Supporting Geographic Education with OpenStreetMap and AGS

Today I was lucky enough to present at the State of the Map US conference in Detroit, Michigan.  The topic is near to my heart, the education initiatives of the American Geographical Society, specifically, the growing relationship between AGS Geography Teacher Fellows and the OpenStreetMap community.  The slides are posted below, and the talk was filmed so  expect the video will be here.  Ultimately we asking for help from the OSM community to help AP Human Geograpy teachers with technical support around mapathons.  If interested, sign up here:

Support Geographic Education with OpenStreetMap and the American Geographical Society

A core tenet of the American Geographical Society (AGS) is expanding geographic education. To that end the AGS, and its corporate partners, have established the Geography Teacher Fellows program, and over the last three years have directly engaged with 150 Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography teachers across the United States.  A key piece of the Geography Teacher Fellows engagement is the introduction of OSM mapping and mapathons to the human geography curriculum. The response to this TeachOSM-led training has been overwhelmingly positive, but teachers have been limited in their adoption of OSM mapping by the technical hurdles of conducting a mapathon. To address this gap, AGS is looking for volunteers from the OSM community that would like to be paired up with AP Human Geography teachers in their area.  The idea is that a local mapper would work directly with a local AP Human Geography teacher to put on a mapathon, to provide onsite tutorials, or to simply be available to answer questions of students and teachers in their locality. For more information, see the AGS website ( or sign up directly online (


Download (PDF, 1.78MB)

OpenStreetMap in Africa (2013-1015), beautifully visualized

The Ito World crew is back at it with a new OpenStreetMap visualization, this time for Africa. Results are shown at the continental scale and for selected cities over the last couple years. The final product is stunning, as usual.

Growth in West Africa as part of the Ebola response, and the Nigeria eHealth Import are the most distinctive. Other growth areas include a broad swath of East Africa, and the incredible density of the Map Lesotho project. Most impressive, however, is that the growth is not constrained to these areas; it is distributed across the continent. The missing areas are gradually filling in, it is only a matter of time…

A decade of OpenStreetMap, beautifully visualized

Adding to the collection of amazing OpenStreetMap animations, the folks at Scout worked with the Ito World team to create a new addition to the “Year in Edits” series. Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of OpenStreetMap, the new video looks at the growth in OSM between 2004 to 2014 . As I’ve blogged before, I love these videos. The production quality is high, music is great, and they provide an easy way to communicate how amazing the OSM database has become.  Kudos to all the volunteer mappers out there.


OpenStreetMap Animations

The purpose of this post is to simply collect in one place some of the amazing animations ITO World has produced from the OpenStreetMap database. I am often searching around on Vimeo to find them, so I thought it might be useful to put them here, especially as several new ones have been recently released. These visualizations come across as very professional, they have a high production value and include a good soundtrack. I don’t personally know any of the folks at Ito World, but would love to know what software they use to produce the animations.

US edits to OpenStreetMap 2007-2012 from ItoWorld.

The new animations expand on the popular ‘Year of Edits’ series, this time for 2011 and 2010:

OSM 2011: A Year of Edits from ItoWorld.

OSM 2010: A Year of Edits from ItoWorld.

And a comparison of 4 years of edits:

OSM 4UP: Four Years of Edits 2008-2011 from ItoWorld.

The one I still find the most amazing is the animation depicting the Haiti Earthquake response. I often use this animation to help explain the value of OpenStreetMap and the volunteer mapping community in a disaster response situation. The ‘Imagery to the Crowd‘ concept is a direct result of the Haiti response.

OpenStreetMap – Project Haiti from ItoWorld.