Collaborative mapping of urban food resources in Philadelphia

Philadelphia has a vibrant urban agriculture scene, with local food production and distribution occurring all over the city. However, keeping track of all these resources is difficult when everyone maintains a different spreadsheet or website with a unique list. Additionally, commercial and government online maps don’t always display entities like farmer’s markets and urban gardens that support informal economies of food production.

In response to these challenges, we used the OpenStreetMap (OSM) platform to create a collaborative site where people could learn and share information about local food resources in Philadelphia. We proposed a “Food Security” framework for tagging food resources in OSM, then created an interactive web map called Philly Fresh Food Map to help people learn about these resources in their neighborhoods. The map users can edit the data by making changes to OpenStreetMap. To put the plan in action and publicize the map, we gathered technological and urban agriculture enthusiasts into a “Map-a-thon for food resources” at a public library in North Philadelphia.

Visit the Philly Fresh Food Map

Philly Fresh Food Map

Learn how the Philly Fresh Food Map works

This training video for the Philly Fresh Food Map was made by undergraduate research assistant Maggie Norton.

See a talk about the project

In this talk at State of the Map US 2014, I describe the development and purposes of the Philly Fresh Food Map.

Read more

Quinn, S., and Yapa, L. (2015) OpenStreetMap and food security: A case study in the city of Philadelphia, The Professional Geographer. doi: 10.1080/00330124.2015.1065547