OpenStreetMap’s open and reusable maps are invaluable informational and promotional tools that facilitate the involvement of local players. The liberation of data from the geographical information system of the Urban Community of Brest and the Pays de Brest creates a foundation for local projects. Specifically those with the goal of co-producing and acquiring maps that will connect local public services, stakeholders in the OpenStreetMap project, and local community members.
This project is in line with the “internet and multimedia in the Pays de Brest, innovative uses and social links to the local territories,” a project supported by the region of Brittany and assisted by the “Internet and multimedia expression” service of Brest.
Thanks to the OpenStreetMap project, launched in 2004, reusing open maps has become a reality. The Open-Map workgroup was created after the “Brest en biens”week in November 2009, an event to assist different local players, facilitate collaboration and develop initiatives in the Pays de Brest. This project is unique because it brings together facilitators of multimedia spaces in the region, OpenStreetMap players, geographical system engineers, joint investigation teams for open maps, and associations affected by user mapping. Through mapmaking “parties,” communes get involved in the development of these open maps of the territories, which later can be used by municipalities, associations, and more broadly, by citizens.
At the same time, to facilitate data collection, a Chimère application allows anyone to list geolocalized information, to post specific points of interest that vary from one commune to the next for example, wrack ovens, walkways, etc., and to provide additional information on these points such as, links to internet articles, detailed descriptions, images, etc.
This project facilitates citizen involvement through the associations of public officials, associations and multimedia centres in municipalities participating in this project. Local people can have an active role in the development of their district map by participating in the map parties, which are held on a regular basis. These friendly events are a meeting place for community members, reinforcing social connections. In addition, data contributed to the OpenStreetMap project are published under an open license, which means that they can be modified and reused for the projects of others. Licensed maps make it difficult to use this data whereas the OpenStreetMap model could potentially facilitate the development of new projects based on right-free databases.
The fact that this project is based on the OpenStreetMap concept means that it can easily be expanded to numerous regions. We are currently trying to mobilize many communes in the Pays de Brest through workshops in multimedia spaces in the communes where the OpenStreetMap is incomplete.