GEOG 585
Open Web Mapping



A GIS or web map is only as useful as the data you put into it. Just as the GIS landscape offers proprietary software and open software, you will see sources of proprietary data and open data. This lesson explores the different meanings of "open data" and provides an introduction to OpenStreetMap, a growing repository of open data that is useful in a variety of projects.


  • Define “open data” and describe some of the differences in use conditions among open data options.
  • Recognize the benefits and weaknesses of OpenStreetMap and its process of crowdsourcing.
  • Describe options for retrieving data from OpenStreetMap.
  • Edit OpenStreetMap according to community-defined tagging standards, and describe what you learned about open data sources from this experience.


  • Read the Lesson 9 materials on this page.
  • Complete the walkthrough.
  • Complete the Lesson 9 assignment.
  • Complete the "third quiz" on Canvas. This covers material from Lessons 7 - 9.