Walking Papers and ArcGIS

Walking Papers is a service taking the approach of data contribution and data editing for OpenStreetMap and giving it a paper-based twist.
OpenStreetMap (OSM) itself is a wiki-style map project that creates and provides free geographic data and mapping to anyone who wants it. On a number of occasions though, access to the digital data is technically not possible or too overly complex when recording data in the field.
Walking Papers allows the user to take a printed map of the OSM data and to record handwritten eyes-on-the-street information. A scan of this annotated mapsheet is then uploaded to the Walking-Papers website and it can then serve as the basis for data capture with all your favorite OSM editors like Potlatch or the ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap.

The traditional way of getting the Walking Papers scan into ArcGIS is to go the website itself and download a scan as a georeferenced TIFF file. You would then add the standalone raster to your map document and start the data automation process.

Very recently we have released a geoprocessing tool making the integration of Walking Papers into ArcGIS even easier.

The tool is called (by its boring yet descriptive title) ArcGIS Walking Papers Requester and it allows the user to request a Walking Papers scan by ID and to drop it into ArcMap.

  1. Upload the printed Walking Papers map.
  2. Go the URL of your scan like http://www.walking-papers.org/scan.php?id=8q88twn3
  3. Note the scan ID at the end of the URL, in this case ’8q88twn3′ (without the quotes)
  4. Open the Requester geoprocessing tool and enter the ID as the first parameter and a storage target location on disk as the second parameter.
  5. After the tool executes successfully right-click on the newly added raster dataset and start editing.

WalkingPapers Scan in ArcGIS

For a more detailed description on the workflow please refer to the OSM Editor documentation at the online help.
The geoprocessing tool is completely written in Python and is available for ArcGIS 10.0 at the ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap site  and for ArcGIS 10.1 in the Analysis and Geoprocessing Tool Gallery

Contributed by Thomas.

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