Mapathon Held at American Geographical Society’s Fall Symposium

Mapathon Held at American Geographical Society’s Fall Symposium

Description: The American Geographical Society (AGS) held a Mapathon in conjunction with its annual Fall Symposium held at Columbia University in New York City on November 17, 2016. Event participants, including the AGS Geography Teacher Fellows, used OpenStreetMap to assist the U.S. Census Bureau to map gateway communities around U.S. National Parks.  

[New York City, NY] – [November 23, 2016] — In conjunction with its annual Fall Symposium, the American Geographical Society (AGS) organized a Mapathon with TeachOSM, the nation’s leading organizer of Mapathons. The event occurred at Columbia University as part of AGS’s Geography 2050: Envisioning a Sustainable Planet Symposium. The Mapathon brought together 50 Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography teachers from around the nation who were selected for the AGS Geography Teacher Fellow Program.

The event which was held the morning of November 17, included GIS and web-map training with the guidance of TeachOSM. The Teaching Fellows alongside other participants utilized OpenStreetMap– an open-source geospatial software– to assist the U.S Census Bureau in their effort to map gateway communities around U.S. National Parks. The OSM participants contributed 16,938 map edits for highway, building, waterway and other spatial features previously undocumented on census maps.

This event was made possible through the sponsorship of Boundless and the efforts of professors from George Washington University who are also TeachOSM Co-Founders, Dr. Nuala Cowan, Mr. Steven Johnson, and Mr. Richard Hinton. Boundless CEO, Mr. Andrew Dearing, welcomed the event’s participants.

“The Mapathon was a great way to kick-off our Symposium” said Dr. John Konarski, Chief Executive Officer of AGS.  “The AGS Teacher Fellows who participated not only enjoyed the event, but also gained valuable skills that they can use in their classrooms…we are eager to build on this Mapathon and sponsor similar such events over the next year” added Dr. Konarski.

To learn more about TeachOSM go to

Established in 1851, the American Geographical Society (AGS) is the oldest professional geographical/geospatial organization in the United States. It is recognized world-wide as a pioneer in geographical research and education in geography for over 165 years. AGS is a 21st century learning society dedicated to the advancement of geographic thinking, understanding, and knowledge across business, government, academe, the social sector, and education. The goal of AGS is to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide. AGS is the only organization focused on bringing together academics, business people, those who influence public policy (including leaders in local, state and federal government, not-for-profit organizations and the media), and the general public for the express purpose of furthering the understanding of the role of geography in our lives. AGS provides leadership to frame the national discussion of the growing importance of geography and geo-spatial tools. The Society maintains its headquarters in New York City.

From left to right: Mr. Richard Hinton, TeachOSM Co-Founder; Mr. Steven Johnson, TeachOSM Co-Founder; Dr. Nuala Cowan, TeachOSM Co-Founder and Dr. Marie Daly Price, President of AGS