The world of OpenStreetMap (OSM) is unique, and its use in international development and humanitarianism is still evolving. The OSM community faces many of the same challenges as non-technological development work in resource-poor locations. The aim of OSM in this space is to bring positive impact to local economic and social development, or, to help mitigate, prevent, or address emergencies.
One of the toughest challenges in using OSM for development is sustaining these impacts in the long term, beyond time- and resource-bound projects and emergency interventions. This whitepaper outlines challenges for the multitude of actors which typically work with OSM in the development context. It suggests a way forward for funders, practitioners, and others to move toward greater benefits for all, given the constraints of OSM globally, the ethical considerations of digital open mapping, and the challenges of open source and open data projects.
Sustainability in OpenStreetMap: Building a more stable ecosystem in OSM for Development and Humanitarianism
By Erica Hagen
A white paper prepared for the Open Data for Resilience Initiative, GFDRR Labs, World Bank