Making OSM more widely known

Posted by NZGraham on 18 July 2014 in English (English)

Quite often I have been 'spotted' while out mapping and have got into conversations with local business owners. I want to allay their suspicions when they see me wandering along service alleys and taking photos of their premises. I explain what I am doing and tell them a bit about OSM mentioning that I will be adding their business details to the map.

Once I have done the editing and seen the results show up on the map I usually email the business and send them a link to the appropriate part of the map. I also mention that their details will appear on "Osmand – the associated Android app"

Does anyone else do this?

In my email should I be saying something like "OpenStreetMap -the free, open source, alternative to Google Maps" or is that perhaps being too pointed?

What about referring to embedding OSM on their website if they have one? I've generally avoided this as I'm not tech savvy enough to answer any questions which may arise.

Suggestions, comments welcome!

Comment from dieterdreist on 18 July 2014 at 13:08

I think referring to googleMaps and pointing out osm as free alternative is fine, because that's a product (almost) everyone is familiar with and you don't have to explain a lot

Comment from lib2know on 18 July 2014 at 17:03

Hi Graham, hi Dieter,

great idea to tell the businesses by mail they are mentioned on OSM. I will do the same in the future.

In my area the OSM Maps look already better than the Google Maps. So i won't make Advertisement for "the Google". Besides that i see no need to mention foreign trademarks which can cause problems and gains no profit.

cheers lib2know

Comment from stragu on 19 July 2014 at 07:35

Good to read about your experience. I might do just that next time this happens! Good way to advertise!

I don't think mentioning Google Maps is necessary either, as it is not a great thing to be compared to them for different reasons. I believe they are two pretty similar-looking projects but they have different aims and uses.

Comment from LeeMeister on 19 July 2014 at 16:35

I'm not sure where you folks are located, but I'm in the U.S., and OSM in my area needs quite a bit of updating, and really needs to have its profile raised. I actually contract with Google, and the more I have worked with them and their map-related products, the more convinced I become that while Google has a great deal of brand recognition, they don't have the love for cartography and the people who benefit from it like OSM people do.

I've become a huge fan of OSM, and I now spend my efforts refining it rather than adding trails to my favorite places on Google Mapmaker. In the future I hope to bring even more useful contact and plug it into OSM as a great value add to consumers and local businesses alike. I'm glad OSM has been so successful abroad, and I hope that one day everyone here in the US will come around to it as well! I think that explaining that OSM is the free, open source alternative to Google Maps is a perfect way of explaining yourself here in the U.S. The SEO benefits are well worth it for the business owner, and one that I may begin doing as part of my whole effort to help businesses deal with the plethora of business listings out there.

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