New to OpenStreetMap

Posted by GMHeyes on 26 February 2012 in English (English)

I have only just joined, to be honest I didnt know it existed until a couple of days ago, I heard about it via a GPS forum, it is fantastic and I am really impressed. I have changed a couple of local POI and added a missing road so far, as I get out and about with my GPSr I will be adding more to the map!

Location: Gatley, Greater Manchester, North West England, England, SK8 4PD, United Kingdom

Comment from c2r on 26 February 2012 at 09:20

Welcome (o:

Comment from GMHeyes on 26 February 2012 at 10:23

Thanks, what GPSr did you end up with?

Comment from robert on 26 February 2012 at 15:09

Great stuff. The Manchester area could do with a lot of help.

Comment from robert on 26 February 2012 at 15:10

(I have an old yellow eTrex (pre-H) and a BT747A+)

Comment from GMHeyes on 26 February 2012 at 16:20

I dont know about the Manchester area, but I could do with some help I using this! Are there any useful video tutorials anywhere showing you how to add things, like water features for instance? There are some I could add but I wouldnt know where to start!

Comment from AndrewBuck on 26 February 2012 at 17:02

The way you add everything is the same, you click around the border of the object and either make a long line for roads and rivers, or you make a closed loop around the perimeter of lakes, forests, etc.

In the online editor the bar on the left side where you enter the information about objects has two buttons on the bottom, 'simple' and 'advanced'. If you click to the advanced tab you will see that all the information is just entered as key value pairs, so for example a city street has a key of 'highway' and a value of 'residential'; when we are talking about this we write it as highway=residential.

Knowing this the best way to find the tags you want is either looking on the wiki or by searching on taginfo to see what other people are using or finally, by just looking at existing objects in the map editor itself.

For adding lakes you will want to add natural=water, rivers and streams are waterway=river and waterway=stream respectively. Also, whenever you trace something from satellite imagery it is a good idea to add a source tag (most likely source=Bing) so that we know where the info comes from. Then if we find out there was a problem with the imagery (maybe it was aligned wrong) it is easy to hunt down what needs to be changed, in addition to providing credit to the imagery provider.


Comment from GMHeyes on 26 February 2012 at 17:55

Thanks' thats a great help ;)

Comment from joakimfors on 26 February 2012 at 20:41

Yeah, is a good starting point. It's also good to look at how things have been mapped at other locations. Subscribing to the local/country mailing list ( is also a good idea and good place to ask questions.

As we say in Sweden: hurry slowly. :)

Comment from Anna_AG on 1 March 2012 at 00:48

There is no doubt there is a learning curve, and procedures to follow. I think the key thing is not to be too worried about making mistakes, particularly if you are working and contributing to a part of the map that needs and will benefit from your input.

The key I found when starting was that one often returns to parts of the map you edited when you were just starting and correct omissions / mistakes that you made as you find out more about the process.

Also, look / inspect with Josm / potlatch high density areas like London where a lot of mappers have worked and reviewed each other's work - look at the data they are adding to POIs, roads etc and follow the examples as best you can.

OSM editing has come a very long way in just a couple of years with JOSM integrating BING imagery, a plethora of free tools for downloading GPS data ( GPS Babel ) , handy tools such as walking papers - free maps for Garmin ( ) and all the other devices.

Have fun, ask questions directly to individual members or on the diary / wiki

cheers bri

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