Hey all,

Reasonably long time member, but only pretty recently getting into any real mapping. So after trying Google maps Android app lately, I was struck by how mind alteringly useful it is being able to look up local businesses and have their website, opening hours and phone number available, so I’ve been trying to find a workflow for quickly getting this same info into OSM wherever I go.

For adding stores, the OSM editing plugin does a great job with an interface that lets you search for appropriate tags, and often to not even need to know what tag to use because they have a field there. The main problem is that while it’s great for adding a new store, that there doesn’t seem to be any way to edit it, so if you make even a single mistake… you’ll need to find another way to fix it.

That let me to Vespucci. The current version in Fdroid crashes when trying to bring up the edit tags dialoge. An email to the dev revealed that they basically grabbed a random code snapshot, compiled it and threw it in. Getting the actual latest release fixed this nicely. Vespucci is fabulous for being able to add any tag or detail you want. It also has a nice, if sometimes quirky set of presets where if you choose, say “restaurant” it will add all the appropriate tags for a restaurant for you to fill out. Currently it’s my favorite all ‘round tool, although with great power, often comes not being quite so quick for little edits, such as just adding a node with a street number. It still feels a bit clunky in much the same way that potlatch felt, compared to iD, but I really was impressed with how much I could do with a mobile interface though, including modifying relations, creating areas and more.

Wanting to add street numbers quickly (while walking the dog down the street) led me to Key Mapper 3. Nice and fast interface that does one thing and does it (pretty) well. Just type a street number and hit a left / right / forward arrow to say where that house is in relation to you. I do wish it had a “+1”, “+2”, “-1”,”-2” buttons as typing in the same first 2 digits for every 4 digit house number gets old fast. That’s a pretty small niggle though.

What’s a huge niggle (if there can be such a thing) is that once you have recorded the data, there’s no quick way to add it to osm. You have to email it to yourself, and then figure out how to import multiple files (a gpx and a gsm for each session) into another application, which you then need to figure out how to recreate the nodes it created for upload into osm. Eventually I figured out it was pretty easy in JOSM, but I really would have liked to not have to mess around with a desktop app after getting home. I really want something that lets me just quickly add numbers while I’m out and be done with it.

Anyway, I’m having fun, and getting a lot of stores added in with addresses (inc the whole shopping mall below), phone numbers, websites and opening hours. I’m pretty poud of that as a new user. Now if I can just find a comprehensive phone solution for quickly adding street numbers I’ll be a happy mapper!


PS Does anyone know how to find who’s making the most recent changes in your area? I’d love to meet some other local OSM’ers!

Location: Clarkson, Mississauga, Peel Region, Golden Horseshoe, Ontario, L5J 2Y4, Canada

Comment from AndiG88 on 13 March 2014 at 07:36

PS Does anyone know how to find who’s making the most recent changes in your area? I’d love to meet some other local OSM’ers!

Comment from dazzlingjay on 13 March 2014 at 13:46

Also while in editing with iD check out the history tab to see the change sets near you.

Comment from dazzlingjay on 13 March 2014 at 14:12

Can you please explain how you imported the data using JOSM?

Comment from Nakaner on 13 March 2014 at 17:53

Hi Sa3dany,

Can you please explain how you imported the data using JOSM?

KPM = Keypad Mapper 3

  1. Download the area where you walked as usual.
  2. Create a new layer in JOSM using File -> New Layer. Then load the OSM file which has been created by KPM (you do not have to email it, just load it via USB onto your computer). At the same time you can also open the GPX file (it will be placed at a different layer automatically).
  3. Switch between both OSM layers (the one from the API and the KPM layer) and place the address nodes in the middle of the buildings (you can use Bing or another image service, too).
  4. Add street, city, postcode etc. to the nodes at the KPM layer.
  5. Delete all those nodes at the KPM layer which you do not want to upload (because of typing errors, already existing data in OSM etc.).
  6. Mark all nodes at KPM layer and delete the date tag KPM has created.
  7. Merge both OSM layers by right-clicking at the KPM layer in the layer manager at the right and choose “merge layer”.
  8. If there are already building outlines, copy the tags from the nodes to the building outlines. The shortcuts are Ctrl+C and Ctrl+Shift+V. I have changed them to I (for input) and O (for output). :-)
  9. Delete all those nodes whose tags you have copied onto the building outlines.
  10. Upload the merged layer.

I use the GPX KPM created to evaluate the GPS accuracy of the created nodes.

Best regards,


Comment from dazzlingjay on 13 March 2014 at 22:51

Thank you for the detailed guide :)

Comment from RoadLessTraveled on 15 March 2014 at 12:25

@AndiG88 - Thanks! Exactly what I was looking for!

@Sa3dany - In JOSM I’m just doing file > open and opening the osm file using the new layer option.

@Michael - I’m finding that the accuracy of the location in KPM is pretty horrific. Often it’s hard to even tell which side of the street the node is meant to be on. Occasionally I’ve gone down the same street twice and created the same house numbers twice, and the nodes are often 30 meters apart. It takes me a long time to go in and manually recreate all the nodes, correcting the locations as best I can.

Is this normal in your experience with KPM? I have no problems with GPS location accuracy when using Osmand or Google Maps or Vespucci.

Comment from TeleTommy on 19 March 2014 at 15:13

My hint for the other way around: If your added data are available in OSM, you can use to find places around you.

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