Information for Participants



Research to date has shown that only around 3% of contributors to OpenStreetMap (OSM) are women. There are concerns that this imbalance in the contributor pool could have a negative effect on the map due to a risk of certain types of information being omitted and therefore affecting the accuracy and quality of OSM as a source of geospatial information. However, the nature of the effects of this imbalance are currently severely under-researched and under-reported.

Why your participation is needed

Completing this survey will enable the edits that you have made (openly accessible in OSM) to be attributed to either male or female contributing behaviours and therefore aid understanding of current editing practices in OSM and how these can be addressed for the benefit and improvement of the map. Looking at the way men and women edit in OSM could highlight missing types of data and enable new strategies to be developed to address voids in the geospatial information contributed by amateur mappers. In turn, this could strengthen the role played by platforms such as OSM in supporting urban planning and sustainability and raise the profile of the valuable work that OSM contributors do.

About the survey

You will be asked to provide anonymous information about yourself through six short questions. The survey should take no more than a couple of minutes to complete. At the start of the survey you will be asked to provide your OSM username. However, once you have submitted your responses, your username will be replaced by your OSM personal ID number (openly available in OSM) to protect any inferred identity from your username.

In return for participating in the survey, 60 respondents will be drawn at random to receive a £15 Amazon voucher, the code for which will be emailed to your OSM user email address so no personal contact information will be required.

What the University of Nottingham will do with the survey data

Survey responses will be securely stored in password protected files and folders and used strictly for analysis purposes. No results will be attributed to your OSM username and all results will be completely anonymised before being used in the publication of findings. Any involvement in the study is voluntary and you are free to withdraw at any time. Should this be the case, any data that you have supplied will be immediately destroyed and omitted from the results of the survey.  You can request a copy of your survey responses and/or published results from the survey.

The survey is jointly funded by the University of Nottingham and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Zoe Gardner

Daphne Jackson Research Fellow

Nottingham Geospatial Institute, University of Nottingham

B05 Nottingham Geospatial Building

Triumph Road




Telephone: 0115 9515449