will be meeting up for an OpenStreetMap Edit-a-thon, and we'll be having a Portland get-together too!

Even if you've never edited OSM before, you're welcome to join us. Bring a laptop (and mouse, if you have one--it helps!) and your local knowledge.

We'll have a short "Intro to OpenStreetMap" talk around 3, and cheerfully provide assistance with setting up OSM editing software and learning how to add and edit features. Latecomers are a-ok!

More info at

New TriMet Trip Planner released today! (uses OSM)

Posted by Mele Sax-Barnett on 6 August 2012 in English (English)

The day has finally arrived! TriMet's New Trip Planner has emerged from beta and is now available at It is a multimodal trip planner (it plans biking, walking, and bike-to-transit trips as well as transit trips), and was built using open-source technologies like OpenTripPlanner, OpenLayers, PostGIS, and GeoServer, amongst others.

And of course, the map and routing data is from OpenStreetMap (from just last week, no less). I've considered myself very lucky to be paid for all the time I've spent improving OSM in the Portland, Oregon area and it's really exciting to see my (and my coworkers') hard work go into service helping the public get around the city.

Link to the press release

Location: TriMet Center Street Garage, Brooklyn, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, 97202, United States of America

Moving on to Polk, Marion, Yamhill counties

Posted by Mele Sax-Barnett on 24 May 2012 in English (English)

Grant Humphries and I are about to start focusing our edits down south of the Portland area for a while -- Salem Keizer Transit has set up an agreement with TriMet to do OSM improvements in Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties. We'll be doing alignment cleanups to Bing imagery, as well as street reclassifications and info from local GIS datasets. Also, bike routes, parks, waterways, etc. Lots of fun stuff!

So... if you're an editor down there and you're wondering what's going on, that's the story! As always, send us notes if you have any questions about our edits.

Some wiki edits

Posted by Mele Sax-Barnett on 4 April 2012 in English (English)

While the OSM database was read-only, I spent some time editing a few wiki pages about the project I'm involved in. Check them out if you're interested:

* - Added a discussion and tables of how certain OSM tags affect routing in OpenTripPlanner, including access, bike, elevator tags, and even public transport and railway platforms.

* - Added a link to a recent presentation about the Portland OpenStreetMap Improvement Project and updated some other info.


Finally, if you live in the Portland area and you haven't checked it out yet, try out the Regional Trip Planner - it's still in beta but will replacing TriMet's old trip planner soon.



Location: TriMet Center Street Administrative Offices, Brooklyn, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, 97202, United States of America

Trimet's OSM Meet & Greet

Posted by Mele Sax-Barnett on 29 April 2011 in English (English)

You're invited!

TriMet, Portland's regional transportation agency, is holding a meet & greet for local OSM Mappers:

Friday May 13, 2011
4:00pm - 6:00pm PST
TriMet Center Street Administration Building
4012 SE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97202

• Meet other local OSM Mappers and the PSU students that are working on OSM improvements in the 4-county regional area.
• Observe our OSM editing process first hand and provide feedback: it is a manual and labor intensive process, it is not a data import. We are using up-to-date regional jurisdictional data and 6-inch ortho-rectified digital imagery flown in August 2010 as a reference with permission from the sources.
• Learn why we chose to invest in OSM and the community, rather than a proprietary mapping solution.
• See a sneak preview of the Open Trip Planner, TriMet's new open source multi-modal trip planner scheduled for release in Fall, and meet the developers involved in the project.
• Explore opportunities for collaboration and on-going maintenance (ex: local cities and counties can make street data available to the OSM community).

Using, we were able to find some past and present active mappers for the Metro region.

Let us know if this time doesn't work for you, or if you are not local but interested - we can schedule a webinar or make other arrangements.


Bibiana McHugh (manager), PJ Houser, Betsy Breyer, Grant Humphries, and Melelani Sax-Barnett
TriMet, GIS and Location-Based Services

Location: TriMet Center Street Administrative Offices, Brooklyn, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, 97202, United States of America

The great edit has begun!

Posted by Mele Sax-Barnett on 19 March 2011 in English (English)

The group of interns over at TriMet (of which I am a member) is beginning to make edits around the Portland, OR metro area to prepare it for TriMet's upcoming OSM-based multimodal trip planner.

You can search for things we've edited with the tag "RLIS:reviewed=no" and "CCGIS:reviewed=no". RLIS stands for the Portland Metro Regional Land Information System, while CCGIS stands for the Clark County GIS department. These are our primary data sources.

I'll be working mostly in Clark County from now on, so let me know if you do a lot of OSM work in that area or have any questions.


Location: TriMet Center Street Garage, Brooklyn, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, 97202, United States of America

Hi all!

Posted by Mele Sax-Barnett on 21 February 2011 in English (English)

I'm just making a few small edits as I learn about how to use the different editors.

Location: TriMet Center Street Garage, Brooklyn, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, 97202, United States of America