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Photo: USGS
Participation fee $0
Expenses $0
Spend the time outdoors
Location anywhere
Appropriate for kids no
Teaching materials no


Required Gear:

A computer with Internet access.

Global positioning system (GPS) device - for creating GPS traces. (optional)


Open Street Map


Open Street Map is a free, interactive map that allows anyone to view, edit, and use geographical data in a collaborative way from anywhere on Earth. The project was started because many maps available online have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways.

Contributors to Open Street Map take handheld global positioning system (GPS) devices with them on journeys or go out specially to record GPS tracks. They record street names, village names, and other features using notebooks, digital cameras, and voice-recorders. Back at the computer, contributors upload those GPS logs showing where they traveled and trace out the roads on Open Street Map's collaborative database. Using their notes, contributors add the street names, connections between roads, and other information such as the type of road or path. That data is then processed to produce detailed street-level maps, which can be published freely on sites such as Wikipedia, used to create handheld or in-car navigation devices, or printed and copied without restriction.




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