When Google launched their Map Maker community mapping tool last year, they included loads of Caribbean islands. This led Ed Parsons (chief Google Maps guy) to make a comment at State of the Map (the OSM conference) in Limerick that he was sad there wasn’t any fieldwork involved.
This off-the-cuff suggestion, and a spirit of friendly competition, caused me to set up a pledge on the PledgeBank website. People pledged to improve OpenStreetMap’s coverage in the Caribbean themselves by tracing over available aerial imagery, and to donate £10 each towards sending one lucky mapper on just such a field trip.
74 people, including Ed Parsons himself, signed the pledge, raising £740 to fund the expedition. One name from the pledgelist was chosen by a verifiable random process – Steve Chilton from Middlesex University, UK, who happens to be a professional cartographer. So he gets to go to Antigua and add road names and points of interest to the map :-)
As a great man once said, “I love it when a plan comes together” :-)