Newbie on a Road Trip!

Posted by Axolote on 7 August 2009 in English (English)

Hello all,
I just joined the OpenStreetMap community. In the next week, I will be venturing out on a road trip that will take me from Boulder, CO to Davis, CA, to the Los Angeles area, and then back to Boulder. I would love to take advantage of this opportunity to track my trip and upload some data to the map, but especially, to learn about the entire process of tracking, uploading data, and editing the map. I'll likely be using the built-in GPS Wayfinder in a Nokia N810 for tracking. Since I am a brand-newbie, any advice on software or hardware, or anything related to the process, is much appreciated. Thanks!

Location: Valmont Road, Boulder, Boulder County, Colorado, 80309, United States of America

Comment from Gnonthgol on 7 August 2009 at 20:27

I recomend trying JOSM, a java program for editing OSM. The editor on this page (Potlatch) is best for quick fixes.
In your area there are a lot of TIGER data that needs reviewing. Look at for tutorials on haw to do this.

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Comment from kenguest on 7 August 2009 at 21:16

you could probably use whereami or maemo mapper on the n810 for both logging tracks and for seeing what portions of the area are already in OpenStreetMap.

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Comment from 42429 on 7 August 2009 at 21:34

Welcome to our project!

Within the United States, almost all streets are already imported from government sources (TIGER). There is a very little chance to get newly built roads if they are constructed during the last two years. Currently, we are rather interested in getting road conditions than in getting tracks from U.S. highways. Are there access restrictions, speed limits or traffic lights?

Furthermore, many banks, gas stations, hotels, parking areas, restaurants and supermarkets are still missing. Uploading these amenities would help us very much.

Of course you may continue collecting tracks for personal purposes - Kosmos offers the possibility to create maps with GPX tracks. If these tracks have a long distance between two points (e.g. 100 metres), it is impossible to draw a nice roundabout or a parking aisle with them. If these tracks have a short distance between two points (e.g. 1 metre), it may be impossible to log such a long trip with one device.

If you really want to use your GPS logger in virgin territory, try rural Mexico (only with appropriate caution). Hiking in National Parks also offers the chance to get some nice tracks because footpaths are not covered by TIGER so far.

Currently we are working on closing gaps at county borders. Finding and fixing these gaps is rather a technical problem for advanced users. Adding shops is a great task for beginners because you can see these shops (banks, gas stations, hotels, restaurants) some hours later.


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Comment from AndyAyre on 7 August 2009 at 22:27

I think the easiest way to gather information like banks, gas stations, hotels, etc. is to create a GPS track log while you are taking pictures. Once you get back from your trip you can synchronize your pictures with the track log in JOSM and see exactly what business you saw where. This can then be matched with the Yahoo satellite images.

So I think collecting track logs is still useful, even on roads that are already fixed/mapped.

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