How can we add more data to OpenStreetMaps easily?

File:OSM Logo.svg

When exploring on creating maps in Tamil using OpenSteetMaps found that the current data available on OSM is not equivalent with Google Maps.

We can not copy data from Google Maps and import to OSM as it is a big copyright violation. Yes. We dont have control over the data for the area where we live.

We can do the following.

  1. Look for the data sources who may have the data about the streets, villages, cities. I think think the government departments like Postal, Revenue,Rural development, Public Works may have these data. How can we ask them to share the data in public? Will a RTI help on this? Do you have contacts with the leads of these dept? Please help to get map data from them.
  2. Add the data manually. Edit OSM just like how we are adding content to wikipedia. Drawing roads, marking important places is easy. Watch the below video for a demo.

    By this way, we can add any data manually, edit, improve the existing data. But editing on the browser is not possible for many.

    It will be nice if we have a mobile app to add data to OSM. When I had a smartphone, few years ago, searched for a OSM mobile app. Cant find any app, which helped to edit OSM.

    I dont use smartphone nowadays.

    If you have a smartphoe, can you search for the apps, which can help to edit the OSM easily?

    The app should be very simple. The user should should open the app. It should capture the latitude, longitude from its GPS or mobile tower. Then it should ask for the name of the building,  building number, type of the place, street name, area name,city name, if required a photo, etc. Once the user entered these data, it should be synced on OSM. Contribution should very simple as filling few forms only.

    If we have such app, we can create communities/volunteers to add data to OSM with their smartphones. Just open app, fill data. They are done.

If there is no such easy editing app for OSM, it is high time to create such one. If you are a mobile developer, please create such app and help to build the Openstreetmaps as content rich.

Wondering how the Google, Apple, Bing maps collected data. What kind of mobile app they used, what ate the data they collected. If you have worked for these maps, please share more details about them. It will help a lot.

There may be other easier, better ways to add data to OSM. Please share the details or connect with the communities.

Let us build content rich Open Street Maps.


Image source :  – CC-BY-SA








4 thoughts on “How can we add more data to OpenStreetMaps easily?

  1. yes OSM needs contribution, rich contribution from us. here my few tips :
    1. if u are a PC user, use JOSM or iD
    2. if u are smartphone user (then u have a survey instrument with you.. 🙂 – use :
    { Geopaparazzi + OSMAnd + OSMTracker + Brouter + TransitWant + TrafficProbe + GTFS offline } android app. set. + optional {mapillary phone holder + bicycle}
    3. if u dont have smart phone : use bicycle + arduino/bbb/pi with GPS shield with JOSM or iD to upload gpx tracks and edit from there.
    4. if u like wikipedia, then please go and relate wikidata, with osm district boundary line, & wikipedia articles. as shown here… (i learned from wikipedians and osmers.)

  2. 🙂
    two more points :

    5. if u like gis stuff, then use osgeo-foss tools like grass, qgis, + plugins as here. :
    6. If u are an RTI activist, then please do the needful to collect transport schedule data, village boundary data, etc…. from the authorities. Ask them to release under natinoal open data policy approved and gazetted by gov. of India.
    For further exploration… about what one can do with open data, maps, and other awesome stuff.. please do go here…

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