Let's get L.A. on the map! OSM @latimes

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Mappers! Join us Saturday, June 25 as we chow down on pizza and continue importing L.A. County's buildings. We're working through Central Los Angeles and the Eastside.

Why are we doing this?

• To improve our map! More data will allow more users to create projects and do analysis on a variety of things. How many units are located within 1,000 feet of a freeway? What's the average building age in a neighborhood? What's the tallest building on Sunset Boulevard? The data will tell you.

• To catch up with other cities! New York has buildings. Seattle has buildings. San Francisco. Portland. Even Bakersfield has buildings. L.A. County should too!

• Because a big earthquake is coming. Free and open data will assist first responders. And later it will allow folks to update the buildings with tags showing whether they have been destroyed, are dangerous or have been red-tagged.

• To improve the Los Angeles Times maps. Seriously! The Times has been using and contributing to OpenStreetmap for the last four years. A large portion of their interactive web maps are based on the Quiet LA tiles (https://github.com/datadesk/osm-quiet-la). And the Times has used OSM data to do a lot of maps, including more than 500 maps printed in the newspaper (with an OSM credit, of course).

• To encourage more edits. Once buildings are in the map, people will be able to orient themselves to the shapes, making it easier to add more data, like names or businesses.

Organized by maptimeLA (http://www.meetup.com/maptimela/)and hosted by the Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com), this mapathon helps push the import forward while strengthening Southern California's OSM community. Mappers of all skill levels can join.

We’ll have a tutorial session to get things started for new folks on what OpenStreetMap is and how to contribute to this effort and the OSM community at large!

To participate in the local mapathon please RSVP by 4pm PST, June 24. Please include your full name in the RSVP or on your Meetup account. Times security needs a list of names for the event.


Before the event

• Pre-register for the event. Times security will need the full names of those attending. When you RSVP here you will be asked a question for your full name. Please answer as we use this response list for security.

• Get an OSM account (https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/new) for importing, and be sure to add “_import” to the back of your username. If you have an OSM account already, you still need to make a new one to help out with the import.

• Install JOSM (https://josm.openstreetmap.de), if you have issues we’ll help you out during the event.

• Check out the import guidelines on GitHub (https://github.com/osmlab/labuildings/blob/master/IMPORTING.md).

For the event

• Bring a laptop with a mouse (a trackpad is a little difficult in JOSM).

• Bring a photo ID to check in with security.

Parking can be tricky, but there are some surface metered spots nearby. The Times garage at 213 S Spring Street costs $5 for the whole day. If you’re into public transportation, the Times is located just two blocks south of the Civic Center Metro subway station and close to a number of bus lines.

The Times is located at 145 S Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Please enter through the main lobby at the corner of Spring and 2nd streets and check in with security. The mapathon will be located in the community room located across from the security desk.

OpenStreetMap is a collaborative project that anyone can edit and improve. The Los Angeles Times uses OSM data to power many of its maps, both online and printed in the newspaper. Want to learn OSM right now? Start by going here, learnOSM (http://learnosm.org/en/) and check out this good guide to JOSM (https://github.com/mapbox/mapping/wiki/Mapping-with-JOSM). Want to start contributing to other projects beforehand? Try maproulette (http://maproulette.org/)! Or help out with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team (https://hotosm.org/get-involved/disaster-mapping)! Be sure to use a different OSM account or make a new one without the _import one you made for this import. This helps track the edits made to OSM.


Maptime is, rather literally, time for mapmaking. Our mission is to open the doors of cartographic possibility to anyone interested by creating a time and space for collaborative learning, exploration, and map creation using mapping tools and technologies.

This open learning environment for all levels and degrees of knowledge offers intentional support for the beginner. Maptime is simultaneously flexible and structured, creating space for workshops and for independent/collaborative work time.

Inspiration for Maptime comes from both hack nights and knitting circles. Both are models of spaces for people to create and learn together. Our goal is to provide this space with an open heart and without pretension. You can bring your own projects to work on, or just hang out and socialize or ask questions. Some people are experts, and some people are just getting started, but all of us are learning, so why not do it together?

Maptime is hands-on, so don't forget to bring your laptop! If you have an extra laptop, bring that too (in case some people forget to bring theirs).

Maptime is hands-on, so don't forget to bring your laptop!