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📖 History

How was FMTM born?

It started as Ivan's idea to build FMTM (Ivan Gayton is Senior Humanitarian Advisor at Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team) which then became a collaborative project with the efforts of Ivan, Rob Savoye who is Senior Technical Lead at Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and many other members from HOT as well as volunteers interested in the project.

HOT uses ODK heavily, but most of the data never makes it into OSM because all the data processing is manual and slow, so it doesn't get done.

Ivan Gayton (Senior Humanitarian Advisor at Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team) heard about what Rob was working on and goes "That's the missing piece I needed!". He'd been wanting to build FMTM for years, but lacked the ability to process the data.

A webinar then took place in September 2022 that showcased the high interest from the community and the need for collaborative field mapping that really kicked off the starting point for building the Field Mapping Tasking Manager.

Want to know about OSM-Fieldwork project? click here

A project to provide tools for Open Mapping campaigns

The Field Mapping Tasking Manager (FMTM) is a project that aims to provide tools for coordinating field mapping activities in Open Mapping campaigns. While there are existing field mapping applications, there is a lack of efficient tools to coordinate these activities. The FMTM builds on the HOT Tasking Manager and other mapping applications to provide a more streamlined and organized process for completing mapping tasks.

Currently, it is possible to implement a Field Mapping Tasking Manager workflow using existing tools, but it requires significant effort and can be challenging.

The FMTM project is developing automation features to address these challenges and make the process more accessible to users.

By providing a centralized platform for organizing and managing mapping tasks, assigning them to specific users, and tracking their progress, the FMTM aims to simplify the coordination of mapping activities. The tool also provides analytics and reporting features, allowing users to gain insights into mapping campaigns and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Background and description of the project and idea are here: please have a look at this blog if you haven't yet!

How to contribute

The FMTM project is open source and community-driven, welcoming contributions from designers, user testers, and both front-end and back-end developers. If you're interested in getting involved, please see our contributor guidelines for more information. We welcome questions and feedback, so don't hesitate to reach out to us. 👍🎉

Using ODK's Select From Map feature

ODK's Select From Map feature is a useful tool for field mappers to collect data in a well-structured questionnaire format. The tool was incorporated into ODK in mid-2022 and allows mappers to select an object from a map, view its existing attributes, and fill out a form with new information and attributes.

To prepare map files for ODK, inspiration is taken from the HOT Tasking Manager, which allows remote mappers to choose well-defined small "task" areas, ensuring full coverage of the project area and no unintended duplication of tasks. For example, a mapper can approach a building, select that building from a map view within ODK on their mobile phone, and add the opening hours, number of floors, construction material, or any number of useful attributes in a well-structured questionnaire format

To prepare the appropriate map files for ODK, we are taking our inspiration from the HOT Tasking Manager, which allows remote mappers to choose well-defined small "task" areas, ensuring full coverage of the project area and no unintended duplication of tasks.


There are three main user roles for using ODK's Select From Map feature: campaign managers, field mappers, and validators.

Campaign managers

Campaign managers select an Area of Interest (AOI) and organize field mappers to go out and collect data. They need to:


  • Select an AOI polygon by creating a GeoJSON or by tracing a polygon in a Web map
  • Choose a task division scheme (number of features or area per task, and possible variations on what features to use as the preferred splitting lines)
  • Provide specific instructions and guidance for field mappers on the project.
  • Provide a URL to a mobile-friendly Web page where field mappers can, from their mobile phone, select a task that is not already "checked out" (or possibly simply allocate areas to the field mappers).
  • See the status of tasks (open, "checked out", completed but not validated, requires to rework, validated, etc) in the Web browser on their computer

Field mappers

Field mappers select (or are allocated) individual tasks within a project AOI and use the ODK mobile app to gather data in those areas. They need to:

  • Visit a mobile-friendly Web page where they can see available tasks on a map
  • Choose an area and launch ODK Collect with the form corresponding to their allocated area pre-loaded


Validators review the data collected by field mappers and assess its quality. If the data is good, the validators merge the portion of the data that belongs in OpenStreetMap to OSM. If it requires more work, the validators either fix it themselves (for minor stuff like spelling or capitalization mistakes that don't seem to be systematic) or inform the field mappers that they need to fix it. They need to:

  • Access completed data sets of "submissions" as Comma Separated Values and/or OSM XML so that they can review them.
  • Mark areas as validated or requiring rework
  • Communicate with field mappers if rework is necessary
  • Merge good-quality data into OSM (probably from JOSM).
  • Mark areas as completed and merged.

Info for developers

For this visit the Getting Started Page

Last update: July 21, 2024