OpenStreetMap

Now that the weather is more welcoming, i.e. dry, I’ve gone back to mapping walking and hiking trails in my area. I had done that before, either added the trail completely new as a relation with all that’s included, sometimes just added the trail markers, where the trail was already mapped. Most times, I try to do mapillary as well, sometimes just with the phone, sometimes with a 360° camera.

Today, I went to map the O’Gorman’s Lane Loop which is only a 4km walk (that is if you don’t get lost…), but it meets another, longer trail which was already mapped. But anyway, I ran into an American couple, Don and Kim who are exploring Ireland on rented motorbikes, but are also avid hikers and have hiked across the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland etc. Don was telling me that he has this app maps.me which shows all the trails and it’s free! And I said, well, it’s people like me who add those trails to OpenStreetMap which in turn adds it to your app. We parted ways, but I had a suspicion that I would run into them again after in the only café in the village. And I did. I walked up to them and gave him an openstreetmap.ie sticker (always handy in any bag I carry around). Once I had taken off my backpack, he could see the “OpenStreetMap surveyor” on my high viz vest, and the penny dropped. He had loads of questions and all the right ones, so I joined their table and chatted away with him.

He said that he wanted to map all the benches along the Camino. :D (We had noticed earlier that there are never enough benches along hiking trails in Ireland.) He also wants his name on one of those benches, and I explained that those little plaques can be added to OSM as well. He was very impressed, I think. They wanted to pay for my scone, but I had already paid. But we decided to share a taxi back, even though I would have been fine on the bus, and had told them about the bus as well.

He might look into it and become a mapper himself, who knows…It’s much easier to “convert” an OSM user into a mapper (even if they don’t know it’s OSM material), I would think.

PS: Videos about how to map hiking trails on my YouTube channel


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