Open Street Map is a collaborative project to map the world. It provides a system to collect, organise, and distribute geographic data from disparate sources, as well as the technical tools to store and edit this data. Mapping themes include the location of human-infrastructure such as roads, trails, schools and hospitals, to mapping of areas affected by natural disasters to assist during humanitarian crises.
Data is freely available, and anyone can contribute information using their own knowledge of objects’ location, or using coordinates. As an open source project, it can also be adapted to meet specific needs. For example, the project ‘Moabi DRC’ in the Democratic Republic of Congo uses Open Street Map to document land-cover/land-cover change, indigenous lands, road projects and land-concessions, as well as to map individuals’ stories of land-cover change.