OpenStreetMap is an editable map of the whole world, which is being built largely from scratch, and released with an open content license.
The OpenStreetMap License allows free (or almost free) access to our map images and all of our underlying map data, and the project aims to promote new and interesting uses of this data. See FAQ for more details about why we want an open content map, and the answer to our most frequently asked question "Why not just use google maps?"
Browsing our map is easy. Have a look around and see what you think of our coverage and detail. Over the years we've progressed quite spectacularly, achieving various mapping milestones. People and commercial companies have already begun putting this data to good use, and in many countries, for many uses, OpenStreetMap is a viable alternative to other map providers. However the map isn't finished yet. The world is a big place. How does your neighbourhood look?
This is not just a software project. We are getting out from behind our computer screens and surveying the towns and countryside to create our maps. This is very much a community mapping effort. We use wiki-style collaborative editing software to support this, which means that our maps will keep growing bigger and better. If you have a GPS unit you can contribute any tracks you have recorded. We are also able to derive maps from Bing Aerial Imagery. You can start editing our maps straight away using the online "iD" editor, or download the JOSM desktop application.
A lot of software development work is taking this project in many different directions. As mentioned above, we have created various map editing tools. In fact OpenStreetMap is powered by open source software from the slippy map interface, down to the underlying data access API (a web service interface for reading and writing map data). There is lots of scope for sub-projects working with our data and using our data, but we also need help fixing bugs and adding features to our core components.
Interested in Getting Involved? New OpenStreetMap mappers and developers are always welcome!
The OpenStreetMap Foundation
The OpenStreetMap Foundation is an organisation that performs fundraising in order to provides servers to host the OpenStreetMap project. Its role is to support the project; it does not control the project or "own" the OSM data. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and to providing geospatial data for anybody to use and share.