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What places need mapping? I am a newbie, and wherever I look it is mapped to perfection! Did I get in on this project too late?!

asked 28 Jul '14, 19:23

AGH7401's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 29 Jul '14, 01:16

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

I'd definitely start in your local area. Doing that helps you to learn how things that you see on the ground look in aerial imagery (which isn't always obvious). Even if all the roads are mapped, what about all the shops, houses and footpaths?

Perhaps try and ask other local mappers - they might have some ideas. If you've set your location, your user page shows the location of other nearby users. You could also perhaps look at Pascal Neis' map here (though in both cases you'll want to look for people who are still mapping).

There's lots of other local contact information here.

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answered 28 Jul '14, 19:46

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
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Your profile does not show where you are and you've done no edits at this time so I don't know what part of the world OSM has "mapped to perfection".

For my own area, the location of roads is pretty good and generally tagged well with classification and names. So it looks pretty on a straight map rendering basis.

But items needed to help routing software and GPS guidance devices is often totally missing. Things like maxspeed=, lanes=, turn lanes, etc. Are the roads in your area properly tagged in that respect?

Also in my country, address information is often missing. This affects those routing programs that rely on OSM data alone. Are addresses tagged on all the buildings in your area? Barring that, is there at least address interpolation information?

Getting address information into OSM and getting speed and lane information into OSM will make OSM a lot better datasource for "renderers" (really data consumers) other than those that simply draw pretty maps.

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answered 28 Jul '14, 20:41

n76's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

Download an OSM map app for your phone that does routing, speed limits, etc. I recommend OSMAnd if you have an Android phone. Start using it for routing on all of your trips. Take note of when it takes you down the wrong street, doesn't know the speed limit, or announces things incorrectly. Find out why it's doing that and then go correct it in OSM!

Find walking trails, hiking, biking trails. Explore and tag them, along with all amenities, benches, etc.

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answered 30 Jul '14, 20:24

TylerSchwend's gravatar image

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Yet another endless avenue of activity for that rare condition of "unoccupied mapper" (beside the already-mentioned QA tools and adding fractally more details (are all POIs, housenumbers, lanes, public transports, etc really completely mapped around you ??), and keeping an eye for constant changes in the real world, is the Humanitarian OSM Team's task manager. This option is great because it is well explained, focused, and you know it's usefull.

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answered 30 Jul '14, 22:29

Vincent%20de%20Phily's gravatar image

Vincent de P... ♦
accept rate: 19%

Please have a look at the numerous tools listed in the OSM wiki about Quality Assurance.

I am sure that not all areas around you are mapped error-free :-)

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answered 28 Jul '14, 19:29

stephan75's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%


Since this is a newbie question, I'd like to point out that most "errors" shown by such tools (I use them often myself) are just hints where there might be an error. Also the tools could be wrong ("false positive").

(29 Jul '14, 01:18) aseerel4c26 ♦

The downtown areas near where I live are well mapped, but some of the parks are not. There are a lot of rural areas that are not mapped.

I started searching for Wal-Mart stores in some rural states and mapped their parking lots just to get a hang of using the user interface of iD.

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answered 28 Jul '14, 19:46

baghaii's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

Hi baghaii, welcome, you got a lot of good advice. Just start slowly with just one item or group, like your parking lots. Ad lanes, directions, surface, waste baskets and there’s a lot more, use your imagination. Mapping rural areas by travelling with the GPS to get a way to the right place and map anything you notice besides the way, marked by the GPS could be a second step.

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answered 28 Jul '14, 21:25

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%


Agreed -- start slowly. I never intended to get into this but felt that I should contribute since I download an OSM-derived file from my Garmin GPS. However, I put in a few business that I frequent and the local sailing club. Then I corrected a name or two. Then I put in a helpful service that as lacking -- an ATM machine, a recently relocated government office. Slowly I got used to the tools, and am hooked. I even made a few mistakes along the way, but don't worry I went back and corrected them.

Start slowly. Start slowly and build on your skills. Good advice. For OSM and so much else.

(02 Oct '14, 13:43) Bruce in Iloilo

I use for group walks and I record the footpaths on my GPS. I also look at the local newspapers to see what may be changing such as new roads and buildings. After doing a survey I like to add building sites, new streets and even proposed new roads. I once asked at a police station where a new street was, They had no idea, OSM can solve that problem. I walk around new developments to get a good estimate of layout as it will be a while before Ariel Images catch up, note down road names and after talking to the locals about OSM ask them for the post code.

Still think there's not much to do? See how detailed some map to:

happy mapping

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answered 29 Jul '14, 08:17

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 30 Jul '14, 11:44

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

Here in the Philippines there is a lot that still needs to be done.

While most of the roads are mapped, they lack names. Very few buildings that one sees in the aerial photographs are plotted. Major buildings, such as churches and municipal halls, are not plotted or properly identified. I am sure that the Philippines is not the only developing country whose OpenStreetMap is at a similar state of development.

One could map missing buildings. Using a public source, one could check street names or building names. I assume that a directory from a Catholic diocese is sufficiently public as are many government sources.

I have only started mapping myself, a few months ago. I am sure others have even more ideas.

I have taken the same attitude to OSM that I do with Wikipedia. I think that it is better to add something -- even if it is not 100% accurate -- then to leave the map blank. Others will come along and polish your work, or you will as more data becomes available or as your skills improve. (Note: not being fully accurate is different that being inaccurate.) For instance, in my area some gas stations were plotted but not named. I can come along and added the brand name.

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answered 30 Jul '14, 03:27

Bruce%20in%20Iloilo's gravatar image

Bruce in Iloilo
accept rate: 0%


Side note regarding the "public source": Sources we can use do not need to be "public", but their use (adding to the OSM database) must be allowed copyright-wise. Discussing the status of single sources may be best on mailing lists or in the forum, if you cannot find sufficient info (e.g. at Potential Datasources in our wiki). And if government sources can be used our not, depends on the country.

(30 Jul '14, 11:35) aseerel4c26 ♦

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question asked: 28 Jul '14, 19:23

question was seen: 6,470 times

last updated: 02 Oct '14, 13:43

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