As more and more maps are built on OpenStreetMap data, OSM is becoming the most compelling way for public organisations and other data owners to get their information out to the greatest number of people.
Two local councils in the UK, Oxfordshire County Council and Buckinghamshire Council, were recently funded by the Open Data Institute to investigate using and contributing to crowdsourced open map data – like OSM.
As part of this, I worked with the two councils to draw up a straightforward how-to guide for other organisations that want to contribute their data to OSM. The guide covers all the prerequisites – working with the community, compatible licensing, and ongoing maintenance – as well as explaining the different approaches for integrating data, and discussing which approach will be most suitable in each context. It covers the issues most frequently raised by data owners over the lifetime of OSM so far, and shows where to find more help if you need it.
I hope it will serve as a useful reference for the many organisations who express an interest in working with OpenStreetMap, and encourage more successful schemes in the future. Many thanks to the ODI and both councils for their support!