Design for America

The Utiles project has received significant interest from members of the UT Austin chapter of Design for America:

Design for America (DFA) is an award-winning nationwide network of interdisciplinary student teams and community members using design to create local and social impact. DFA students learn how to apply human-centered design to local and social challenges as innovators through extra-curricular, university-based, student-led design studios. DFA currently tackles national challenges in Education, Health, Economy, and the Environment.

Data Collection

OSM has some coverage of streets and pathways on the UT Austin campus, but much of the detailed information is incorrect or missing. We are discussing various ways to collect data, including crowdsourcing of GPS log data and (balloon-based) aerial photography.

Aerial Photos

Low-budget aerial photography is an appealing approach. Going out on a snow-free Fall or Winter day (to minimize tree cover), one or two volunteers could capture a nice set of images. We could then assemble these using MapKnitter, etc.

So, how about balloon mapping or even kite mapping?

Alternatively, it may be possible to gain access to existing aerial images, taken by NASA, private individuals, etc.

Ant Trails

If we could interest a large number of students in recording their peregrinations, we could very quickly assemble a large collection of "ant trails" for the campus.


Adding in "waypoints" (annotated locations) from especially helpful contributors, we could assemble a very complete map.

Map Editing

It's possible that some members of DFA (e.g., architecture and urban planning students) may be interested in editing the OSM data.


DFA has "studios" in a number of locales, a few of which are located relatively near Amanda or me. So, I expect to contact them Real Soon Now (:-).

This wiki page is maintained by Rich Morin, an independent consultant specializing in software design, development, and documentation. Please feel free to email comments, inquiries, suggestions, etc!

Topic revision: r4 - 26 Nov 2015, RichMorin
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