In my Digital tools and Methodologies class we were given an assignment of mapping. The aim of this assignment was to contribute to the digital mapping world and to share our local knowledge with the wider community.
I must admit that when we were given the assignment of mapping I was a bit hesitant. Geography was never my thing but I have to say that it was actually quiet unexpectantly fun. I began the process by signing up for an account with http://www.openstreetmap.org/ which was very quick and easy as there was no silly questions of ‘are you a robot??’ or ‘enter this impossibly hard-to-read series of characters’. I liked that these were missing as really they’re just annoying ! I then looked at http://learnosm.org/en/ which I found very helpful and easy to follow. I was taken through a quick and easy tutorial of using the IDEditor after joining OSM showing me the ins and outs of mapping then I was ready to go !
The project I chose for this assignment was to map my local neighborhood. I chose this because I felt a lot more confident and at ease mapping an area I’ve known for all my life. It’s hard to believe that just contributing my local knowledge by marking in the missing points and areas of my hometown that it is now easier for people to find places in and directions to Duncannon. The implications of this goes far beyond just getting an assignment in by the due date. Now people can see many of the attractions of this village before even going there and that is pretty cool. Everyone together can contribute to map the world building a digital archive of what was and is very easily on a digitally visual level.
I have learned many things from this project. First, I have learned that I should enter into tasks with an open mind that it may be fun instead of seeing as a chore as I first saw this. Secondly, I have learned that it is very easy to join into this digital world of mapping and along with the help of others, create a base for physical knowledge in a very familiar and easy to view way. Mapping has been an eye opening experience which I have a feeling I will return to.
For those of you who don’t know, Crowdsourcing is a way of getting ideas, content or services through means of contributions from large groups of volunteers, especially from an online community. This involves regular people contributing small portions of content for a greater result.
So, crowdsourcing is very important to Open street map, maybe even it’s source of life. I feel that I may be able to use this initiative both now and in the future to further my work and also to help contribute and give to the larger community. I believe that sharing my work, however little the amount of work may be, may be a huge help in putting a larger puzzle together.