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I feel kind of stupid asking that question and I feel like having missed something, but I just couldn't figure it out and I think everyone used to google maps who tries OSM the first time must necessarily reach the point where he found the POI he's looking for, clicks it and ... nothing happens. So I have three questions running through my mind:

  1. What do I have to do to see some information about a POI?
  2. Why do I have to do that!?!
  3. Why did no one ask this before me? Am I insane?

asked 26 Jul '13, 20:01

jederik's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Not a dumb question. Don't know if it was asked before or not. . .

Google maps, Bing maps, etc. provide a map for an end user. provides a view of an open map database with the goal of being a portal for citizen cartographers. Which, for better or worse, is not quite the same thing.

Another example is the lack of trip routing.

However the licensing of OSM data is quite generous (simply acknowledge the source of the data) so anyone can build a site providing similar services to Google maps using the data. Not that it is an easy task to do a great job in pulling together all the pieces for a great user experience, but at least the data is available.

If you wish to have something approximating a commercial end user map experience but access the openstreetmap data the best I know of is And there are probably others.

Why should you use something like rather than Google Maps? Two reasons come to my mind immediately: 1) You can fix the problems (e.g. in the US in rural areas neither Google nor OSM are accurate so both need fixing). 2) The fixes you provide in OSM are available for others to use and will make the world a better place since many low budget/non-profit organizations can use it freely. If you use Google's citizen mapping to fix things, Google owns the data so you are doing free work for a multi-billion dollar company which charges big bucks for map licensing.

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answered 26 Jul '13, 21:00

n76's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

edited 26 Jul '13, 23:35

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦

Please see

The functionality will be eventually added to the main site. It shows POIs from a mappers point of view, i.e. with the intent to give feedback that an edit has arrived even if it is not rendered.

The background technology is solved, but the list of categories (from line 218 in the source code) needs some more love, so feel free to add further categories.

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answered 27 Jul '13, 11:34

Roland%20Olbricht's gravatar image

Roland Olbricht
accept rate: 36%

Answering your first, and title question: you can use the data layer. But that is the raw data which is shown then.

The question can-the-web-interface-show-pois is quite similar to yours - see the answers there.

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answered 27 Jul '13, 03:00

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%

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question asked: 26 Jul '13, 20:01

question was seen: 2,736 times

last updated: 27 Jul '13, 11:34

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