Traditional map data providers charge significant fees for access, putting this data out of reach for individuals and community organizations. They also restrict how the data can be reused, limiting the potential for innovative tools and analyses with societal impact. Finally, traditional map services are produced by paid staff rather than by the community. This top-down model has led to inequitable representation across geographies, demographic groups, and economic sectors, particularly affecting communities that have less economic power.
OpenStreetMap (openstreetmap.org) is an ambitious, volunteer-led project to map the entire world in as much detail as possible. OSM welcomes community members to contribute their own local knowledge. The resulting map data is freely reusable for any purpose, free of charge. Together as volunteers with Code for San José, we’re working to ensure that all South Bay residents have adequate representation on the map and benefit from the community-based and commercial services in the OSM ecosystem.