Attila Kun

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So, what is OpenStreetMap? To take it simple: it's wikipedia but with maps. The aim is similar to Wikipedia's but here also a thing: you can use its data for creative and commercial stuff. Cool, isn't it? Google, Apple maps don't allow you to reuse their content in any means (it's in their terms).

Table of Contents

  1. When did I find OpenStreetMap?
  2. Why do I prefer OpenStreetMap?
  3. How can you contribute to OpenStreetMap?
  4. Where do I edit in OSM?
  5. Asking for help, contact with your local communities

When did I find OpenStreetMap?

In 2015. I was doing something on the internet, and saw a map called "OpenStreetMap", and when I saw that my area is really empty, I was like "I really need to fix this real quick", so I did it. My mom likes the idea behind it, though she still uses Gmaps. (since in Hungary there's a HUGE lack of addresses yet, even if as of June 29, 2021 it's still only 10.5% done according to osm-gimmisn)

Why do I prefer OpenStreetMap?

Because I can freely edit and reuse its content without getting copyright striked.

In case of Google Maps, i hate using it for searching POIs (Point Of Interests), because in my area there are some fake ones and i can't modify them, because Google "wants photographic evidence" for everything. Also, it doesn't allow you to copy from their service any data (see 3.2.3 at Google Maps terms)

Meanwhile, OSM doesn't require you for taking photos from things, instead, it's suggested to give something as a source and be trustworthy. You just upload the data and that's all(if you want, you can ask for review but it's not suggested, since people usually neglect it). Sometimes OSM is more accurate than its rivals(Google, Waze, Here Maps etc.), mappers usually do a fantastic job, like in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark for example.

Sources usually include as: local knowledge (you know the particular area), survey (you surveyed that area once), aerial imagery, GPX tracks, notes (on OSM if there is something that is missing, you can make a map note), geotagged images.

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How can you contribute to OpenStreetMap?

There's a tons of means of making OSM better. This includes online/offline editors, on-site surveying applications, mobile editing apps etc. Note, that most of the apps require you an OSM account (except one but you'll see)

If I can grade how I can suggest apps for contributing, that would be the following:

In summary: StreetComplete is for beginners, iD editor if you want to dig more deep, and JOSM for enthusiasts (and keypad mapper if you want proper and fast surveying of house numbers).

I didn't talk about other apps, because i don't use those (there is Vespucci, Potlatch too).

Where do I edit in OSM?

I edited mostly in Hungary, and USA, but I did some edits in Slovakia and Romania too. (btw, I've been to Slovakia in Ĺ ahy)

My wiki page contains the places exactly i contributed to in Hungary and USA. But if you wanna see it on a map, see "Your OSM heat map".

Asking for help, contact with your local communities

I imagine you're a newbie, you want to ask for help, because you want to make OSM better.

The best ways I'd suggest is to join either the talk-us mailing list, or joining OSMUS Slack instance, OSM World Discord, even there is a telegram group for that. (OSMUS has a FB group too: OSM US) Or even you write me an email, but think through what help do you need. Even if i'm experienced, i sometimes learn something new in OSM.

The Slack community is big and they're always happy to see new members, especially that USA needs more mappers, since despite the fact that US is a huge country, the number of mappers are still not enough, just an example, in West Virginia there are only <5 active mappers (iirc 3) plus one which is me(although i'm helping with the landcover mapping), which doesn't sound good. (funny but I think Nebraska has less active mappers that i know of, some states are neglected a lot)

Since I'm from Hungary, the Hungarian OSM community seems like to be in a better position, since we got around 10+ active mappers, but it's still far from the best.

If you're Hungarian, you can join the Hungarian Matrix instance hosted by Grin, the link will lead you to the OSM Hungary room, but that instance contains more rooms like Wikipedia, Ubuntu Hour etc.

But also there is a Hungarian mailing list and OSM Hungary facebook group.