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I have access to a number of old maps. If I were to scan these maps to JPGs say, is there any way to then use these images as backgrounds for editing purposes?

asked 10 Apr '15, 22:20

u003f's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

There's a technical and a legal side to this. Legally, the maps must be old enough to be out of copyright for you to use them (or they must have been un-copyrighted in the first place - details of this depend on the jurisdiction you're in).

Technically, after scanning you will still have to align the map with the actual geometry - possibly using common reference points between the map and data already in OSM. This can be done either in the editor - JOSM has an image plugin for that - or in a separate step before, using an offline tool like Quantum GIS or a web site like Map Warper which will afterwards export the image as WMS or tiles which can then again be shown as an editor background.

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answered 10 Apr '15, 23:39

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%


Also, you shouldn't generally use old maps where any better source is available, and never without being able to verify (through survey) whether the details are still correct.

(11 Apr '15, 12:20) Jonathan Ben...

Hi, apart from the caveats mentioned, Mapwarper is a fantastic service. If you havent used it before I've created a few videos on the basic task that you can check out here

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answered 13 Apr '15, 15:27

DaCor's gravatar image

accept rate: 2%

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question asked: 10 Apr '15, 22:20

question was seen: 6,670 times

last updated: 13 Apr '15, 15:27

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