After using Google Maps for quite a while, I enjoyed areas that had buildings populated on the map, Google does a very good job of this, however since Google Map Maker closed, I felt somewhat disenfranchised with their mapping system, It became a lot harder to edit their maps and the experience is just not as good as Map Maker was.
Then one day I discovered OpenStreetMaps and the simplicity of their map editor filled the hole in my heart that Map Maker left. I found that Open Street Maps iD editor was both friendly to use and better than Map Maker, the iD editor had a much more intuitive interface and the wiki made the transition generally easy and enjoyable.
As with any change, there was a little bit of a learning curve but the wiki was informative and allowed me to transition from my amateur interest in the topic of cartography into a full-blown contributor to the eco-system. I also have started using the JOSM editor a little and have found that its tools have made contributing much easier for bulk operations and mainly use the iD editor for tidy-up or casual map corrections or contributions.
Why Open Street Map?
Contributing to a closed system like Google maps was never really a problem for me using my local knowledge to correct open times and add photos to locations, but once I discovered Open Street Maps, I sort of feel like there’s no going back. There are a lot of reasons I like Open Street Map,
- Its Open, the maps can be used in any application, the license only requires that OSM is credited when your application is public. (Copyleft Attribution-Share-Alike)
- Its used in a lot of applications that I use already, updating the map on OSM will improve those applications too. 🙂
- Editing polygons seem to be a lot easier than Google Map Editor.
- Using an Open system would be preferable over something that in the future could potentially become a closed source or paid for.
I intend to update my local area, as Open Street Maps relies on community contributions it is apparent that it has not been updated in a while. Watch this space.