Mapper since: February 12, 2016
Hi! My name is Tyler and I migrated to OSM in early 2016 after Google Map Maker bit the dust and left me with an itch I couldn’t otherwise scratch. After making thousands of edits to my hometown of Springfield, IL in Map Maker, I was shocked to see just how poorly it was represented in OSM. So, I decided to change that… and then some. It’s probably the most detailed city in central Illinois now and I take a lot of pride in that. Some people have model trainsets or zen gardens - OSM is that kind of obsessive hobby for me.
I didn’t start with a plan (and still don’t necessarily have one) but the first order of business was replicating the edits I’d made in Map Maker, like incorrect street names or businesses that had moved or closed. After that I went through the Springfield Park District’s website and added every park in the area, many of which I didn’t even know existed until then. I think one of the greatest benefits of mapping your town in OSM is that you end up learning so much about it that you wouldn’t otherwise. As a result I now have a weird, preternatural knowledge of my city that kinda freaks people out when it emerges in random conversation. You can name a random street and I almost always know exactly where it is.
These days I tend to rotate my focus just to keep things fresh. Sometimes I’ll narrow it to a single neighborhood or street and micromap the heck out of it (fire hydrants, street lamps, traffic signs, etc.), other times I’ll pop over to other central Illinois cities that don’t get much love and try to spruce them up a bit. There is always something to work on, more detail to add.