Updated on June 5, 2024


Created on July 7, 2017

Field Papers


Field Papers is an open source tool built by Stamen Design to help users create a multi-page atlas of anywhere in the world.

Developed By
  1. Stamen Design
Tested By
  • Stamen Design
  • United States Agency International Developement (USAID)
Content Partners


Product Description

Users can print it, take it into the field, and record notes and observations about the area. Later, the users can photograph each page in the atlas, and upload them back into Field Papers where a scan code geolocates the atlas so that the written data can be traced and then shared or downloaded.

Target SDGs

SDG 1: No Poverty

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Community, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Public Sector Agencies

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Anyone who has a computer, internet access, and a printer can create an atlas and print it off. Visit the Field Papers website, make an atlas, make take notes and observations and upload the photo of your atlas.

Manufacturing/Building Method

Field Papers is built on Python, Javascript and Ruby on Rails. It utilizes Devise for managing users and Leaflet for it's interactive maps. More details available on their GitHub page

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users obtain the tool by accessing it online and downloading the resulting atlas and uploading the image with the notations.

Distributions to Date Status

The first version of Field Papers was launched in May 2012, in partnership with Caerus Associates. In June of 2013, Stamen Design relaunched the site in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) with major improvements to site performance, new metrics on atlas creation, as well as a general usability upgrade. There have been over 100,000 atlases created on the Field papers site.

Mobile service required

Yes for map preparation; no for fieldwork.

Device(s) required

Computer, printer, scanner or camera.

Additional features required


Permanent network connectivity required


Type of applications for data collection

Web based application

Level of mobile data coverage needed

2G for map preparation; none for fieldwork.

Type of data collected

Notes and observations from the field, geolocation

Usage rate (%)


Literacy support

Yes, images are used to visually demonstrate the instructions for how to use the tool.

Languages available

Field papers uses Transifex for language support and is attempting to add support for 33 languages

Currently they support English, Arabic, Chinese (Taiwan), French, German, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian fully

Operating system and version

All operating systems are supported as this application is browser based

Power Requirements

Occasional power required by end user

Application of mobile data collection

Geolocation tagging of field notes in remote areas without internet connectivity

Design Specifications

These photographs are called "snapshots" on the site. When a user uploads a snapshot, it's connected automatically to the atlas from whence it came. Users can transcribe any notes they made in the field into Field Papers (as points or areas) and share the results or download their notes for later analysis.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

For step by step instructions for how to use Field Papers users can refer to the OpenStreetMap Wiki page Contributors or users can report bugs on their GitHub page

Replacement Components

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Field Papers is designed to print out custom maps and enable users to capture data that has been collected in the field. The tool was designed to be easy to use, and compatible with OpenStreetMap and offline OpenStreetMap editors.

Vetted Performance Status

Over 100,000 atlases have been created on the site


Not applicable

Complementary Technical Systems

OpenStreetMap, OSMAnd

Academic Research and References

“Field Papers.” n.d. Fieldpapers.Org. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://fieldpapers.org/

“About.” n.d. Fieldpapers.Org. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://fieldpapers.org/about

Goal 1. (n.d.). Sdgs.Un.Org. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal1

“Goal 11.” n.d. Sdgs.Un.Org. Accessed June 1, 2024. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal11

Fieldpapers: Field Papers Umbrella Project. n.d. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://github.com/fieldpapers/fieldpapers

“Make – Field Papers.” n.d. Fieldpapers.Org. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://fieldpapers.org/compose#3/25.40/-11.16

“Make – Field Papers.” n.d. Fieldpapers.Org. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://fieldpapers.org/compose#3/25.40/-10.99

“Snapshot Upload – Field Papers.” n.d. Fieldpapers.Org. Accessed June 5, 2024.  https://fieldpapers.org/snapshots/new

“About.” n.d. Fieldpapers.Org. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://fieldpapers.org/about

“The Fieldpapers Translation Project on Transifex.” n.d. Transifex.Com. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://explore.transifex.com/fieldpapers/fieldpapers/

“Field Papers.” n.d. Openstreetmap.Org. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Field_Papers

Sign in To. n.d. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://github.com/fieldpapers/fieldpapers/issues/new

“Atlases – Field Papers.” n.d. Fieldpapers.Org. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://fieldpapers.org/atlases

“OpenStreetMap.” n.d. OpenStreetMap. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=8/-1.947/29.876

“OsmAnd.” n.d. Osmand.Net. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://osmand.net/

Compliance with regulations

Not applicable

Evaluation methods

Field trials

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