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Where It Could Go from Here: Using OpenStreetMap in an Increasingly Connected World

It is becoming clear that open source data, specifically OpenStreetMap, is an important tool in our progressively linked world. In the past, geo-technology was (and still can be) be expensive, exclusive, and often only utilized by professionals or academics. However, mapping tools like OpenStreetMap are allowing users from all over the world to contribute to data. My name is Haley, and I am currently a graduating senior at West Virginia University. The focus of my studies are Geography with an emphasis in Geographic Information Science (GIS) and Remote Sensing. Along with my other studies in GIS, I spent my last semester here at WVU as a virtual intern with USAID’s GeoCenter. Initially, I ch

A Tool to the World: JOSM and me

YouthMappers introduced me to a new form of mapping which was hassle free. Nothing is more exciting than to be able to overcome a complex task with ease and still be able to contribute to meaningful solutions. JOSM was like my ice cream that did not require me to share with anyone for a couple of hours. And that to me is the thrust for a take-off in the mapping world, mapping opened to the streets. Mapping to save a life was my motivation to join YouthMappers. Taking a cue from my mother who is a midwife: She not only saved lives but put smiles on the faces of countless people. I hope that my effort with YouthMappers would help put broad smiles on the faces of millions of people around the w

Connectivity through Open Source Mapping

Hello everyone! My name is John Todd, I’m a senior at West Virginia University studying Geography anf International Relations and I have been working as an intern with USAID over the past semester. I have been involved with my university’s YouthMappers chapter for two years and have found my experiences with this organization invaluable to my education. Something that is always stressed to us as Geography students is the unique perspective that comes from viewing the world in terms of connections to space as well as connections made through space.The use of Open Source software and especially software like Open Street Map helps to illuminate these spatial connections for users and the peopl

Opening Doors: the value of open mapping for your career

Hello Everybody! My name is Aaron Arrington and I am a sophomore at West Virginia University. I am planning to major in Geography with an emphasis in GIS and having a minor in Communication Studies. I am currently in my first virtual internship with the USAID Geocenter, a Co-Chairman of a mapping team at WVU, and I am currently fascinated with learning different types of Geospatial technologies like OpenStreetMap and ArcGIS. When entering college, I learned that getting involved with school was a must if I wanted my future college degree to land me a job. My second semester I got involved with a mapping team at WVU called Maptime Morgantown. The team was new to campus but was progressing ve

Why OpenStreetMap?

The cost of mapping is increasing. This includes the fact that private companies like Google Maps and Bing Maps are capitalizing on this fact and making huge profits from the world of geotechnology. Every time I tell someone about OpenStreetMap, they inevitably ask "Why not use Google Maps?" From a practical standpoint, it's a reasonable question, but ultimately this is not just a matter of practicality, but of what kind of society we want to live in. Looking at the topic in a 2008 talk on OpenStreetMap by Serge Wroclawski where he gave his first MappingDC meeting. Business of Geography Everyone is looking to be a definitive source. Looking how much Google spends annually, that’s about $1B

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