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Discuss the Upload page here:

See tags

It would be more usefull to see (by a click on the Track) the Tags of the Track that I uploaded. So if I make a Track on a Motorway I can the, when I´m Editing, that it is a Motorway. --S sommerkamp 20:45, 23 March 2007 S

how and why tag the gpx file

The page need an explanation of how and why tag the gpx file. -- Espen 17:37, 24 April 2007

What is the purpose of Tags on uploads?

What is the purpose of upload tags and what is the proper format for entering them? --User:Gowen 14:35, 25 June 2007

Tagging section has since been added. Does that clarify things? -- Harry Wood 16:19, 15 October 2007 (BST)

Define some common tags for GPX files ?

IMO it would be good to have some common tags for the GPX files - even if they are not used at the moment.


  • which vehicle that was used to create the track? (car/bike/foot)
  • Is the track recommended for certain vehicles? This information could e.g. be used by a router algorithm for bicycles. Likely a lot of people just add tracks of their preferred ways and not tracks that aim to cover may streets.

--Grungelborz 20:50, 24 October 2007 (BST)

Yes. Seems like it could be a good idea to list some suggested tags on the page here. Or even show a 'Tag Cloud' -- Harry Wood 17:20, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Please create some compulsory tag that sets the vehicle. This could be set in a dropdown menu. Possibilties are: train, street_vehicle, bike, foot, boat, agricultural, ski, mixed, unknown. Then there should be different rendering styles in josm so e.g. cycleways can be easily separated from streets. Users should be notified to set the vehicle of former uploaded traces. -- Travelling salesman 18:10, 17 September 2011 (BST)

Take care of the file format

I wanted to upload my first gpx-files. After a few minutes I got an email with a failure-message. After some tests I found the problem. I created the files using a Linux-OS. The files were saved in unix-file-format. After I converted them to DOS-file-format (using unix2dos) the files were accepted.

I think, this is the most important part of the failure message:

Bad file descriptor - /usr/bin/file -bz /home/osm/gpx/94495.gpx

--JoeBresale 12:50, 11 April 2008 (BST)

This seems not to be a problem anymore. My files with '\n' as line separator work well. --Plasmon 10:24, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Existing/GPS tracks

I just did my first driving while logging tracks. They seem to be off of the existing data, which is from TIGER data. I'm going to assume that I just move the existing points to be where my GPSr recorded the points. Should I do differently? — Val42 06:26, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

If the logs show the geometry of the roads correctly (notably straights as straight) the logs can be more accurate; you might wish to log a second and a third trip on different days (a few blocks might suffice) because constant 5-15 meter offsets in reception are possible on what i'd call a bad satellite day. Remember also that the location of your GPSr was probably not on the road center line but 2 to 11 meters to the side depending on the number of lanes in your driving direction (1 to 3) and their width. I've read already before comments that the tiger data has been found to be offset in places, so it shouldn't be unusual to move them but I'm inclined to believe they have the shapes right - as of the past date on which they were collected. So if your log shapes seem right and the offset is bigger the logs are most likely more accurate. Alv 09:11, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah there's a little paragraph about that over at TIGER fixup#Accuracy: Offset from reality, but I'm not sure what the recommended procedure should be regarding gathering multiple GPS traces on different days. -- Harry Wood 09:45, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Upload with JavaScript

Is it possible to automatically upload a trace using JavaScript? How would I do that?


What does the public option for uploading my traces mean? There seems to be no description in the wiki, at least I expect one on this page. Thanks a lot. --Plasmon 21:35, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Somebody created a new page: Visibility_of_GPS_traces. Seems to be fine now. Thanks! --Plasmon 20:56, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Upload your own maps or aereal photo in Potlatch

In some areas, the aereal photo from Yahoo are not in a high resolution. I would like to trace from maps I have. This is easier and more exact with a pencil on trace paper then with the mouse on the screen.

  • It would be helpfull to have a function to upload my own background image (as a .png for example) to trace it in Potlatch. It should be possible to fix a point and to strectch the picture to rescale it.

A "save the image"-button is not possible, 1st, because after traving, I do not need it anymore (or I have to upload it again); 2nd it does not need storage space on the servers from OSM; 3rd to avoid any problems with the different copy rights.--Männedorf 10:29, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

I found the solution my self: There is such a tool: Walking Papers at
You download the section of OSM you like. Then you add what you want, scan the paper and upload it as a jpeg-file. Then it is avaible for Potlatch (online) and for JOSM (offline).
With a software like Gimp (or Photoshop, if you like to pay for it), you can also stretch a areal view or a map you made on your own and mearch with the downloaded map. Walking Papers is available in the following languages: English Deutsch Nederlands Español Français 日本語 Italiano --Männedorf 20:16, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Is UTF-8 mandatory?

Unfortunately, not everyone's computers are set up to use UTF-8 by default, so some people are generating GPX files with other encodings, such as ISO8859-1 or windows-1252. I've heard that uploading these to OSM results in an error message, can anyone confirm this? Does OSM-upload *only* support UTF-8 encoded gpx files? And if so, what's the recommended way to convert such a non-compliant file to UTF-8 so it's acceptable for upload? Eric2 21:34, 12 April 2011 (BST)

Accuracy data

It seems like the accuracy data (horizontal accuracy expressed by <hdop>value</hdop> in the gpx) is somehow not present after the upload. I have accuracy data in my gpx and JOSM draws the circles very nicely, but when I upload a track and then download the data in the corresponding area using JOSM there are no circles. Maybe someone can get this straight: is the data droped during upload and therefore not present in the DB or is this a JOSM-related issue? greetings --DerKuchen 23:20, 7 June 2011 (BST)

If you view your trace on your traces list, and use the download link there, you'll see we are preserving things like <hdop> tags in the file uploads. Example: ...however the data which is inserted into the database, by parsing the file, has data like this stripped out yes. It's not a field we keep in our database, and it's not something which gets returned when you're downloading a bounding box of GPS points (from any and all users in the area) via the API into JOSM. If you want to see your HDOP circle, you have to load the GPX file in by opening it as a local file into JOSM. -- Harry Wood 12:54, 9 June 2011 (BST)

Merge proposal

This obviously intends to explain the same as Upload GPS tracks. I also propose to delete the navigation bar containing help,about, browsing, editing and this page. Even the help page misses the navigation bar. I don't see how these pages belong together. --Cantho (talk) 05:56, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

What is "the help page"? Please link. The navigation bar is Template:HelpMenu. So the deletion discussion should at least also be advertised there on the talk page. And there should be a {{Delete proposal}}. Sorry, Cantho, you are doing too much for me. Cannot comment all. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 02:23, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
"The help page" is help :) My main work here is a proposal for a navigation concept. So I would be happy if you start commenting there :) --Cantho (talk) 12:25, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Have a look into history of both pages. At 2013-02-25T20:34:16‎ user:RobJN created the second page. I do not really understand why he split the pages. I have messaged him. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 12:49, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for getting in contact with me. A merge (or probably just a delete) depends on whether you think these top menu bars are helpful or not. I personally like them as they help you to group related content together and the reader can then read through each page or jump straight to the bit he/she is interested in. Over at Upload GPS tracks the theme of that top menu is obviously everything you need to know about getting started with GPS tracks. Here the top menu is all about the basic features of OSM - it tells you about the project, it's main processes (browsing, editing and adding GPS tracks) and directs you to where you can get more help. In my opinion at this stage none of the pages should give much detail. They should all be basic pages giving a simple introduction and then directing the user to a more detailed section of the wiki. If it was down to me I would keep these pages, add the top menu back to the help page (as per the page history) and tweak this upload page to make it a bit more friendly (e.g. adding a picture would be a good start). --RobJN (talk) 20:45, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Ok, now I got the point. To me it wasn't clear what the relation between the pages should be. It would be nice to clarify this a bit more. For example a menu as used by the beginners guide with heading "Tour through OpenStreetMap". For my part we could remove the merge-template. --Cantho (talk) 12:25, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Cantho, I've just read your user page and will look at the proposals you have made on wiki organisation. Please give me a few days as I'm a bit busy up until this weekend. Let me know what you think about the above, we certainly need a few more people helping out with the wiki. --RobJN (talk) 20:45, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for commenting, Rob! Quite understandable on first glance. Yes, exactly – the wiki is in many areas quite in a messy state and help much needed. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 21:31, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
No problem, I'll wait for your comment. --Cantho (talk) 12:25, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
I got a bit of time today so have had another look at this. As noted above this collection of pages seem to be an intro to the basics of OSM (about, browsing, editing, uploading GPS tracks, and getting more help). Here I see two problems: (i) it's not reflective of OSM anymore, for example it covers uploading GPS tracks but does not discuss how to do a survey with/without GPS receivers, and (ii) it overlaps with the Beginners' guide. Given that the Beginners' guide is marked as needing a clean-up I suggest we expand this beyond a simple merge/no merge question and tackle all 4 pages in this section.--RobJN (talk) 20:54, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Beginners' guide is awful (I tend to, at least in addition, recommend ). And: it is a big junk of work. That's the problem. As big junks of work are hard to do it should be split into smaller parts if possible. But, yes, some overview and guideline discussion is needed. I will try to help a little bit, but much is outside my time budget (since I also like to continue mapping...). --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 22:25, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
I think if we use these pages here as a "tour through OSM", it doesn't conflict with beginners guide, since this one focuses on adding data and is much more instructive than a "sightseeing tour". --Cantho (talk) 12:25, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm not a big fan of these Talk pages. Perhaps we should get people interested in wiki cleanup to sign up to the "design" Mailing List and spend discuss it there with the aim to make the changes in a few weeks time?? --RobJN (talk) 20:54, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
OT: And I really think wiki stuff should be discussed in the wiki. ML is something I do not use at all. Furthermore I quite like the compactness and easy to overlook tree structure of the discussions here. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 22:25, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
I am on the design mailing list, but I also prefer staying in the wiki. This automatically documents the discussion and helps not to re-discuss the same if somebody reanimates the topic after some time. --Cantho (talk) 12:25, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Removed the merge proposal template. --Cantho (talk) 20:56, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

To contextualise this old discussion we have to understand that Template:HelpMenu was shown at the top of this page with only four tabs at the time "Help, About, Browsing, Editing, Upload", which sort of meant that this was one of the wiki's main help pages.
Nowadays that template has lots of other links "Get help, About OpenStreetMap, Browsing, How to contribute, Contribute map data, Editors, Glossary, Beginners' guide"...and does not include this "Upload" page!
With that in mind I'm going to go ahead and remove Template:HelpMenu from this page (confusing to have those tabs on a page which is not one of the tabs)
And then I think we need to re-open the discussion of what is the purpose of this page, and can it be merged into Upload GPS tracks? Given that it is no longer a concise guide as part of that set of HelpMenu pages, I think it no longer has a distinct purpose and should be merged.
However we also need to think about whether edits to Template:HelpMenu over the years were sensible (Mess tornado User:Xxzme swept through these pages at one point for example). Maybe this page should be put back into that navigation :-/
-- Harry Wood (talk) 11:21, 6 December 2022 (UTC)

Are descriptions optional?

The page says descriptions are optional. This forum post suggests it fails without one. That is also my experience, if I recall correctly. eteb3 (talk) 05:15, 9 August 2023 (UTC)