Hyattsville Mapping Party

Posted by mikelmaron on 2 December 2012 in English (English)

Yesterday MappingDC did a mapping party in Hyattsville, MD. Good results. Was fun catching up with DC mappers, and meeting a bunch of folks from US Census (good job Steven Johnson!). Heard fascinating project fior informal settlement mapping undertaken by US Census in colonias, along the Mexico border, in Texas where there are no zoning laws, coordinating with researchers and activists … never imagined anything like this in the US.

I biked from there from the OpenGovHub. The Sanitation Hackathon was there this weekend, exceeded my expectations largely due to learning about the Peace Corps Innovation Program and seeing some energy in the hub. This problem on mapping medical facilities in OpenStreetMap provoked a lot of ideas I’ve had on tagging in Kerala responsible tourism sites, and this problem on organizing directories of local projects linked to lots of thoughts from the Kibera Organizational Directory. I pitched the problem to finish off integration of OSM into the open source Google Crisis Map (yes cooperation between OSM and Google). There was also someone looking to do some drone work in less visited parts of DC.

Here’s my mapping ride on Strava and the changeset. Would be cool to see more stats like what you have Strava in With a little analysis, you could see how much time spent recording waypoints, show other active and lead mappers in the area, etc.

The ride was interesting. Big roads seemed only viable, since bike path connectivity along the Anacostia is patchy from DC. I spun through the National Arboretum, and mapped a couple trees in the National Grove of State Trees. This stumpy Giant Sequoia was not exactly impressive, but I was inspired to think about mapping parties here come the spring, there is so much detail on particular special trees and collections of trees to map. Further on, past several cemeteries and one funeral procession (which made biking just a little more pleasant) I mapped a couple historic markers, one from the newly created Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. This trail covers a large area from the War of 1812, and mapping would be a pretty great means to experiencing it.

I don’t think I would have ever made it to Hyattsville if not for OpenStreetMap. As ever, it’s a perfect way to pay more attention and see the hidden world just around the corner.

Location: Ellaville, Hyattsville, Prince George's County, Maryland, 20781, USA

Comment from lxbarth on 2 December 2012 at 16:23

I don’t think I would have ever made it to Hyattsville if not for OpenStreetMap. As ever, it’s a perfect way to pay more attention and see the hidden world just around the corner.

Right on.

Here’s a quick rendering of the changes produced so far from yesterday’s mapping party, as far as I can see not all changes have been entered yet. Click for interactive map:

Comment from mikelmaron on 2 December 2012 at 20:19

That sparks a few ideas on managing and representing events in Used to be, we’d do a GPX animation (the crowd would demand this played several times) and before/after screenshots of a mapping party. Organizing the event means contacting local groups and mappers, sending announcements and venue details, etc, over various lists, etc. You hope that some of the attendees get hooked.

If we can make it easier for anyone to organize a mapping party, then more mapping parties will happen, and the connections made during the event are more likely to continue, meaning more mappers and a better map. When building such features, need to think about a flexible architecture so this doesnt place too much burden on resoureces, is open to new features and flexible. Is this something like Apps for

an Event takes places in an Area, during a particular Time, at a Venue(s), sometimes with focus on particular Tags, with a Host(s) and Attendees (who may or may not actually contribute Data), connected to 0 or more organized mapping Groups. Posts/announcements are sent out before/during/after the event by the Host and Attendees, Data changes are visualized and analysed in before/after, animations, lists of top contributed tags and qa on added data.

Assuming a means to more comprehensively monitor Data in an Area, an Event seals a record of activity over a certain time, links all the people involved, and collects stories.

Comment from sejohnson on 3 December 2012 at 16:35

I like the idea of visualizing mapping party activity. It both tells the story of what was mapped, but also can be an important indicator of where on-the-ground changes have occurred.

I also like the notion of some sort of post-even tag analysis. That could be a really effective QA tool

Alex noted (correctly) that there is data we collected that still needs to be added. I’ve noticed is that some mapping parties are more productive than others. Depending on the level of detail, most mappers can gather a LOT of data in a short amount of time, and that often the sticking point in the workflow is when we re-convene to upload, edit, tag, and post. That’s largely a function of the experience of the mappers, but something we need to work on improving. I favor local libraries over pubs/coffee shops because I think they typically have facilities that better lend themselves to the mapping workflow and hence, make for a better story & visualization.

Thanks for the good thoughts, Mikel. I like the suggestion to map local War of 1812 sites. Perhaps our next party?

Comment from mikelmaron on 31 March 2013 at 21:43

Looking at planning the Arboretum mapping party soon. Making a note for myself.

There does preexist some GIS data by the Arboretum. Doesn’t look to be open (yet), and I don’t know how complete it actually is … has biological data on the trees, but not why they’re present. For instance the Grove of US Trees (yes every state tree in a grove, even a sad looking Redwood from California) does not have the State listed in the GIS data.

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