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Mapper since:
April 19, 2014

Connect with the community!

What is OpenStreetMap?

  • OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a world-wide collaborative project aiming at providing free map data, under an open license, to anyone who wants it. Volunteers all over the planet, like you, contribute their local knowledge and their time to build the best map ever. The data in OpenStreetMap is as diverse as its contributors; it serves motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, seafarers and canoeists alike.
  • You can map much more than just streets. Building outlines, landcover, waterways, railways and civilisation amenities have their place in the database, down to individual trees, opening times of shops, or even indoor building layouts. Wheelmap helps people with disabilities, Niantic uses OSM data for Pokemon Go, and Kurviger can show routes for motorcyclists that are more curvy and outside of residential areas. There are many more examples how the data you contribute is used.

Isn’t mapping complicated?

No. The world of OpenStreetMap consists of three basic elements. Points (nodes), lines (ways) and areas. They get their values through so called tags (like name=Στέκι Μεταναστών). For example,

How can I edit?

  • We have two main editors for mapping with a PC. iD and JOSM. JOSM is an advanced standalone editor but it might be better to have some experience before you begin mapping with it.
  • To map with your (Android) mobile phone you can use ** StreetComplete You answer questions and edit things that are already mapped. ** OsmAnd - you have to enable the OSM editing plugin ** Organic Maps ** Cityzenapp ** Vespucci There are also OSM editors for Apple phones. Please note that all the apps above are created and maintained by community members or companies.

What are some “unwritten” rules?

  • Don’t copy from other maps or websites.
  • Map what’s on the ground.
  • Have a look in the Wiki, many tags are described there.
  • Copy from other parts of the world, where something is already mapped. Germany is mapped in great detail.

  • Ask! Other mappers will help you, ask on or on country-specific OSM mailing lists and IRC channels
  • Don’t use the name tag to describe the object. For example, name=bench, instead use amenity=bench. Use tags to classify objects instead of name. Name should only be used for features with actual names, like buildings or restaurants.

What is considered good mapping?

  • Good Practice tips
  • Good Changeset comments
  • Connect footways with streets. Only things that are connected can be used for routing.
  • Don’t connect landuses with streets. It’s hard to change something afterwards and also confusing.
  • Square buildings.
  • Check if the satellite layer is misaligned. Compare the satellite layer with existing streets and gps traces.
  • Don’t delete stuff. First ask the mapper why he did something the way he did. Maybe you just have old satellite data.

What else?

How can I help besides mapping?

Sources: OSMF leaflet, reddit post


Reminder to myself to check:

Monitoring Greece:

Improving Greece:


Assess what might be potential errors

Help new mappers


Usage checks

Easy custom maps with OSM background

Find mappers near you

Other tools

OSM wiki

Dump for offline use


Switch to OSM


Cycling, Hiking, MTB, inline skating, horse riding


OSM Contributors’ analysis tools





Art (non-tangible)


For travellers

OSM and haikus

Translating OpenStreetMap

Not properly categorised POIs

Personal POIs added by mistake?




~2016 OSM snapshot