The High School OSM Experiment Day 2

Sep 20, 2011 | Chattanooga, Open Source GIS, Open Street Map

So I made the switch with the kids from Mapzen to Potlatch 2. It was interesting. To give you an idea of the students, I had 14 total. No one had heard of OSM before. I ran through a quick demo of how it works and one kid raised his hand “I grew up next to Palestine” (one of my examples is places you never think about needing maps – like North Korea, Palestine, Haiti, etc). My first reaction was BS. Actually – he was telling the truth. So we might have one kid mapping parts of Syria at some point.

So the biggest stumbling block of switching to Potlatch 2 was me. I use JOSM. Mapzen makes it easier to edit for the completely un-initiated. Big icons, clicking just works, and the kids can explore. Potlatch takes a bit of getting used to – even people who haven’t used it need more uptime than with Mapzen. I made a cheat sheet of keyboard shortcuts and walked them through some editing of a local park. Given what I’ve seen I think in two weeks they would be dangerous. They would understand tagging and completely understand editing. For now they have a good taste. One kid edited last night when he got home from school.  Hopefully at the end of this I will have a one page PDF of Potlatch commands to contribute back to the community and use as a handout.

We have had some flubs. Part of the airport disappeared. Some roads were inadvertently deleted. Roads are being put back. Building aren’t exactly square in some cases and parking lots are a bit irregular – BUT – there was nothing there to begin with. Anyway – I’m going back at the end of this week and keep working with them to see what we can accomplish.

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