OpenStreetMap US

October 29–31, 2020

This virtual conference brought together mappers from all over the world for a Mappy Hour, four hours of presentations, and a day of workshops. This was the first iteration of our virtual conference series now known as Mapping USA.

Thank you for helping to make our first virtual conference a success!

This free, virtual event was a celebration of our community and all things OpenStreetMap. Connect 2020 included a Mappy Hour Thursday evening, a half day of talks on Friday, and a day of workshops, birds of a feather sessions and mapathons on Saturday. We hope to make this an annual gathering that enables people from across the country to learn about OpenStreetMap and network with fellow mappers through a combination of curated and community-led dialog.


We had three fun days packed with talks, workshops, hacking, mapping parties and networking all around OpenStreetMap.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

There was a social Mappy Hour from 8:00pm to 9:00pm ET.

Friday, October 30, 2020

All talks were recorded and have been made available on this YouTube Playlist. Times below are given in Eastern Daylight Time.

Friday, October 30
Time Session
2:00 PM EST

Welcome to Connect 2020

Maggie Cawley, Minh Nguyễn, Alyssa Wright, Jubal Harpster, and Daniela Waltersdorfer

OpenStreetMap US staff and board members introduce the Connect 2020 virtual conference.

2:15 PM EST

OSM US Community Chronicles: Exploring the growth and patterns of mapping in OpenStreetMap in North America

Jennings Anderson

Did you know that 10% of all edits in North America have occurred to date in the year 2020? Excluding the TIGER import, we’re on track to have our highest volume mapping year. Globally, OSM has surpassed 1.5M mappers and continues to grow everyday. 15% of those mappers have edited in North America. This talk will dive into numbers such as these and explore...

2:20 PM EST

The TeachOSM Project

Steven Johnson

2:25 PM EST

Ethical Geo: Principles for Mapping with Vulnerable Communities

Erica Hagen

2:30 PM EST

OpenHistoricalMap: Approaching Critical Mass

Jeff Meyer

2:35 PM EST

Winds of Change in the OpenStreetMap Foundation, Part Deux

Allan Mustard

Chairman of the OSM Foundation Board and OSM US Member Allan Mustard will follow up his keynote presentation at SOTM 2020 with an update on what the Board has done since then and what 2021 may hold in store for the project.

2:50 PM EST


3:00 PM EST

Reinventing the Wheel: Open hardware and software for curb mapping

Emily Eros and Russ Biggs

We’ve been working with cities who wanted to inventory their parking rules, and it turns out one-dimensional stuff is really hard to map… so we built a thing. The CurbWheel is a standard digital measuring wheel that’s been hardwired to a Raspberry Pi, which lets it talk to apps and devices. User launch an app on their phone, roll the wheel, and snap photos...

3:05 PM EST

Transit Pedestrian Connectivity

Evan Siroky

Having good pedestrian network connectivity is critical to ensure that trip planners are able to provide realistic walking directions. This talk will discuss some common problems and how to create better pedestrian network connectivity in OpenStreetMap with a focus on transit facilities.

3:10 PM EST

A/B Street: a traffic simulation game built on OpenStreetMap

Dustin Carlino

Abstract: A/B Street ( is an open source traffic simulation game designed to engage citizens with local transportation changes. It imports OSM data, simulating and rendering a high degree of detail, like individual lanes, intersection geometry, turn restrictions, and parking lot stalls. This talk will introduce its use as a new OSM renderer and Q/A tool.

3:15 PM EST

Arrive in 30,000 kilometers: Ground-truth-based road quality findings in 30 US metros

Clare Corthell and Mark Huberty

How up-to-date is the OSM road network? In 2020, Lyft ran a comprehensive, ground-truth-based evaluation of the quality of key tags of the OpenStreetMap road network in 30 major North American cities. After three months, thousands of miles driven, much skilled work from our data curation team, and statistical processing, we’re excited to report our novel findings. In this presentation, we overview the study...

3:20 PM EST

Digitize & Manage Your Roads: How RoadBotics Creates Road Data

Lisa McCune-Noll

Join RoadBotics’ Cartographer Lisa McCune-Noll to learn how OSM is the foundation of digital map creation at RoadBotics! Expect a brief but thorough look at the process of digitizing roads for use in road assessment technology!

3:25 PM EST


3:30 PM EST

Multilingual name tags in the United States

Brandon Liu

How should we tag languages other than English in the US, and how can we show these as labels on maps? I’ll make some proposals based on my surveying of East Coast Chinatowns, and demo new tools to turn that data into interactive maps.

3:35 PM EST

Stopping the spread of COVID-19: Simple, printable maps of hand-washing stations

Nicole Martinelli

During the lockdown we put together printable maps of hand-washing stations and pit stops (toilets, sinks, needle disposal and dog waste stations) given that so few public restrooms are open. The ops were quick and dirty: It’s not OSM (largely a tagging problem) but the layers are from DataSF and the maps made in Qgis) but we hope some will find the idea useful....

3:40 PM EST

Importance of Coordination Between YouthMappers

Joel Odongo

3:45 PM EST

Crowd2Map: Lessons learnt from 5 years mapping rural Tanzania (to fight FGM)

Janet Chapman

Crowd2Map is an entirely volunteer project that teams over 14,000 online global volunteers with community volunteers on the ground to produce maps to help protect girls from Female Genital Mutilation and help community development. Join us to learn more and find out how you can get involved.

3:55 PM EST


4:00 PM EST

Panel: Public / Private Collaborations Around OpenStreetMap – Past & Future

Erika Nunez, Madison Musgrave, Greg Matthews, Erin Korris, and Josh Sisskind

4:25 PM EST


4:30 PM EST

Become a MapRoulette Power Challenge Maker!

Martijn van Exel

4:35 PM EST

What's new with the iD editor?

Quincy Morgan

Maintainer Quincy Morgan will showcase recent and upcoming improvements to the iD editor. Learn about touchscreen support, multi-feature editing, keyboard navigation, and loads of other tips and tricks to supercharge your web mapping.

4:40 PM EST

What's happening at MapWithAI?

Danil Kirsanov

MapWith.AI/RapiD was introduced last year and since then became one of the major mapping tools for the missing roads and buildings. This time we’ll talk about the new features available, Microsoft and ESRI integrations and the lessons learned.

4:45 PM EST

Street-Level Imagery for COVID and Catastrophe Mapping

Janine Yoong

The OpenStreetMap community has well-established protocols for mobilizing organizations and individuals to use street-level imagery for catastrophe mapping. The unrelenting events of 2020 have shown us how there’s still room for us to do better on imagery collection and data extraction when it’s most urgently needed. This presentation highlights the challenges and proposes ideas on how to address them, with real world examples of...

4:50 PM EST

Advancements in JOSM tools, validation checks and auto-fixes using Java Topology Suite (JTS)

Milla Zagorski

I have integrated JTS functionality into JOSM and created JOSM tools, and advanced/comprehensive validation checks and auto-fixes. To do this, I have leveraged JTS methods, developed algorithms and JTS-JOSM utilities. My presentation will focus on the highlights of this work and provide demonstrations of some of these tools, validation checks, and auto-fixes.

4:55 PM EST

A Satellite in Your Pocket: Ground Based Action Cameras to Create Aerial Perspective for OpenStreetMap Editing

Sean Gorman

One of the challenges of mapping in OSM is getting up to date imagery to help guide editing. Advances in computer vision and geomatics make it possible to turn commodity video and photos into high accuracy georectified point clouds and meshes. Leveraging these user generated point clouds a 2D GeoTIFF tile set can be generated for OSM editing in iD or JOSM. This allows...

5:00 PM EST


5:15 PM EST

Look Both Ways: Integrating OpenStreetMap and Wikidata using Sophox

Minh Nguyễn

5:20 PM EST

Using Street-Level Imagery to Save Cyclists

David Greenwood

TrekView Founder dives into using street level imagery to help street users understand the world around them.

5:25 PM EST

Digital Elevation Models for Coastal Hazard Preparedness

Mark Rankin

The talk will focus on existing models on the west coast of North America and some modelling integration innovation at Ocean Networks Canada. I can also give some updates on current modeling work at Ocean Networks Canada as well.

5:30 PM EST

Redistricting and Gerrymandering with Open Data

Nick Doiron

At, we use OpenStreetMap and MapBox as the setting for our work on redrawing city councils and Congressional districts across America. This talk will share challenges finding precincts (current and past) and filling them in with Census data.

5:35 PM EST

Spot the Box: How we mapped the missing USPS Collection Boxes

Russ Biggs

In August 2020, news reports indicated USPS collection boxes were being removed in large numbers and members of the OpenStreetMap community responded with Spot the Box. Spot the Box ( is a web application built on top of FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request data to identify which collection boxes had been removed and which are still in place.

5:40 PM EST

Open Street Art

Bond Harper

Public art is a great way to democratize art for the enjoyment of all. Recently I have been having a great time adding pieces of outdoor public art to OpenStreetMap and I would love to share my experiences, tips, and uses for the data with you!

5:45 PM EST

Closing Announcements

6:00 PM EST

Social Hour, Job Room & Costume Contest!

Stick around after the talks and let’s hang out! Help us celebrate Halloween with your favorite costume, hat or mask - just keep in mind others will only see you from your shoulders up! For those who forego the costumes, we will also have rooms for job seekers, new mappers, and socializing. Hope to meet you there!

7:00 PM EST

End of Friday

Saturday, October 31, 2020

10:30am to 12pm Birds of a Feather: OSM’s role in promoting social equity (Ariel Kadouri) OHM Birds of a Feather (Jeff Myer) Mapping Mobility in NYC: Mapathon of Sidewalks and Crossings in Flushing, Queens, NY (Daniel Solow) Birds of a Feather: JOSM Tips (Alan Bragg) OSM US Charter Project Info Session 11am-12pm
12pm to 1pm Birds of a Feather: OSM US: Looking Ahead w/ OSM US Leadership (the only session during this time slot)      
1pm to 2:30pm Birds of a Feather: OSM in Government (Derald Dudley & Greg Matthews) Mapping to help protect girls from Female Genital Mutilation in Tanzania (Janet Chapman) RapiD Workshop (Danil Kirsanov, Benjamin Clark, David Yang, Yunzhi Lin, Jeff Underwood & Deane Kensok) Birds of a Feather: Microcosms to support communities (Brian DeRocher)  
2:30pm to 4pm Birds of a Feather: How do we know what we know? (Jennings Anderson) Office hours: Get help editing the OSM Wiki and Wikidata (Minh Nguyễn) Mapping with YouthMappers (Patricia Solis) Birds of a Feather with TeachOSM (Steven Johnson)  

More info on the wiki page.

Thank You To Our Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors


  • U.S. Department of State’s MapGive Initiative
  • Gaia GPS
  • Kaart


OpenStreetMap US would like to thank the following for their support and participation in making this virtual event a reality:

  • All of the volunteers of the Connect 2020 Organizing Committee for planning this fantastic event - you are amazing!
  • Critigen for donating the logo design.
  • University of Arizona for the use of their Zoom platform and continued support.
  • The OpenStreetMap Foundation for the use of their Big Blue Button platform.
  • All of our supporting attendees that made a donation when registering for the event - you rock!

We are grateful for your support!

Still Interested in Donating?

Your financial support helps keep events like Connect 2020 free and accessible. Is your company interested in supporting OpenStreetMap US? Email us at or donate here.


Announcing OpenStreetMap US: Connect 2020 - Call for Participation

Aug 29, 2020 · The Connect 2020 Planning Committee

Connect 2020 - Mark Your Calendars! From October 29 to 31, OSM US will host a free, virtual event to celebrate our community and all things OpenStreetMap. Connect 2020 will include an...