You’ll be mapping in minutes: learning OpenStreetMap with LearnOSM

Blog Post created by pjstewart1984 on Feb 14, 2016

Eager to begin mapping for Missing Maps and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), I, today, finally learned how to map with OpenStreetMap (OSM). As quick and easy as the process was, I am left wondering why I hadn’t already!

Learning to map with OSM took 10 minutes. Allow me to briefly document the process.

Start the clock:  the LearnOSM beginner’s guide

LearnOSM is OSM’s step-by-step guide to learning OSM. The LearnOSM beginner’s guide introduces OSM and walks beginners through editing with the OSM iD Editor.

First, take a few moments to read through the beginner’s guide’s introduction to OSM. It’s brief and communicates all the essentials.

3 minutes:  create an OSM account

To edit, one must have an OSM account. On the OSM website, click “sign up” (or, alternatively, click here). Then it’s a case of email address, username, password and verification.

5 minutes:  the LearnOSM iD Editor walk-through

In no time, you’ll be working with the useful and usable LearnOSM iD Editor walk-through. The interactive LearnOSM iD Editor walk-through guides beginners through editing with OSM’s iD Editor (for a written walk-through, consult the LearnOSM beginner’s guide’s iD Editor page). Upon completion of the LearnOSM iD Editor walk-through, you’ll know how to

  • Start and navigate iD Editor;
  • Configure OSM’s background layer;
  • Add points, lines and polygons;
  • And save your contribution.

8 minutes:  your first edit

My first edit:  the playground I played in as a child. The ambition:  to make Bradshaw the most comprehensively mapped village in Albion (you’re next bowling green!)!

10 minutes:  save your edit

Remember to save your edit!

And that, as they say, is that. From 0 to saved edit in 10 minutes! Simple!

Future posts will document my opening gambits with OSM map design, JOSM detailed editing and my progression through the courses offered within the HOT Training Center.

All the best.