I discovered osm about 4 months ago (at least that's when I registered here) since then I mapped the places where I am often and the places I know well. In the last two months I did not really do anything, just occasionally I map some minor road I encounter (at least I realised how rarely I visit uncommon places outside the road network). It would be completely different question in some unmapped territory, but here in CZ majority of roads is mapped and only details need to be added.

It seems a waste not to use any of the map-creating skills I gained. At the same time I am not really willing to go somewhere further than a few meters just to map that place. And tracing aerial photos is a boring job for computer programs and I am not one plus one never knows how it really looks there.

What do you do after having your closest neighbourhood mapped? Do you go explore places only to put them on map? Do you trace aerial imagery and other sources? Other related activities?

asked 25 Oct '11, 22:09

LM_1's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

edited 28 Oct '11, 08:52

Pieren's gravatar image


It is a legitimate question we can hear frequently from people arriving late in the project or just contributing on their local area and the area looks pretty well mapped.
You say that the places you know seem complete and it is a very good approach to start with the places you personnally know. The next question is "what to do next ?"
- first, one of the major challenge in the futur for OSM will be to keep the data up-to-date. So, always keep an eye on the places you mapped and report the changes from time to time. You might be surprises by the speed of changes in the time, especially in urban areas.
- next is to check what you consider "complete". Perhaps you are just limited to streets geometry and their names. Then check if you can improve navigation and see if you missed traffic lights, oneways, give ways, etc. Then check if you can improve localization by adding addresses. Then check if you can add the facilities (or amenities) usefull for the public or people arriving to your area like hospitals, pharmacies, doctors, schools, etc. Or what can be useful for tourism like hotels, restaurants, information points and so on.
- then, you can surely use your skills to help outside of the places you know. We have the HOT group helping to map areas after disasters. You can also fix map errors reported either by automated tools or by simple reporting tools like OpenStreetBugs. Many of them can be fixed even if you don't have the local knowledge. For instance, the geometry errors reported by OSM Inspector.
- last, you can support the community growth by helping newbies. You can use OWL, OSM Mapper or one of Change monitoring tools to watch and help newcomers in the areas you wish.

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answered 28 Oct '11, 10:10

Pieren's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

Perhaps I am lucky in this regard, that I live in a large and (relatively) sparsely populated country, although even for me the places I travel through commonly are becoming well mapped.

For the local area there are always more details that can be added. In the city I am mapping cycle routes, bicycle parking, bicycle crossings. Some people are adding house numbers to all streets in the city.

From time to time a new road is built, or something changes. A new pedestrian bridge was built over a canal in my local area. I went down there on the opening day to get some survey data.

Outside the city, some areas have Bing imagery, and so there is tracing that can be done. For areas with no Bing imagery, I am constantly annoying my wife with wanting to take a different route when we travel so that we can pass through some town that is not mapped. :)

There is always plenty to do.

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answered 25 Oct '11, 22:42

Ebenezer's gravatar image

accept rate: 9%

indeed, FWIW, being subscribed to this help in RSS, the question did interest me... LM_1 if your region indeed is exhaustively mapped you really are lucky --but check it carefully: that's what I thought myself here, and then I found that many little streets even in my own town, and far more in the villages around, are missing. And there is no harm keeping the OSM login just to update little streets from time to time ;-) Another thing you can do is improve the existing, either by adding street numbers, or all the good restaurants you know, etc. Hervé

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answered 27 Oct '11, 18:57

Herve5's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

This is an excellent question for a mailing list discussion. I suggest you post this question to the talk mailing list, or maybe even to talk-cz where there will be many people willing to share their personal stories with you.

This web site, help.openstreetmap.org, is mainly intended to find "the correct answer" to a question - not for discussion or brainstorming. See also the section titled "What kinds of questions should be avoided?" in the FAQ prominently linked in the top right corner of this page.

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answered 25 Oct '11, 22:47

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%


I have to admit that I expected this reaction. The thing is that mailing lists are just a pain in the ass. I am subscribed to both. The posts are not sorted anyhow, cannot be searched in, you have to read all or nothing, and you see everything 50 times because reactions usually contain the whole history. As if that was not enough in the talk-cz the letters with diacritic marks are all messed up.
Forum is a bit more practical, but death for the czech part and usually long discussions start (I expect each person to ideally give one answer or upvote someone else's answer). This site is ideal...

(25 Oct '11, 23:05) LM_1

Yes, it is much more convenient. "purposefully abusing" is not an accurate description of what I did by this question. Having more independent communication systems, one of them being superior to the others it is only natural to prefer that one. It is not true that this system is not suited for this kind of question. From time to time someone has to try if it can be used to its full potential. Apparently it cannot.

The question was "What to do at a certain point in 'osm career'?" Is that not a clear answerable question? What is than? It is sad to think that only technical questions are valid.

(27 Oct '11, 16:43) LM_1

There are different levels of complete, here is one impressive example http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=52.213197&lon=-0.070408&zoom=18&layers=M Personally roads, foot paths, riverbanks wooded areas and landmark buildings are the subject of my preferred edits but I'm sure the map can always be improved.

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answered 28 Oct '11, 20:22

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

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question asked: 25 Oct '11, 22:09

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last updated: 28 Oct '11, 20:23

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