Lab 1 (2013) Open Street Map I

Ancillary Skills

  1. File naming conventions lname-assignment-yyyymmdd-version.extension. Do a Save As… to save the document with the correct name to your file server or Google Drive or DropBox folder.
  2. Page header/footer in MSWord. First page different. Inserting fields.
    1. In the header, set "First Page Different." First page header should be Fname LnameMills College SOC12820130903. Switch to the footer of the first page. On the left margin insert a field, document information>file name > Options > Field Specific Switches > Include path in file name.
    2. Tab to the center and insert another field, this time the page number. Finally, go to "Next Header" and insert a running head that is justifed right (Surname Lab 1) and then switch to the footer and insert a page number field centered on the line.
      1. What is a PATH?
  3. Screen shots in MacOS and Windows
  4. Importing a photo/image in MSWord
  5. Cropping an image in MSWord
  6. Layout/Text Wrap of image in MSWord


Go to
Search for Oakland, CA. Zoom and pan until you see the Laurel neighborhood along Macarthur Blvd. just northwest of Mills


Next, zoom out a bit and then pan north west until you have the Laurel district in the frame (MacArthur Blvd between High Street and 35th Avenue). You will be assigned one block along this strip. Your first task will be to edit in the ID editor adding building footprints for the buildings along MacArthur Boulevard.

West 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15
35th Magee Loma Vista Brown Paterson 38th 39th Maybelle High
East 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

Note in your lab notes what block you have.  Describe its location and note what census tract and census block it lies within.


Log into to your Field Papers account and navigate to the Laurel District in Oakland. Zoom and pan until you have your block centered in the frame at the smallest scale the software will permit. Create an Atlas (be sure to add UTM grid lines and use the full page version) in PDF form, save it and print it (or do this later).

Rather than drawing the building footprints on the paper map and then transferring them, we will do the traces directly in OSM. We will use the FieldPapers atlas for our fieldwork-based map edits.

Go back to your OSM window or re-open OSM and zoom/pan to your block. When you get there, switch to EDIT mode.


Since it comes up rather dark, you might want to look at the Background Settings menu via the layer icon over on the right side of the window. In particular, you might want to set it to 100% brightness to make the aerial photo easier to see.


Scan carefully over your block. Make a list of all the different feature types you think you might be able to identify from the photograph. List these in your lab notebook. Make a second list of things you discover are there but think you might need to go into the field to verify, characterize, count, etc.
Use Google Maps Streetview to have a look at the Macarthur face of your block.

Using the OSM iD editor, trace out the footprints of at least 10 buildings and/or other polygon features you can identify from your aerial photo. Be sure to make use of the editing tools on your objects.


For each feature, update as much information as you can. The first step is to specify what kind of a feature it is:


Once we do this, we can fill in feature-specific information. Note that for each one there is an i button that links you to the OSM wiki where the datum is defined. Look at this one for levels, for example.


Note that at the bottom of this dialog box we have icons for entering still more data:

Notes Phone Website Wheelchair Access Wikipedia Elevation Source


Read about tags quickly here and here. Endeavor to add at least one tag per feature. Record them in your notebook.


Don't worry about relations for now, though you might want to read about them here.

Saving Changes

When you are satisfied with your work, save your changes. This is a two step process. We save our changes


And then we "commit" them to the OSM database.


After you have done this, you can see the list of changes you have made. Click on your username and look at your profile:


Take a screenshot of your changeset list and paste it into your notebook.

Next Steps

Later, take your Field Papers map and visit the Laurel district.  Make notes on your paper map about the buildings along MacArthur Boulevard, trees, street signs, traffic signals, parking places, fire hydrants.  Also take note of the condition of the sidewalks.

File nameFile typeSize
Lab Open Street Map I.docxNo description3.62 MBInfo