OpenStreetMap in schools: The case study of Bari

Room: Auditorium B

Saturday, 11:30
Duration: 20 minutes (plus Q&A)

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  • Ferdinando Traversa
  • Rosa Colacicco
  • (Wikimedia Italy, YouthMappers@UniBA)

OpenStreetMap has proven to be a really interesting and valuable classroom instrument. Making students work with OSM allows them to develop the soft skills entailed in cooperation, to interact with something bigger than their class or school and to give their contribution for the sake of the collectivity. In this particular experienced, we worked on the local area of Bari with a class with 17 female students of a "Liceo Economico-Sociale", a school not particularly engaged in the STEM field. Thus, we also wanted to help them get more confident with the STEM field, which desperately need more diversity. Furthermore, focus has been on accessibility.

During the talk, we will explain what we did during the project and the outcomes.

The activities involved:

  • an introduction to OpenStreetMap, ID editor, licenses, but also Wikimedia projects
  • a phase of physical mapping, in which we visited the city centre of Bari using field papers and StreetComplete to map shops/restaurants/cafes and their accessibility status, accessibility ramps and other useful information to add both on OpenStreetMap and on Wikivoyage
  • the editing of OpenStreetMap and Wikivoyage to add the information gathered.

In addition to what explained in the abstract, we would like to underline how the experience benefited equally the territory, thanks to the improved geographical information and also tourism information, the students, because of the worthwhile experience they have gained and the rediscovery of the STEM field, and the community, not only because of the new information added but also due to the increment (even if little) of diversity in contributors.

As explained, we did not contribute only to OpenStreetMap, but also to Wikivoyage, the official, non-commercial and freely-licensed (CC-BY-SA) sister site of Wikipedia for tourism guides, and to Wikimedia Commons, the free multimedia database of Wikimedia projects. The two of us, Ferdinando Traversa and Rosa Colacicco, are respectively the regional coordinator for Apulia and the OpenStreetMap coordinator for Apulia of Wikimedia Italy/OpenStreetMap Italy, so the project was endorsed and sponsored by the organisation. This project is consequently also an example of synergy between OpenStreetMap and Wikimedia projects, strenghtened by the fact that in Italy chapters for WMF and OSMF coincide. Rosa Colacicco is also the president of the YouthMappers@UniBA, the local group of YouthMappers which collaborates with the department of Geology of the University of Bari.

In conclusion, we would like to present this experience as a case study in order to enable others to try a similar pathway.