Mapping with the kids

I took my children to a mapping party last weekend in Milton Keynes (UK).  My daughters are 4, 6 and 8 years old.  We had three GPSs, three scooters, 2 cameras and a pad of paper.

My girls had mapped with me before near our home, but always incidental mapping (i.e. we were going on a bike ride or walk and did a bit of mapping).   This was the first time we would have an assigned area to look at.

So, for those of you who want to map and have kids you don’t want to neglect, here is what I learned:

  • Bring some toys (in my case each girl had a back pack and a nintendo and/or ipod).  The times you spend talking to other adults and/or working on the computer are pretty dull to watch.
  • Bring a GPS for each person…  The kids love mapping and will happily run down that trail you want mapped and back (when your legs are too tired).  Each kid wants to hold a GPS and they make you alot more effective with limitless energy.
    [Note to tools developers, the ability to overlay multiple traces would be very useful... ]
  • Map something they can enjoy…  So, we got to do Campbell park in Milton Keynes…  They could play, run, have fun…  Sitting in a car while daddy did the parking lots and bus stops on the way over was not much fun for them…
  • Two 2 hour sessions is alot of mapping for a kid…  mine managed two ninety minute sessions with a longish lunch in the middle.  Plan for more down time
  • The kids will notice things that should be mapped that you might not…  Mapping stuff kids find important, means making a map that is meaningful to families…
  • Finally: Mappers are very nice to kids :) Everyone seemed a bit suprised, but pleased to see them…

Overall, if you map and have kids…  Take them to a party.  They will love it, you will see new things to map through their eyes and they can make you more effective while on foot (in particular).

Mapping with kids in Milton Keynes

Mapping with kids in Milton Keynes

May 19th, 2009 - Posted by Jim Brown in openstreetmap

A Week of Changesets

One of the new features in OpenStreetMap’s API 0.6 is changesets, which track the bounding box of the edits associated with them. You can check out how useful this feature is at the changeset browser page, or the user edits page. But it isn’t easy to get an overview of editing activity directly from the browser page, so here’s an animation showing all the changesets as they’re created (red) and closed (green) and fade away. You can download the full version here.


Kudos to our German contributors for their relentlessly energetic pace!

May 8th, 2009 - Posted by Matt Amos in openstreetmap