State of the Photo Map 2016

Two months ago I wrote a longer update on Mapillary and OpenStreetMap for the State of the Map US conference in Seattle. A lot has happened since, so I wanted to share a short OpenStreetMap-related update in time for State of the Map in Brussels.

Mapillary for OpenStreetMap


We’ve partnered with two key organizations within the OpenStreetMap community: the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and YouthMappers. Although both have been using Mapillary in various capacities already, the partnerships allow us to achieve more and integrate street-level photos into their processes.

For Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team projects, Mapillary is providing mapping kits to applicants who have a clearly defined project with a humanitarian component. The Mapillary Mapping Kit contains a camera, an SD card, a battery pack and swag—everything the project needs for photo mapping.

We are also starting a partnership with YouthMappers, a platform that enables university students to learn and use GIS tools through workshops and mapping activities, as an exciting way for us to engage young people and hear their perspectives on leveraging street-level photos for mapping.

Product updates

We get a lot of feedback from our community, especially from OpenStreetMappers. Here are some recent product updates related to your most asked for features:

  • Log in with your OpenStreetMap account. We now support signing up, logging in, and connecting your account to your OpenStreetMap account.
  • Download original files. You can now download the originals of any photos you contributed from the photo details menu (on the right-hand side of the viewer).
  • Delete photos. After reviewing two years of behavior data, we have moved from a model of hiding photos to actually deleting photos.
  • Data available for download under ODbL. There is now a database with Mapillary data aligned to OpenStreetMap ways available for download under an open license (ODbL).

Where we’re headed

We believe in creating an inclusive community of people, organizations, and companies sharing their data to help map the world together. We’re early on in this journey but we can already now see indicators that this model is working. For example, to date more than three quarters of data contributed to Mapillary comes from sources completely unrelated to OpenStreetMap. Bringing in all of these diverse sources and making the photos and data fully available for OpenStreetMap in JOSM and the iD Editor, in navigation tools, etc. is one clear way how an inclusive approach has positive effects for OpenStreetMap.

We’re very excited to be sponsoring and participating in this year’s State of the Map conference! You’ll find Sandra and Ed at the booth, come and say hi! You may also meet our Ambassadors Jean-Louis and Shravan there. If you’re interested in trying a 360 camera, picking up some Mapillary swag, and meeting some other photo mappers, join the photo exploration of Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

/Jan Erik

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