When I started out with OSM (around 2011) there were no satellite data I could use with OSM around where I live. If I wanted to map something it always meant going out in the field, and often estimating distances between things in order to get a fairly complete picture of, say, a residential area. I would add a mark in my GPS where a residential area started, and estimate how “deep” the gardens were, in order to be able to draw the residential area in JOSM.
As the years have gone by, OSM have become more popular, both in terms of mappers but also in number of end-users. At the same time there has been an ongoing trend to publish more geographical data as open data. So one day I found fairly decent satellite imagery in JOSM for my main mapping area. I was glad to see that my guesswork was, on average, not too bad.
Recently both the swedish road administration and the land survey has released vector data as CC0, making it possible to use import it into OSM. This in itself is a good thing. However, for me the mapping work has more and more become armchair mapping; drawing areas on top of satellite imagery or editing shapefiles to match OSM tags. Though I like to see the results after having uploaded a large edit, I must admit that it makes the mapping work a bit boring. It’s a bit more like administration, which I have always found a bit dull. Or like being stuck indoors a beatiful summer day…
So, my dear mapping friends, don’t forget to go outside and map the real world. Grab your GPS, put on your walking (or biking!) shoes and boldly go where someone probably has been before, and discover and map all that the world has to offer! The mapping adventure is just outside the door!