Getting Started With OpenStreetMap - 2012 edition

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Getting Started With OpenStreetMap - 2012 edition

Postby rediguana » 19-02-2012 16:18

Yes, this is going to be the thread for discussing contributing to OpenStreetMap, particularly in light of Geocaching.com's recent announcement to change to OSM derived data. I'll try and add relevant links to OSM documentation to get started, as well as Q&A.

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
New Zealand
North Island
South Island
LINZ - page about the LINZ data import process

Editors
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
Merkaartor

Downloads
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 ;)
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Re: Getting Started With OpenStreetMap - 2012 edition

Postby stretch » 19-02-2012 18:40

Is there a way to port all the vector data from the [url=gwprojects.org/forum]NZ Open GPS Map project[/url] to OSM? I regularly update NZOGPS from vector data I extract from OSM, but there are areas well mapped in NZOGPS but not OSM, and it would be great if the two were linked.
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Re: Getting Started With OpenStreetMap - 2012 edition

Postby rediguana » 19-02-2012 19:41

stretch wrote:... but there are areas well mapped in NZOGPS but not OSM, and it would be great if the two were linked.


There was/is supposed to be a combined LINZ+NZOGPS roads import to OSM. I am not sure of the current state of this. This was being coordinated on the NZ Open GIS email list. Some details are also available on the LINZ import page. Best bet would be to join the email list, and ask where the import is at. I haven't seen many posts recently on activity.

Long (long) term, I hope that OSM can eventually become the repository for the likes of NZ Open GPS maps, and Zenbu, so that we don't have to duplicate effort, or bother with import/export or data synchronisation issues. But we're nowhere near ready for that yet ;)

Last time I talked with Gary and Graeme, there were issues around the data stored in OSM and its suitability to be used in OSM, but I expect that is changing somewhat as OSM extends the routing capabilities (1, 2).

For those that are interested, there is also quite a bit of information about making Garmin maps from OSM data.
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Re: Getting Started With OpenStreetMap - 2012 edition

Postby ags » 20-02-2012 07:22

rediguana wrote:
stretch wrote:... but there are areas well mapped in NZOGPS but not OSM, and it would be great if the two were linked.


There was/is supposed to be a combined LINZ+NZOGPS roads import to OSM. I am not sure of the current state of this. This was being coordinated on the NZ Open GIS email list. Some details are also available on the LINZ import page. Best bet would be to join the email list, and ask where the import is at. I haven't seen many posts recently on activity.


It's pretty much as I said in a post on the Geocaching section of this forum

There has been efforts to port the LINZ maps to OSM over the last few years. The effort has been dogged by legal doubts rather than technical difficulties. It appears that the latest legal hurdle (OSM license change) has been cleared, but now the technical lead people have lost interest, and some new blood would probably be a help.


To give a bit more background: The Chatham Islands were done as a test case for the LINZ import (Have a look at them - they are impressive). The intention was then to move onto mainland NZ with the LINZ import. Some of the minor features on the LINZ layers (such as caves & dams from memory) have been imported to OSM.

Then the politics around the OSM licence change got in the way. Since then LINZ have given their blessing to the licence change, so the import could proceed again.

Another interesting area is the DOC tracks. A few years ago I got written permission to add the DOC tracks data (made available by DOC and on the Koordinates website) to OSM. Details are on the OSM wiki. Generally the tracks have been GPS surveyed by DOC staff, giving a much higher accuracy than the LINZ data. On the downside the GPS traces are often very raw, and need a lot of manual cleaning up.

I have imported Tongariro, Egmont & Nelson Lakes National Parks, plus various minor parks into OSM from the DOC data. I tend to only add parks that I am personally familiar with, so there is plenty more scope for others to add in their local areas.
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