This is the P2PU Archive. If you want the current site, go to!

Online Maps with OpenLayers

Syllabus for Online Maps with OpenLayers

Nick Doiron's picture
Sat, 2010-12-18 05:22


60 days and so much to do!  I suggest dividing it into the four main topic areas: OpenStreetMap, OpenLayers, applications of maps, and the final ‘interest project’. Most of the sections are very free-form. The OpenLayers part of the course is going to have the basics, plus electives recommended or organized by participants.

OpenStreetMap - 10 days
Starting with simple task to discuss OpenStreetMap and add to their global participatory map

Ongoing Discussion (post early, reply often)
OpenStreetMap involves similar themes to P2PU Webcraft: open information, sharing knowledge, volunteers. Each of you should share positives and negatives of this map being open to edit and use, and reply to others’ positives and negatives.

---> See for an OpenStreetMap How-To based on our first Chat

Three-part task
* Make an account at so you can make edits
* If you have a GPS, find something missing from the map of your community, and add points, a road, or a trail
* No GPS: find Bing or Yahoo aerial imagery near you and add local content to OpenStreetMap

Share your work
Link to your edits.  For example,

OpenLayers - 25 days

Ideas for tasks (what if community suggests 10-20 tasks, and we recommend completing 5-10 ? )

  • Start Here: a quick interactive map (JavaScript variables and objects)
  • Adding markers (info about vectors)
  • Adding clickable markers and image markers
  • Dimensions: points, lines, and polygon shapes
  • Re-tiling the map; layers concept
  • Call JSON and KML services to add photos, Wikipedia articles, map files
  • ????
  • ????

We're forming a list of OpenLayers topics at

Share your work
Your map is blank, and Firebug is saying something weird. Don’t be afraid to share these maps and get help from others!

If you are better at writing in human language than in computer code, you can balance your time in the next segment to complete these tasks.

Applications of Maps - 10 days
Okay, now you can make a map. Where do you go from here?

Choose-the-Topic Case Study
How are smart maps (not mapping offices, but acting and learning through maps and geospatial technology) used by business, disaster response, open government, environmentalists, or ___?  * Choose a field / profession / line of work / interest area / hobby
* Find a smart map strategy that is used
* Write up a short case study of who’s involved, how someone experiences their map, and what effects it has

Ongoing Discussion (post early, reply often)
Are online map technologies changing traditional roles and capabilities of people such as soldiers, journalists, and voters?

This is a good time to contact someone for your interest project.  For example, if you would like to make an add-on for Ushahidi, ask a question about the group, link to the course, and mention your interest project.

Interest Project - 15 days
Read through everyone’s case study and see where you can make your mark.  What you have learned in the past few weeks is enough for you to get started!

If you make a project which connects to someone’s API or website, please send e-mail telling them about this course and link to your project!

Ongoing Discussion (post early, reply often)
Let’s help each other code some awesome maps.  Does anyone need help with their interest project?

Now you know OpenLayers.  The basics here prepare you for any maps platform.
Let’s open a discussion about goodies and pitfalls in the Google Maps API, Microsoft Bing Maps API, and ESRI ArcGIS Server.  If you want to branch out for a project using 3D Google Earth and StreetView, amazing Birdseye imagery, or powerful geoprocessing, we’ll point you in the right direction.


Where should we add our

Sharon Machlis's picture
Sharon Machlis
Thu, 2011-01-27 21:09

Where should we add our comment about OpenStreetMap being open to anyone, here or in the forums? If here ... well, I see it the same as Wikipedia and other open-source information sources. The positive is that you get the collective wisdom of many people, some of whom are very knowledgeable. The negative is that some people may not be so well informed and post incorrect information -- either without knowing or to be deliberately malicious.

Ok the first part, I mean for

Besfort Guri's picture
Besfort Guri
Thu, 2011-01-27 21:42

Ok the first part, I mean for OpenStreetMap, I am doing a lot of things I have a job with OpenStreetMap, and I am editing Streets and Intersection between roads, and my name in OpenStreetMap is Besfort Guri did I need to send to you any link I am working in all cities now you can check Mitrovica I am doing right now Mitrovica city