How do you map in/new

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The "How do you map in" series should be another tool by the community to connect us more global. Do you know how people map in your neighbor countries or far far away? We please you to create small texts that should put the attention of other mappers on your local work in your country. They might include requests to help for imports or to trace aerial imagery.


  • make it interesting
  • make it personal if you like, but make sure this is representative for your region
  • work as a team on the text
  • think about stuff, that is usual to you but that might completely different somewhere else (e.g. bad internet connection, dangers, politics,..)
  • make photos, link map areas,...
  • aspects:
    • Mapping techniques
    • features the most mappers are interested in
    • organisation/communication with local mapping communities
    • OSM usage
    • ...


  • not telling the people another "I map slums in africa" -> even this is interesting too, we cover this topic with the HOT already


Here is a small draft for my own country Germany (of course nobody cares how we map here in central Europe ;) ):

  • Photo
  • selected Map areas

Hi, I'm Matthias working for the local Community in (northeast) Germany. As the most of you know we have a huge success here in getting OSM to a point where it is realy great usable. Some people asked me why the Germans are so interested in this project...ehm...well... I don't know ;)

Here we work normaly very local of course, we have a lot of so called 'Stammtische' (engl. regular's tables) where the local people meet once a month to exchange news and their process [1]. Sometimes we join together a Mapping Party but it's not that popular like in other countries. My be cause it now gets slowly hard to find realy empty places...or we lack Mappers at the lost countryside away from bigger cities.

To me it's very suprising how different our local authorities deals with us. On the higher levels nobody will give you aerial imagery or datas for a whole land but if you asking the right person on your city goverment, you might be lucky and get help. Sometimes the guy at the other side of the desk is a mapper, as well :) So we had some donations of aerial photos or imports of vector datas of buildings or areas. The publicity here recognizes OSM not with the same priority as wikipedia but we have a constant of ~4 newslines per month in the german media.

The major 'troubles' are that a lot of people try to add as much details as they see outside. So we have a lot of discussion of how to tag small detailes correctly. But this is some kind of luxury problem when we talking about how to tag the material of a bench, right? Another problem is, that the german community isn't that good connected in a inter state level. The communication is distributed over a lot of channels (local goup mailing lists, TALK-DE mailing list, Germany forums, news). There is only the FOSSGIS conference as a nation wide meeting.

But there are a lot of good things on our community, too:

  • Free software and datas are very accepted here in Germany
  • Wochennotiz is our weekly newsletter, collecting/filtering all channels
  • a lot of Devs from subprojects come from here (JOSM, Garmin,...)

The average level of detail in Germany is high. As already said the people love to check out what is possible to map. Do your folks map things like collection times for postboxes or the colour of a bench? Cause we seem to attract a lot of bikers and hikers, bigger towns are nearly complete and cities with house outlines get housenumbers step by step. But on countryside with only a few nerds at a dozens kilometers we have problems to gather all streets together. The most people seem to use JOSM (cause of the highly details presets thing) and Potlatch. Thanks to Bing Maps we add the buildings for the most places to make mapping housenumbers on the ground more easier.