Open Sourced and Crowd Sourced Learning
Updated: Apr 30
OpenStreetMap.org is a community driven open source mapping platform that allows for global collaboration.
Open Sourced Mapping (OSM) is one major use of crowdsourcing activities online. This project is on an Internet crowdsourced mapping platform. I produced a write-up describing the following:
What is the purpose and URL of the site?
How is OSM being used? (i.e., Is the site simply pulling the OSM tiles, or is the source data used for creating thematic layers, etc.?)
What advantages and disadvantages are introduced into this map by using OSM data?
Other appropriate ways that OSM data could be used in this site
An OSM called “Wheelmap” Describes itself as a system for marketing wheelchair justice. Wheelmap.org is German nonprofit group mapping wheelchair accessible locations. The app and the site both allow you to find out if a location is accessible or not. This is an important and necessary service internationally, and the data of the whole world is on the map already. The site is in a variety of languages including German, English, French, Spanish, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Greek and Klingon! You can search for and tag locations yourself, the number of tagged places is rapidly growing at the rate of around 200 tags per day.
The advantage introduced into this map by using OSM data is that people can get a detailed, custom map of their community that they might not otherwise get using non-OSM data. The disadvantage is that there may be inconsistencies in the way things are tagged, and some things may even be tagged incorrectly. OSM is subject to contributor biases, so if a non-handicapped person tags something as accessible they might not even know what is needed for something to be “accessible.”
The association of Sozialhelden, creator of Wheelmap.org could branch out and design other sites using OSM data. I read that the company will potentially make separate maps for both the deaf and blind communities. Sozialhelden said that adding deaf and blind resources on the Wheelmap site would not work because it’d be lumping all these disabilities together when they each deserve individualized attention.