Sunday, May 20, 2012

Using Walking Papers in ArcGIS

NOTE: This post is a shameless translation of Gaëtan Lavenu's post Utiliser OSM Walking-Papers dans ArcGIS over on his arcOrama blog. Somehow 'télécharger' sounds a lot better than 'download'...

Walking-Papers is a service that allows you to contribute to OpenStreetMap using a paper map. In summary, the user prints a paper version of an extent and then annotates it based on observations made in the field. By scanning the annotated map, it can then be uploaded to the website for Walking Papers, then enter its updates with an OpenStreetMap editor like Potlatch or ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap

The traditional method to add your scanned map in ArcGIS Walking-Papers would be to download a version of the georeferenced TIFF image from the website. The user then adds it as a standalone raster. 

To simplify this procedure, Esri provides a new tool Walking Papers Requester for adding a scan directly into ArcMap Walking-paper and then use the tools of the ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap to enter the updates. The approach is as follows:
1. Download a PDF of the work area from the website Walking-papers. 

2. After your fieldwork, you scan your annotated paper map. 

3. You download the scanned map from the Walking-Papers website noting well-ID assigned to it. For example, in the URL of this scan: ID is 3gkn7wqm ) 

4. Open the tool Walking Paper Scan Request.

5. Enter the ID and the local directory that will store the georeferenced image.

6. Once the tool has run, the image is automatically added to the current map. Using the ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap you can download the vector data on the area and then update and synchronize the OpenStreetMap database. 

This geoprocessing tool written entirely in Python is available on the ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap website.