Just took myself on a little North American OSM adventure as a spinoff to alexz recent diary entry about lodging roads in Canada (

Nice to see so much data in the US, but it struck me how you can actually see off the OSM data how well developed/organized/privileged a country is. It is really apparent when following the Mexican/US border that Mexico is only sporadically mapped, in contrast to the areas just over the border which has a lot more coverage.

An interesting spot is around the bi-national area El Paso/Ciudad Juárez at (more info at Here some cross-border mapping has been done, but it doesn't stretch far into Mexico.

Being European having done no US-traveling at all, I don't know much about the Mexican/US tensions or conflicts. But from the map and geography I would reckon this whole area could be a rather interesting cultural exchange point.
Even though the mainstream press has it's focus on the very unsafe situation in Ciudad Juárez aka. City of the Dead (, more local voices seems much more relaxed about this for the ordinary traveller(

Think this area deserves a place on my 'want-to-visit' list.

Thank you to all OSM contributors for making this virtual adventure possible!

Denmark, Europe

Location: El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, United States

Comment from netman55 on 19 January 2011 at 17:01

The difference seen here is mainly due to the availability of TIGER data to populate the US landscape where Mexico does not

Comment from mikini on 19 January 2011 at 18:15

Yeah, I know that TIGER accounts for a lot. But still the amount of freely (or PD like TIGER) available data to import into OSM, is also an indicator of how advanced/free/organized the community is.


Comment from 26eb5473101d742b174d730717409668 on 19 January 2011 at 18:37

You do know that the fact that there are NO free geodata available in the UK is the reason why Openstreetmap was started, right?

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