Open Street Map


Jun 16, 2012
Has anyone ever played around with Open Street Map? It's basically an open source map that is user editable. There are several apps for smartphones that use these maps, and I think they're very useful.

And, of course, I'm just map-nerdy enough to want to work on adding to the map. Unfortunately, the software is terribly confusing, and my eyes very quickly glaze over every time I try to learn how to use it. So I was just wondering if anyone else has tried editing the map or if anyone wants to start trying to learn how to edit the map with me.

The biggest thing I would like to do is add hiking trails to the map. It's got a lot of trails already, but, man, we all sure hike a lot of trails, and it should be terribly easy to get them all added to this map, which would make them accessible on smartphone GPS apps.
cool, didn't know that. I purchased gaia for my phone after my gps failed and am planning on using that temporarily. seems to work pretty well
I'm thinking about chunking the GPS in favor of Gaia. I said I would never do that, but now I'm considering it.
They've finally made it a lot more user-friendly to edit the open source maps. You can now go to, create an account, and then edit with an in-browser editor. I've added three lakes today, and it's cool to watch them magically appear on the maps on the webpage, in Gaia, and in Motion-X on my phone in just a few minutes.

I finally figured out the process for adding trails with GPS tracks, too. They let you upload the track and then you have to trace over it with the draw tool. This seems like extra work, but it makes sense because it helps keep people from adding a road or trail that someone else has already added.

If you keep GPS track logs of your hikes on trails then you can really contribute to the open source map. I'm going to be nerdy enough to really get into this, I'm afraid.