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The Riverside Estate was missing all buildings and addresses. Roads haven’t been refined for over five years.

I’ve spent 3 days of my holiday to improve the estate’s mapping.


  • Update St James’ School buildings, roads, and tags
  • Review Estate Roads
  • Build Telephone Exchange area
  • Build Cranmere Court care home building, car park, paths, green space, and fences
  • Add house buildings, tagging apartments and bungalows when necessary
  • Add garage areas and alleys
  • Add Substations
  • Review green spaces
  • Add turn-around spaces at dead ends when necessary
  • Add full addresses for all buildings
  • Review surrounding land use tags
  • Review and add footpaths


  • Add house boundary fences
  • Review surrounding common green spaces
  • Review residential area boundary
  • Review School land boundary
Location: Hythe, Colchester, Essex, England, CO2 8JS, United Kingdom


Comment from Q Oo on 22 June 2021 at 23:07


Comment from nickjohnston on 23 June 2021 at 17:09

Thanks for your efforts. It’s great to see improvements to the map like this.

I notice you’re using iD. iD is a great way of getting started with OpenStreetMap editing (without iD, I likely never would have started editing), or for making quick changes, but for adding addresses, JOSM is much better.

JOSM takes a bit of getting used to, but it’ll pay back quickly.

The buildings tool allows you to easily and quickly draw buildings or change the shape of existing ones. See Mapbox’s fast building tracing article for a good explanation.

The JOSM Terracer plugin is a huge time-saver for adding terraced houses to the map, or even splitting buildings containing two semi-detached houses. You draw the outline for the whole terrace (rather than for all the houses) and then “terrace” that by entering the start and end numbers.

Another really useful tool in JOSM for address mapping is the “coloured streets” style. It colour codes buildings and the street they’re on (addr:street) in the same colour, letting you easily see at a glance which buildings do not have an addr:street or may have an incorrect addr:street. See also my diary entry about the coloured streets style.

JOSM’s validator can also help spot mistakes, like accidentally duplicating a house number on a street.

Rory McCann made a useful video showing some advanced building mapping tricks for JOSM.

I’ve also been adding lots of addresses in Cheltenham and without JOSM it would take many times longer, and the results wouldn’t be as good.

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