New MapRoulette feature: Select your local area!

Posted by mvexel on 22 July 2014 in English (English).

MapRoulette silently added a new feature a while ago: the ability to select an area you want to work in. This is one of the most requested features in MapRoulette and I am pretty excited to publicly announce it!

Here is how it works. Go to MapRoulette and select a new challenge. You will see this screen:

select challenge

Notice the button at the top? It says what it does on the tin - it lets you select a work area that will be remembered until you cancel it. (I will show you how to do that later.) When you click the button, the challenge selection window disappears and you will get this notification:


It tells you to click on the map to set the center of your work area. It will then draw a circle that defines your work area. The initial radius of the circle is determined by the current map zoom, so if you want to define a large area, try zooming out first. Here, I zoomed out to the United States and clicked somewhere in Utah. This gives me a work area of about the size of the state:


Right now, only circular areas are supported.

You can change the radius using the + and - keys on your keyboard. You can click anywhere else on the map to set a new center for your area.

Once you’re satisfied with the area you have set, click the notification in the top left to confirm your selection. The challenge selection window will re-appear, but will show only challenges that actually have work in your area, and tell you how much:

challenge filtered

(Right now, there is an annoying little bug that will cause MapRoulette to first tell you that everything is done and you need to pick a different challenge. I hope to squish that really soon. Just click OK.)

As you see, there are only two challenges in my area that need work! Yay. If I select one of them, sure enough the next task I get is in Utah:

task in utah

Resetting your work area is pretty much the same process. Instead of selecting an area like I described before, just click the notification without doing anything on the map, and you will be back to the old behavior where your work area is the entire world.

I hope you enjoy this new feature! Let me know if you have any questions.

Location: Central Ninth, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, 84111, United States

Comment from RicoElectrico on 23 July 2014 at 00:20

Why I can’t make any fixes in Poland (or other countries, for that matter)? You should at least make it clear about the availability.

Comment from mvexel on 23 July 2014 at 00:53

Because nobody submitted any challenges for Poland, perhaps? MapRoulette has global reach but relies on people submitting challenges for their countries. Like members of the France and Italy communities have already done. If you are not in a position to contribute challenges yourself, talk to your community and come up with fun local challenges!

Comment from CloCkWeRX on 23 July 2014 at 06:06

Where’s the submit button! re new challenges :(

Comment from bigopenmac on 23 July 2014 at 11:06

Could you describe how to contribute challenges, please?

Comment from mvexel on 23 July 2014 at 18:20

There is no submit button, because creating and maintaining a good challenge is a little more complex than just pushing a button. It’s not too difficult though. For a gentle introduction, please see my workshop at SOTM EU to get started. I want to write up a walkthrough as well soon! But in the mean time this should be a good resource.

Here is the presentation that is used in the workshop.

Comment from vgeorge on 24 July 2014 at 16:23


Is it possible to create a challenge of adding street names? In Brazil we have a image layer made from goverment data that we use to copy (legally) street names. The process is very manual, it would be wonderful if we could track progress.


Comment from Nighto on 24 July 2014 at 17:06


I’d like to +1 this request. It’d be very nice.

Cheers, Arlindo

Comment from mvexel on 24 July 2014 at 23:15

vgeorge, Nighto – how do you see this as a MapRoulette challenge? I’d be happy to help, perhaps email us at and we can see if we can work something out? Looking forward to it.

Comment from erickdeoliveiraleal on 3 August 2014 at 15:34

Martijn, there’s world challenges but when you select an area in Brazil no challenges are showed. Is it suposed to be this way?

Comment from erickdeoliveiraleal on 3 August 2014 at 15:36

If it is suposed to be this way, I think it would be better if the world challenges could be limited on this same circle.

Comment from mvexel on 5 August 2014 at 16:57

Erick - there was a bug in MapRoulette that prevented the challenge choices from loading directly. Could you try and see if the problem still exists? It could be of course, that there are no issues in Brazil :)

Comment from erickdeoliveiraleal on 12 August 2014 at 21:45

If you select an area in Brazil, it is what happens:

Comment from geobrando on 14 August 2014 at 15:12

Very cool, Martijn. We were thinking about running an instance for DC area challenges but this feature negates that.

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