In this assignment, I looked primarily at two mapping applications/tools. The first of which being Map-Swipe, the second being Open Street Map. These two tools are both useful but for different purposes and can both be used in different ways. I will delve into each tool separately in terms of what they are and how they work, then review the two tools in terms of usage and the learned experiences with each tool.

Open Street Map

Open Street Map is a free open mapping software where an individual can freely map areas familiar to the user or choose to undertake mapping tasks that can be found on the open street map website. The free mapping tool allows the user to select certain items such as road markings, pathways, buildings and more to provide the map with more up to date details of the area. For example, in the open street mapping I chose to look at my home town Carrigaline and see if there where any missing details. I added certain missing paths, a handful of unmarked bus stops and updated the name of a pizza shop that had rebranded in recent years.

Below is a screenshot from the Open Street Map website that highlights the area in which my edits are as well as the note left behind that details the information updated and added.

Map Swipe

Map Swipe is a tool that can be used from the users phone. It provides the user with a select number of tasks to be caried out through marking and swiping. Each screen consists of six tiles in which the user can mark as green, yellow or red. These markings are used to identify one of three things. Green meaning that there is a building visible in that tile, yellow meaning that there is possibly a building but it is not completely obvious, red meaning that there is a blocked view such as dense cloud coverage. The tasks are designed to contribute to helping the partners of map swipe to be better prepared for supporting certain communities around the world.


Specifically using Open Street Map, I contributed the bus stops which allows for other map applications to provide more accurate information outside of official bus websites or applications. This could be important when it comes to people who aren’t familiar with the local bus routes. As well as this, the updating of the pizza restaurant is useful for people who may use a branch of this map when looking for certain chains of food. Finally the walkway steps I added are a useful path up to a densely populated residential area which has very little, if any, markings to indicate its existence. In total, mapping areas that the user is familiar with allows for more accurate and up to date information that may not be available on all mapping software and is only known through local knowledge but can be used by all who may need it whether visiting the area or having recently relocating.


As previously mentioned, both applications serve different purposes. Open Street Map allows for map updating for anywhere in the world while Map Swipe allows users to help certain communities that may be experiencing hardship or other global issues. While this is useful, I believe that the concept of Open Street Map is better as the user can map areas that are familiar to themselves rather than looking at images and the expectation for them to accurately view what is visible in the images provided on Map Swipe. While it is an important job that needs doing, it is too inaccurate to allow just anyone use this tool that could be an extremely important task needed to do good in the world.

Learning and Future Use

From this assignment, I have learned that there is an importance to using these mapping tools, both Map Swipe and Open Street Map, for numerous reasons. I’ve learned that each person has the ability to help either locally or globally in numerous ways. The fact that Map Swipe allows one to help on a global scale in terms of climate change and/or natural disaster events while Open Street Map allows on to use their own personal knowledge to assist in the upkeep of up to date information on public mapping.

In terms of applying spatial or crowdsourced initiatives in the future, it can be useful to certain branches of work. The allowance of constantly updated, freely available mapping, certain forms of software can be kept up to date. If one was to design software for example, they would have the changes made throughout the use of Open Street Map which could be used for historical recreation or designing a virtual walkthrough of a specific area. These are merely small examples of what I am sure is a large list of uses for these software tools.