Here we present you some instructions on how you can use OpenStreetMap. It's an open project, so feel free to discover new ways which are not yet documented here!
If you search for a specific ready-to-use service based on OpenStreetMap, or you want to see an overview of what people already did with OpenStreetMap, please visit Applications of OpenStreetMap.
There is a special page on how to use OpenStreetMap without internet connection.
License and safety disclaimer
You can use OpenStreetMap mapping and data without charge subject to two conditions; firstly that you attribute your use of OpenStreetMap appropriately and secondly that you share any corrections or improvements back with the project as appropriate. See here: Copyright
OpenStreetMap is not a complete or accurate map of the world and should not be used in such a manner that deficiencies, omissions, inaccuracies or errors could result in death, loss or injury. See here: Disclaimer.
Maps on your website
Maps on your GPS device
Create your own map
To create your own map, you need to get much more technical. The Software development section below gives you more details.
You can get three dimensional city models from OpenStreetMap.
Main article: GIS software
We try to document any special interoperability with OpenStreetMap for each GIS software. Try a search with the form on the top right of this page for your particular GIS software, or browse our GIS software category (use Category:Software as long as the previous doesn't exist). There is also open source GIS software working together with OpenStreetMap.
There is also a whole bunch of tools converting map data from/ to OpenStreetMap data, including support for the popular ESRI Shapefiles and PostGIS format.
It is possible to download portions of OpenStreetMap's raw data (in .osm) that be can exported to a wide variety of formats (including SHP, POSTGIS, geojson) for many purposes, including use in professional GIS software.
There are general help pages for software developers using OpenStreetMap:
- Rendering and searching in the database are basic tasks using OpenStreetMap's data.
- People shared their Frameworks and explained how to deal with databases.
- It may be helpful to learn how the OpenStreetMap software works.
- Read up on the XML schema and Data Primitives if you want to work on data-related tasks.
- Also, OpenStreetMap runs on a relatively small server deployment for its size - see our notes on server hardware for details. There are also API v0.6 mirrors and Dev and Test APIs which help with testing code that interacts with the OSM API.
- switch2osm.org explains how to make the switch from other data services than OpenStreetMap.
You may also wish to see the list of other projects collecting free geodata.
Main article: Routing#Developers.
Main article: 3D Development
Main article: Education
OpenStreetMap has created a unique curriculum that is focused on introducing the topics that OSM addresses: mapping, open source technologies, crowd sourcing and community efforts. It is geared towards university level students. Further, OpenStreetMap has several open problems which would make good student projects. These are items that need researching and "longer-term" issues which could be worked on by students as a project separate from the the core open source development progress happening within the community.
Main article: Research
At the conference SotM-EU 2011, Muki Haklay gave a talk with advice to academics interested in OSM and the video is available online. We collected a lot of research about OpenStreetMap, but the section research using OpenStreetMap is still empty. Maybe you can fill in something?