Looking for new ways to get people out to map, I started a new initiative in our local Salt Lake City OpenStreetMap group: The Flash Map Mob. Inspired by the Flash Mob, the idea is to descend on a local commercial area, spread out and map all the businesses in an hour or less. We tyically meet at a coffee shop, divide up the area, and go out and map! Most people use their smart phones or tablets with apps like Pushpin, Vespucci or OSMAnd. This way, everything you map gets added to OSM right away and there is no work to be done after. But you could also use pen and paper, or GPS + camera.
Here we are checking out Pushpin on an iPad:
Here are the results of the first Flash Map Mob we did a few weeks ago, where we mapped 80+ businesses with three people:
(Here is the Overpass Turbo request that I used to create this result overview.)
For now we do these Flash Map Mobs on a weekday after work. The next one will be in the Murray Historic Downtown area, just south of Salt Lake City. Previous ones were in the suburb of Holladay and in the Sugar House area of Salt Lake City. So far it’s only been 2-3 of us, but it is a lot of fun so I expect more people at future Flash Map Mobs!
It’s really easy to organize a Flash Map Mob. Just go to OSM, pick an area that could use some POI love, announce on Meetup or whatever channel you use to announce your local OSM events, and off you go!