Open Climate Fix

Writing a call-to-action for solar PV mapping

We’ve collected lots of solar PV data so far. The remaining challenge is the “long tail”, and possibly we can get some of this by a large diffuse crowd - i.e. not hardcore mappers, but the general public.

I’ve tried to draft instructions as simple as possible for someone who’s new to this. Please could you give me your feedback on whether the following instructions can be made CLEARER or SIMPLER:

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Do YOU know of solar panels near you? If so, here’s a really simple way to get them added to the map:

1: Visit openstreetmap.org
2: Use the search box (top-left) to find your local area - and zoom in close so you can see details such as buildings.
3: Right-click and choose “Add a note here”.
4: Type in some notes. Make sure to mention solar or PV in your text. It can be really helpful to add description such as “solar PV on the third house along this street”

If you do this, you’ll be leaving a public note, and an existing OpenStreetMap user will come along and turn it into map data. But if you like, you can dive right in and edit OpenStreetMap yourself! (Just remember: don’t copy any information from google or other commercial maps - copyright issues. )

Thank you!

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Looks good! My only slight suggestion would be perhaps turn the text ‘edit OpenStreetMap yourself!’ into a hyperlink to some short instructions for how to edit OSM.

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One issue is that we can’t show a visualisation of what is already there on top of the existing OSM map, which I think needs to be done. So perhaps some guidance to Gregory’s site. OpenInfraMap doesn’t show point solar sources.

However, I think that’s perhaps more complex to navigate than what is needed. For some reason the HOT layer which does show solar power misplaces the symbols (e.g., https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/53.44492/-2.11692&layers=H). Perhaps we need a more accessible visualisation.

Thanks. Yes I’ve been wrestling with that issue exactly (i.e. “visualise what is already there”) - one option is to enable the data layer (e.g. https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/53.44492/-2.11692&layers=D) but that’s not good enough either!

Someone just told me about OpenBenches which seems to basically solve the same problem as we’re wrestling with, but for benches (!). It appears to be a simple PHP+MySQL system. Perhaps we could repurpose it fairly easily?