Cheat sheet

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This page is about discussing and developing an OSM cheat sheet for mappers to take into the field. All the points below are up for discussion and please do so on the talk page.

Existing examples of cheat sheets

Unimplemented ideas for automatic creation


(This concept was drafted during a 2009 discussion on developing an OSM cheat sheet for mappers to take into the field.)

The Map Features page has evolved a lot during the last years and now harbours hundreds of different tag/value combinations. Most mappers will not be able to remember even a part of them and their specific use-cases. This leads to "incomplete" and inconsistent mapping. A possible solution is a standardized "cheat sheet", which combines the necessary tagging information and a portable size for the mapper in the field and (to a smaller extent) at the PC.


For a maximum portability, DIN A5 size seems optimal. If this is big enough for a decent amount of information remains to be seen.


Both sides of one DIN A5 card should be used. It would make sense to split the needed information between those sides: tag values and short descriptions on one, rendering and real life examples on the other side.

The A5 card should be still usable, if it is folded to put it in the pocket of a shirt or jacket, without unfolding it.

Which tags?

Of course one can not print the whole map features page on one sheet of paper (regardless if A4, A5 or any other reasonable size). So it makes sense to make a thematic selection. Possible themes include

  • Mapping for cars
    • On the motorway
    • In the City
  • Mapping for walking / trekking
  • Mapping for cycling
  • tracktypes, surfaces, smoothness
  • Mapping amenities
  • Mapping public transport
  • Mapping landmarks (landuse/natural)
  • Please insert your proposal here


Distribution / Usage of the cheat sheet

Of course the sheets would be available for download on the wiki, but there could be "premium-version" available via internet order. These would be high quality prints of the cards, printed on thick paper and sealed against rain. These would also be great for newbies on mapping parties, as promotional giveaways, etc.