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There’s an OpenStreetMaps group mapping going down in Manhattan next weekend, no prior GPS-ing required –

OpenStreetMap is only as good as the contributions of the people who edit it. To encourage and help people to edit, experienced mappers run Mapping Parties. The public is invited to them. Often the organiser has GPS receivers to loan out. The attendees receive instruction in the use of the GPS receiver. The simplest way to record information is to take waypoints, and write down notes about that waypoint number on paper. There are more efficient methods, but require more fussy fiddling and aren’t appropriate for the beginner.

When they return to the venue with a list of waypoints, the experienced mapper(s) help them download them off the GPS receiver and load them into an OpenStreetMap editor such as JOSM. The points get converted into Map Features and the hand written information is entered. The data gets uploaded to the map and made available to the world.

The Mapping Party is a convivial, community event. After the mapping is finished, the participants share food and drinks, and enjoy themselves. It’s a party, after all!

More info available on OpenStreetMaps’ site plus be sure to RSVP. [via NYCResistor]