User:RobJN/beginners guide/Getting Involved

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OpenStreetMap logo Beginners' Guide

Hello! This beginners' guide will show you how to add data to OpenStreetMap. Tutorials are available in many languages which you can select from the table at the top of this page.

Navigate to:       ← 1. About    |    3. Obtaining data →

  1. Join the community
  2. Collect data
  3. Upload your GPS data
  4. Edit maps
  5. Edit data
  6. See your edits live and start using the map
  7. Additional help

Getting involved

Editing the map

In OpenStreetMap you can map whatever real-world features are interesting to you. You've probably already taken a look a the map and tried to find your street. Maybe it's not quite right, or not quite finished. Maybe there's missing shops and restaurants. Maybe it's not on the map yet at all.

OpenStreetMap is not just a road map - things like schools, restaurants, even post boxes and bus stops, can all be added to our data set. We're interested in gathering a lot of detailed Map Features. Spot these in your neighbourhood and add them to the map!

Learn to edit OpenStreetMap

We create maps without looking at existing copyrighted maps, by surveying the streets and using various mapping techniques. The pages in this Beginners' Guide will give you all the information you need to know to start editing.

Jump straight in? The iD editor now includes a basic walkthrough to get you started with editing in OpenStreetMap. If you'd like to try this then head over to and click "Edit". You'll need to sign up to a free account after which the iD editor will open and offer first time users the walkthrough. You can always go back to the walkthrough by pressing "h" whilst in the iD editor. Come back to this guide to learn more.

Collaborating with others

To find out who else is involved in mapping your region, navigate the Mapping Projects pages. These pages list projects which you might like to help with. They are goal oriented activities, such as mapping a particular town or city, or the motorway network for a country. If there is a project that interests you then you will be very welcome to get involved. To register local interest you can often list yourself on these project pages. If you have a wiki account you could also use your wiki user page to describe your location and mapping interests, and add yourself to location categories. Within your OSM user account settings (not in the wiki) you can also add a description and you can set your 'home' location.

No Time To Edit? Add a Note!

If you just want something small fixed and don't have the time to sign up and learn how to edit, it's easy to add a note.

Just go to the map and click the note icon: . This will add a marker to the map, which you can move by dragging. Add your message, then click save, and other mappers will investigate.

Other ways to get involved


One of the ways to promote are bumper stickers

We're interested in attracting new contributors who will go out and map their neighbourhoods. Historically we've had most luck attracting technology enthusiasts, but to build a diverse community we need to attract local community groups, school kids, people living in other countries, or people travelling to interesting unmapped parts of the world. We are also interested in attracting new developers (see below).

A great way to introduce people to OpenStreetMap is to organise a mapping weekend or Micro Mapping Party. The Current Events page often lists forthcoming meet-ups and conferences featuring OpenStreetMap presentations, but maybe you know of another event where OpenStreetMap should be promoted.


A lot of software development work is taking this project in many different directions. 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 protocol (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.

The Develop page is the portal for developers document technical details and find areas they are interested in.


Because OSM changes rapidly we still have to keep this wiki current. So you might help us and update/manage wiki pages. The wikiteam will help you, if you like.

Join the foundation

You can join the OpenStreetMap Foundation as a way of showing your support for the project, and influence the future direction of the project. You can also donate directly to the foundation to help keep the servers running!

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