This morning Knight Foundation announced a grant of $575,000 to Development Seed and MapBox to improve the core infrastructure of OpenStreetMap, the only open and editable map of the world. Our goal is to use this investment to make it easier to add data to OpenStreetMap, make more social to support the community as it continues its rapid growth, and make it easier for people to get data out of OpenStreetMap to make their own maps. All of these tools will be open source, built in the open on platforms like GitHub, and worked on collaboratively with the larger OpenStreetMap community.

It has been fantastic working with Knight Foundation over the past few months - their team really understands the value of open data. This grant is a key investment at a critical time in the geo data and web mapping space, and Knight Foundation is being smart by moving quickly and investing in much needed infrastructure in an open and sustainable way. This is our third Knight grant over the past five years, and we think the work it allows will make our biggest impact yet.

Eric is currently in San Francisco at the Online News Association Conference, where Knight Foundation is officially announcing this grant and awards to all Knight News Challenge winners. You can watch him and all winners present their projects live on Saturday at 4:00 pm EST, and if you’re at the conference, look for him to talk more about how these tools will help grow OpenStreetMap and impact web mapping overall.

Follow Eric (@ericg) on Twitter for news from the ONA conference, and keep an eye on our blog over the coming weeks as we start work on these tools. We plan to start delivering code in November and December.