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Hi All,

I'd like to use OpenStreetMap for alternative maps in the style of My Maps from Google Maps. That is, I'm going to be adding data that is not relevant to most of the other users, so my changes to the "main" OpenStreetMap would and should not be accepted.

  • Is there a "My Maps" kind of function in OpenStreetMaps? Please don't point to MapQuest's My Maps as it seems not to be online (it never was?).
  • Can I use the new iD Editor for creating objects, lines, polygons, and then save them locally to OSM files (or some other format)? If not, which editors I could use for that, maybe a desktop editor? Any pointers on how I can then overlay them on OpenStreetMap on my local machine or in my web application?
  • Could iD Editor be used for collaborative side projects, that is, maps that are interesting to a minority community but not the big audience? For example, could I start a project inside iD Editor, then grant rights to other members to edit the features inside that project? The data would be open source, but not part of the default OpenStreetMap unless explicitly selected.

Thanks for your input, I'm thinking about a collaborative project for certain kind of bicycle networks. The idea is still to be formed properly, and I'm trying to get grips on how it could be implemented / what are my options using OpenStreetMap.

asked 28 May '13, 18:14

fillarilla's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 30 May '13, 15:13

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

What kind of bicycle networks? If there are visible signs for them, then it is perfectly fine to map them in OpenStreetMap.


Waymarked Trails: Cycling

(30 May '13, 23:42) cartinus

For a kind of "My Maps" feature, you could try uMap. It lets you add markers and draw lines on top of an OpenStreetMap based map. You can then share that map with others, or embed it in a website etc.

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answered 28 May '13, 18:52

Vclaw's gravatar image

accept rate: 22%

I have a similar issue where I'm creating a new trail map for a Forest Service winter recreation area. There are a number of items to be displayed that are not appropriate for submitting to the OSM database.

I am using the JOSM editor and keeping these items saved in a local .osm file. I've setup some shell scripts to do things like generate UTM grid lines into a local .osm file, generate contours, hill shading, etc. into local shape files and then use a local custom Mapnik XML style to pull it all together into a map that can be printed. Probably "too much information", but the short answer is you can have local .osm files that you can edit and update using JOSM which you do not need to submit to the OSM database.

Whether or not you can do the same with a web based browser, I don't know. JOSM is actually fairly easy to use and I suggest you try it out.

With respect to having others help you on your local map: If you put your local .osm file into a distributed version control like git you can have more than one author working on it.

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answered 28 May '13, 20:19

n76's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

edited 28 May '13, 20:20

You did not add "simple" to the question, so, to be complete: Everything is open source here. You could copy the/a extract of the OSM database into your own database, set up and API and use iD with it. You can set up a renderer to create a map of your data. See for details this other question: can-i-make-a-private-osm-with-user-access-validation-and-custome-notations.

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answered 29 May '13, 00:28

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 30 May '13, 02:02

Okay, a few questions here, so I'll go one by one:

There's no 'My Maps' feature in OSM. It's one map for everyone, which is meant to be authoritative. There are plenty of sites that provide some level of personal features above OSM - uMap, MapBox, and so on.

Currently iD saves to OSM, and can be set to save to a different instance of the OSM software, but does not save to .osm files. It could eventually, but the use case is unclear. If you just want to draw points and lines and so on, the full OSM data model is overkill and will limit the tools you can use. edit-geojson would be a better option for that.

As far as 'collaborative side projects', this is more or less the first question: OSM hosts one map, for everyone, rather than personal maps. There are plenty of forked or privately-run copies of the OSM software for specific purposes, and they can interact with the 'main OSM' in a variety of ways, but it's usually a much less-optimal way to do things, since the merge and correspondence between the two is time-consuming.

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answered 31 May '13, 03:38

mcw's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%


"one map for everyone" is not true (in the words it is written) - exactly the opposite is. One database, right - but many different maps and services. Every service may use only a subset of all objects in the database. However, not everything is welcome in the common OSM database.

(31 May '13, 03:50) aseerel4c26 ♦

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question asked: 28 May '13, 18:14

question was seen: 14,224 times

last updated: 31 May '13, 03:54

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum