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OpenStreetMap in The Guardian

This page aims to provide an introduction to OpenStreetMap, from the point of view of journalists, and those wishing to write about the project


OpenStreetMap (OSM) is dedicated to creating and providing free geographic data, such as street maps, worldwide, for free. The project was started because most maps considered "free" actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use. In the view of OSM, these restrictions hold back anyone from using them in creative, productive or unexpected ways.

Contributors to OpenStreetMap create geographic data in a number of ways. Most important is acquiring original data. Contributors use tools, such as GPS, cameras, or just a pen and paper, to record the precise locations of roads, buildings, amenities, services, etc. Often, they are creating maps entirely from scratch. Another way to contribute to OSM is to correct existing data. In some areas (particularly in the United States) there is existing open licensed map data that has been imported into OpenStreetMap, but this may be inaccurate or out of date. Contributors use local knowledge and aerial images (such as those recently provided to the project by Bing) to correct and refine the accuracy of this data.

To get this data into the maps, OSM provides online map-editing tools for uploading to OSM's huge (and growing daily) database. That data is then processed and will show up within minutes on the detailed street-level maps.

The core value of OpenStreetMap.org is that these maps can be published freely on Web sites, or printed and copied without restriction. The underlying data can be downloaded for free, for developers to use redistribute in new and exciting ways.

For a quick overview of OpenStreetMap, see "Fast Facts" sheet (PDF). Also the available in German. For more information, see the About page, and the FAQ.

See Press Contacts for people in OSM who are ready to answer questions from journalists.


Logo images
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Logos, Banner, Flyers and posters
Promotional images
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Featured images is a collection of our best maps and images

Videos lists animations, interviews, tutorials.

Sample maps
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For Sample maps, see our description of interesting Places, or just browse around the map

(Please read the OpenStreetMap License before publishing maps; we want everyone to know that they're free to copy, so you have to tell them when you publish...)

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Mapping projects shows the activity in various countries
Current statistics
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Statistics shows how many people are involved, and how much data they've collected
Media coverage
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OpenStreetMap in the media has links to some press (and other media) coverage of OpenStreetMap


To get up-to-date information on OpenStreetMap, you can subscribe to the mailing list (see Contact page), read the opengeodata.org blog, or see the list of events. This includes "Mapping Parties" (like the big Isle of Wight and Mapchester events of the past), and the annual State Of The Map OpenStreetMap conference.


All details on the Contact page

Press resources for OSM activists