India/Getting started

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Advice for new users in India

If you are a new Indian mapper, please check out the following places:

  1. Add yourself to Category:Users in India
  2. Put your name in the WikiProject_India#Primary_contributors table
  3. Subscribe to the Indian OSM Forumor India-talk mailing list
  4. Take part in the discussion to form tagging guidelines for the country Talk:WikiProject_India
  5. Tagging Roads in India and boundary values for India
  6. The OSM Beginners' Guide and Getting Involved page. Other extremely helpful resources are guides from MapQuest and the OSM help portal
  7. List of apporved map features and tag values can be found here Map Features. This is your reference for tagging ways and points.
  8. Potlatch online map editor and useful keyboard shortcuts Potlatch/Keyboard shortcuts
  9. JOSM heavy duty offline editor JOSM
  10. If you have a question, you can post it to the india-talk mailing list(see above) or post it in the FAQ section where you can browse through commonly asked questions.
  11. Check the India/Meets page to see if there any user meets or mapping parties in your city. or why not start one?

Instant armchair Mapping

Want to jump straight to the mapping without getting up from your chair? follow these steps:

  1. Sign up and Login
  2. Zoom in to your area of interest, or pick an at random (large cities tent to have more to do, but also roads and rivers in rural areas)
  3. Click the edit tab at the top to switch to the online map editor (called 'iD')
  4. Start tracing over the imagery by drawing lines and polygons
  5. For your elements to render on the map, the points and lines must be tagged appropriately. Select classifications on the left had side. See Map Features for tagging details. Incorrectly tagged objects will not show up on the map.
  6. Done. Happy Mapping :D

You can also do armchair mapping by helping to work on tracks of blind mappers.

Note: Mappers are encouraged to use the JOSM offline editor once you are familiar with the basics and want to map large areas in much more detail.

Viewing your changes

OSM is viewable on two different rendering layers on :

  • Mapnik: This is the default layer and is updated in a few minutes according to activity
  • Osmarender: Part of the Tiles@home distributed rendering program. Usually updated daily, depending on mapping activity. A rerender of a particular tile can be manually requested and the map tile would be updated within a few hours.

The OSM data can also be viewed on various other sites that have their own custom styling:

  • The open mapquest India site updates the tiles within a few hours of the edit. POI rendering is not as extensive as the default mapnik style
  • Cloudmade Services such as user defined style sheets are offered by cloudmade to view the map data. Rendering of a tile is based on number of requests to view the tile


India is a fast growing country, with cities that are changing rapidly. It is also poorly served by most online mapping solutions. The ease of participation and speed of edits going live, has great potential for OpenStreetMap to produce useful, useable, and up to date mapping data.