Updates to Meet Your Mappers

Posted by mvexel on 27 August 2018 in English.

This post first appeared on my blog.

A few weeks ago, I built and released Meet Your Mappers, a web tool that lets you identify OpenStreetMap mappers in an ares of your interest. I received a lot of great feedback and encouragement and have addressed some of the main concerns people raised. Here’s an overview of the updates.

Box shaped areas of interest

The single most important piece of feedback I got is that the tool is too hard to use because of the need to identify the area of interest by looking up an OSM relation ID. This is error prone and unfriendly to those not too well acquainted with how administrative areas are mapped in OSM.

This was partly done by design (I didn’t want to make it too easy to use, because of the demands on my bandwidth and the Overpass API) and partly because I was lazy (I didn’t have to build a map widget).

But folks kept asking for it so I added a map widget so you can draw a bounding box to indicate your area of interest. The relation ID option is still there as well.

Alternate server

Apparently, the main Overpass server is not accessible for some people due to internet access restrictions, so I added the option to call an alternate server at

Mapper identification

MYM groups mappers into mapper types. If you mapped a lot in the area, MYM labels you a ‘Power Mapper’, for example. The applies only to the area of interest, because MYM cannot see what you may have mapped outside of the area it analyzed. I added some wording to make it more explicit that the Mapper Type is a local designation.

I also added an link to the ‘How Did You Contribute’ tool for each mapper. HDYC analyzes a mapper’s entire history for a more complete picture of how much and where they mapped.

Let me know what you think of these improvements, that are now live at


Comment from Chetan_Gowda on 28 August 2018 at 05:32

MYM is really great tool to know nearby active mappers. Thanks for sharing Martijn!

Comment from mvexel on 28 August 2018 at 14:23

I am glad you are finding it useful!

Comment from SK53 on 30 August 2018 at 13:51

One v minor point. “Areas of Interest” is also used for the shaded areas on Google Maps, and may well be on the way to becoming a term of the art (see Stefan Keller’s presentation at SotM). It might be worth using a slightly different terminology in the tool.

Comment from Hendrikklaas on 1 September 2018 at 14:31

Hi Martijn, it looks like the the Profile and settings page in P2, I do or get the same result by moving myself in to the area using settings with the option home basic location. This has the option pointing by mouse and your moved to that location. Save it and go back to options than youll find a list of mappers around you and take your pick. Yours sounds like to go a bit deeper, are you able to discard not mapping mappers for >2 years ?

Comment from pitscheplatsch on 5 September 2018 at 09:01

Not sure if it’s already has been mentioned: “Overview of OpenStreetMap Contributors aka Who’s around me?” should also display contributors in your area + a raw indicator of mapping activity (amount of changesets). For more information see

Comment from mvexel on 27 November 2018 at 18:00

Hendrikklaas – your OSM profile page shows location for other mappers around you as well, you are right. But these are not based on actual mapping activity, but rather on where users define their location on their OSM profile. This is not necessarily where they map, and it’s optional so many mappers don’t set it at all.

pitscheplatsch, the tool you linked to is fantastic as well, but has a different outcome and objective. By default, it uses an ‘activity center’ (I am not quite sure how it is defined, I don’t think the tool is open source) to identify mappers active in the area. If someone is an active mapper but is active in many different places, they may not show up in this map. Also, the tool does not make it easy to get a list of local mappers. MYM was really designed to get a list of local mappers that you can sort based on the criteria that are important to you, and give enough detail to give you a more complete idea of who’s active in your area. I hope the tools can work together to give mappers the information they need!

Login to leave a comment