The more you play with OpenStreetMap, the more magical ways you start
discovering that you can use the data. Two that I've recently found...

1. Water fountains. Here in London, we used to have lots of water
fountains. Then modern capitalism found a much better way of
delivering water to people: put it in plastic bottles, drive it half
way around the country (or world) and sell it to people and a massive
profit, who then drink it and throw the plastic bottle away.  There
are a few water fountains in London though, and they are listed on
OpenStreetMap. Any movement to campaign for change requires actual
data to start with.

2. Stopped clocks. There are hundreds of beautiful, historical clocks
on public buildings across the country. It's possible to mark clocks
on OSM, and I've just been discussing on the wiki how we can mark
disused clocks. Having the data lets us campaign to have these clocks

I'm also finding that in the process of doing OpenStreetMapping, I
take a lot of photos which are also usable on Commons. Quite a lot of
them aren't (for copyright reasons or scope reasons or just because
they are pretty crappy photographs), but a lot of the time you can
find uses for them on Commons. (Just need to go through and write
descriptions, categorise and upload.)

I heartily recommend any Wikimedians grab themselves the relevant
tools for OSMing (which don't necessarily mean a standalone GPS
device: things like iPhones and Android smartphones can be used, and
you can even go low-tech and print out walking maps), go out and do
it. If there's an OSM community in your area, go hang out with them.

The systemic bias issues that Wikipedia face also exist on OSM: here
in London, the city is richly documented and the OSMers are mostly
just tweaking, fixing and maintaining (most of my edits in London are
just metadata improvement rather than actually adding any new shape
information). But if you go and look at many non-Western countries,
you'll find whole towns which just aren't covered at all.

Tom Morris

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