Open Street Map is a collaborative mapping project that produces a growing, editable map of the world which everyone is free to view, edit, use and repurpose.
In 2009, the Information Program granted $45,000 to Open Street Map, to help them run a scholarship program that would encourage participation in their annual State of the Map conference by people from developing and middle-income countries. The money also allowed Open Street Map to make targeted follow-on grants to scholarship winners, to help them continue working on Open Street Map once they got back home.
Mikel Maron, a member of the OSM board, has published his report on the successes and challenges of the 2009 scholarship program, touching on developments in Vietnam, Columbia, the Caucasus, Egypt, Cuba, Panama, Brazil, Chile, Pakistan, India, South Africa, and Romania. Follow-on grants have focused on providing mapping tools such as GPS units, and encouraging national and regional groups to grow and formalize.
The Information Program is supporting State of the Map Scholarships in 2010. The 2010 State of the Map conference will take place July 9-11, 2010, in Girona, Spain.