Today we resume our regular interview schedule by speaking with Wille, a member of the Brazilian OSM community about OpenStreetMap in Brazil.

1. Who are you and what do you do? What got you into OpenStreetMap?

My name is Wille and I work as a web and gis developer. I started to collaborate with OSM in 2010, after see some talks of Arlindo. I always was passionate about maps, so OSM gave me the chance to use this passion.

2. What would you say is the current state of OSM and the OSM community in Brazil?

Image: Pascal Neis -

The Brazilian OSM community, as well as worldwid, is growing a lot. We have an daily average of 60 people editing the map and 17000 new nodes created. By the Pascal Neis OSMstats, we are amongst the 10 most active countries. However we need more contributors, since Brazil is huge. We also need more diversity in our community. Currently, there are no women in our discussion list or participating actively in the community. Furthermore, there is a lack of people from some regions of Brazil.

A group of contributors has been talking with governments and trying to convince them to use and collaborate with OSM. We are planning to establish a local chapter of OSM Foundation too.

About our data, we have some state capitals very well mapped, like Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre. We have lots of medium and small towns well mapped as well. 

3. What are the unique challenges and pleasures of OpenStreetMap in Brazil? What aspects of the projects should the rest of the world be aware of?

Brazil is huge, so it’s a lot of work to map, fix errors and keep the data updated. We have a group of contributors that care about Quality Assurance, so they spend a lot of their time revising changesets and monitoring the edits in all the country. In general the public sector doesn’t have good geographic data, so I think it’s an opportunity for OpenStreetMap to conquer the government and convince them to use and collaborate with our data.

4. What steps could the global OpenStreetMap community take to help support OSM in Brazil specifically?

We yet have a lot of towns to map, maybe some European collaborators never had the pleasure of mapping a place from zero and can help us.

5. Last year OSM celebrated its 10th birthday, where do you think the project will be in 10 years time, both globally and in Brazil specifically?

In 10 years, I believe OpenStreetMap will reach a great level of detail in all regions of the World, including Brazil. And I expect that the project will be yet more innovative and fun!

Many thanks Wille, and congrats to all the Brazilian contributors. I will toast our efforts the next time I have a caipirinha (which will be soon I hope). Anyone looking to learn more about OSM in Brazil should follow them on twitter. Readers may also enjoy our interview a few months back with the Mapazonia project which also takes place in Brazil (and other nearby countries).

You can see all the Open Geo interviews here. If you are or know of someone we should interview, please get in touch, we’re always looking to promote people doing interesting things with open geo data.