This Data Science for Social Good project, seeks to make pedestrian ways, particularly sidewalks, first class members of an open data transportation network. The OpenStreetMap (OSM) project has made available extensive, user-contributed open data on transportation networks, providing the basis for many use cases and downstream activities, including rich analytics, travel route optimization, city planning, and disaster relief. Some footways have been annotated in OSM as independent routes. However, sidewalks in the built environment have generally been treated an addendum to streets.

As a result, sidewalks in OSM have spotty coverage and an unintuitive implementation. The current standard makes user contribution difficult and fails to serve many use cases, including the needs of people with limited mobility. This project proposes to jumpstart an effort to generate an OSM-based pedestrian network with global coverage.

This project has engaged the OpenStreetMap open source community in proposing and implementing a radical shift to a more human scale mapping standard. In addition to curating and presenting a pedestrian schema which takes into account a range of abilities, our team is developing strategies to facilitate a more complete sidewalk map. We have modified and developed tools, workshops and documentation materials to engage the mapping community as well as newcomers intersted in the project.