My Pledge Sends Mapper to Antigua

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” :-)

2 thoughts on “My Pledge Sends Mapper to Antigua

  1. Cool story! I’ve contributed a bit to OpenStreetMap project before, and recently I saw it in use by a commercial effort in the US for the first time. I’ve been using hotpads.com to look for houses for sale, and they have switched to OpenStreetMaps (from Yahoo! Maps if I recall correctly).

  2. Verifiable Random Selection

    RFC 3797 describes “a method for making random selections in such a way that the unbiased nature of the choice is publicly verifiable.” In other words, it shows how to pick an item or items randomly from a list without the person who controls the proce…