Links to Getting Started With OpenStreetMap
OpenStreetMap wiki - all documentation and reference information lies here
Beginners' Guide to contributing
Map Features - all the different types of features that can be recorded on the map
New Zealand-specific wiki pages
LINZ - page about the LINZ data import process
The hardest part of OSM is learning editors, and finding the best one to work for you. For most, the default in-browser Potlatch 2 editor is the best to start with, but as you progress, you may want to get familiar with JOSM, or possibly Merkaartor. You can find a brief comparison of the editors here.
Potlatch 2 - the default, in-browser, flash-based editor
JOSM - Java OpenStreetMap editor, the first standalone editor to try
Cloudmade Downloads - all countries available here. New Zealand - lots of options including OSM, Adobe Illustrator, Garmin IMG, shapefile and more. Note that these are not always the most up-to-date maps.
Questions and Answers
A couple of quick questions that I received recently
How easy is it to sign up and submit an edit and have it accepted?
It is very easy to sign up - just like any other website. Here is the brief OSM wiki page on joining.
As to submitting an edit, or creating new data, that is a little harder, and it depends on which editor you're using, and what type of data you're working with. If you're using something simple like the browser-based Potlatch 2 editor, adding a new point (e.g. a point of interest) can be as simple as dragging the relevant icon onto the map. That's it. The OSM Wiki is the definitive source of wiki based information.
Can you point to an example of some edits you've made?
Sure. Some recent tracks included are:
* New walking track near Mapua
* Parts of new walking track near Tasman
* Another short track near Tasman
* Part of the St James Cycleway - I note there is a little bit missing that I need to fix.
And you're unlikely to find some of these on Google Maps or LINZ topos