#CompletetheMap Ottawa


A challenge to photo map the capital and collect useful map data for Ottawa.

We’re teaming up with Bike Ottawa to bring you the next #CompletetheMap challenge. This will be our biggest yet and that’s not hyperbole. Most of the other challenges have focused on a particular suburb or area of the city. For Ottawa bike lanes throughout the whole city are in focus.

The idea of #CompletetheMap is to divide a city into zones and then fill them in by capturing street-level imagery throughout the city. As you move through the city, your imagery of roads, bike lanes, and trails help to complete each zone and eventually #CompletetheMap. The Bike Ottawa team has already been contributing an impressive amount of imagery throughout the capital. This challenge will complement those efforts by encouraging citizens to focus on collecting imagery of bike friendly paths across Ottawa.

Anyone living in Ottawa or passing through during this time is welcome to join the #CompletetheMap challenge. Read on for more info on how the challenge works and how you can contribute.

Follow the action here.

Getting started with Mapillary

You can contribute imagery to Mapillary using any device capable of taking geotagged images. That is imagery that contains GPS information. Most people contribute with their smartphones using the Mapillary app on Android and iOS or using thier action cameras.

You can upload directly from the smartphone apps over wifi. If you’re using an action camera, you can connect it with the iOS app and also upload via your phone. Android is not currently supported, so see our instructions for uploading via computer here.

Take a look at our getting started page and the rest of our help guide here.

The Challenge

The Greater Ottawa area has been divided into a large grid, roughly corresponding to the city boundaries. To participate in the challenge, simply capture roads, bike lanes, and other trails that are bike friendly between August 25th 00:00 Ottawa time and September 17th 23:59. The contributor with the most unique kilometers of coverage in each zone by the end of the challenge wins #CompleteTheMap Ottawa.

If you’d like to take part, charge your cameras, and start capturing images in your area. Good luck!

The Rules

How do I enter the challenge?

Anyone capturing within the grid will automatically participate in the challenge. You don’t need to sign up for your images to be counted.

The Grid

This challenge is a bit different in that the winner will simply the contributor who uploads the most imagery during the challenge dates. In addition to this, we’ll also automatically check the location of every image and compare it to existing OpenStreetMap data to confirm whether or not it was taken in an area bikes are allowed access. This will help us determine the percentage of fresh coverage in each zone out of the potential areas for capture. It will also help you work out where to focus on. The grid colours are as follows:

Red: <20% of recognised bike accessible paths
Yellow: 20% to 80% of recognised bike accessible paths
Green: >80% of recognised bike accessible paths

Only images captured from day one of the competition (August 25th) will be counted.

Rankings & Updates

We’ll be maintaining a live page with the results that you can visit any time here. As usual, you’ll also be able to get updates on Twitter and Facebook.

How to win

The winner of each zone will be the contributor who has the most kilometres of unique coverage by the end of the challenge period (September 17th).

Invite Friends

If you would like to invite your friends to take part in the challenge, all they have to do is capture within the grid area and they will automatically appear on the leaderboard. If they want to stay updated, make sure they subscribe to our email updates and follow the #CompletetheMap hashtag on Facebook and Twitter.

And we’re off!

Charge your phones, get your action cameras out, and #CompleteTheMap Ottawa! Have fun exploring the city.

P.S. Nominate your city here if you’d like to see the challenge in your neighbourhood. We’ve also open sourced the code for the grid and leaderboard so that you can run the challenge yourself at any time.


I’m really excited for this! Ottawa has a strong group of contributors, and is a beautiful city to explore by bike, especially in early fall. All these Mapillary images will keep us busy with Open Street Map edits through the long Ottawa winter, too. Here’s hoping for lots of participation.

The Bike Ottawa Data Group also welcomes new participants. You can visit the webpage at http://bikeottawa.ca/index.php/advocacy/advocacy-news/213-data_group to learn more about us, including how to get involved.


We’ve had a question already about how to participate: many people have never heard about Mapillary. Maybe @travel193 could update the pinned post above with a how-to link or some Mapillary 101. In short, you’d need to install the Mapillary app on your smartphone, or if you’re using an action camera and computer to upload, you’d go to Mapillary.com and use their uploader interface.


Good feedback @hshearer. I have added a getting started section to the instructions which hopefully clarifies some of these things.


Some more feedback for the challenge has come in to me as we start to play:

  1. A 4 km x 4 km area is huge, and some areas have a really dense road network. It will be challenging to get those to turn green. Could some of the most dense areas be split into smaller squares? Or, have a lower coverage threshold to turn green? Or be worth bonus bragging points because they include so many more kms of roads and trails?

  2. Other areas are already mostly complete (from previous coverage before the challenge started), but their square is still red. If only a few more roads are needed to get to 100%, yet the square remains red, that’s not very motivating. Could square colours be updated to reflect their current amount of coverage?

  3. The “Challenge Instructions” link on the leaderboard goes to an old challenge for Capitol Hill Seattle


@travel193 I’m trying to upload but the uploader form just loads forever and I never get the option to select photos…is the server overloaded?


We see that many of the squares have as much as 200-300 km of roadway to cover. That’s not going to happen in 3 weeks. And yet, some of those dense urban areas are already substantially complete. Would it be possible to subtract the current coverage from the road kms, and make the goal 80% of the unmapped roads, rather than 80% of everything? That would be much more useful to us as a way of monitoring what needs attention, and would also be more motivating. Thanks!


Sorry I didn’t see this earlier. I wasn’t aware of any server issues over the weekend but I’ll check with the team when Europe starts their day. Did anyone else experience upload issues like this?


Good feedback Heather. We expected it to be a huge area, but I agree that there are ways we can make it more manageable, fairer, and motivating. It also makes sense to factor in existing coverage. I’ll check with Chris to see how it might influence loading times.

Instructions are now updated. Thanks for spotting that.


I was uploading 4000 photos and got interrupted. I contacted Peter via twitter, he deleted my upload queue and I was able to reupload. Something tells me server couldnt send what was uploaded already in the response fast enough and would time out. So far I’ve collected about 200-300GB of pictures, which is about 200+km. A lot of new roads too


That’s a huge amount! Awesome. Let’s see if it’s a bit more stable this week.


Wow, I see the update on the challenge to take previous coverage into account. This looks amazing! Now we can see what progress we’re making. Thanks.


The map looks a lot better now that we’re completing the map instead of restarting from scratch.


There’s someone in the osm-ca slack channel that modified the code a bit:


I’ve been looking at the percentages for the squares and they haven’t changed at all in the past 48 hours (maybe longer) even though we’ve added ~70K new photos. Could you check if the script is updating it?


Also, you should probably avoid service=driveway to counting towards the coverage as we probably wont be allowed to drive in peoples private entrances for coverage


Yeah it was definitely worth changing the code.

Let us look into the update issues and see why they might be lagging behind. I can see a few tiles that look like they’re 100% covered when you combine previous coverage with contributions during the challenge.