Mapping in OpenStreetMap

The first step of the management process is to ensure that the area being considered is suitably mapped in OpenStreetMap. Mapping using satellite imagery is not particularly difficult to learn, but good mapping requires a lot of patience. Depending on the country and the area considered, some or all of the area may have been mapped in the past. If the mapping exists it is sometimes of high quality and up to date, or unfortunately, so badly done or out of date that multiple corrections and additions are necessary. In many cases previous mappers will have concentrated on one feature-- buildings, roads or residential areas, and considerable mapping may be necessary to fill in the blanks.

This project is designed for collecting planning data for relatively small residential areas, so the best bet for a beginning mapper is to concentrate on buildings, roads and the boundaries of the residential areas. Ideally the mapping will be done by mappers who know the area, but much of the existing OpenStreetMaps mapping has been done by volunteers from other countries or even continents. For experienced mappers the features to be mapped-- rivers, coastline, agricultural areas, etc. is limited only by the quality of the imagery. A word of warning, the OSM data is often one or two years out of date. This is not usually a serious problem, as in most cases there is little change in buildings, roads and residential boundaries each year. Once a project has begun it is possible for workers on the ground to update the maps by visually verifying the situation on the ground.

The link under "References" in the column to the left goes a separate page containing links to information on OpenStreetMaps, and to training for beginners. Note that it is necessary to join OpenStreetMaps to create maps and to download data, but membership is free.

Copyright 1998/2021 GRI Updated 15 March 2021