I signed up for an OSM account some years ago, but (apart from some minor edits in my home town) never used it much. Until, one day, during a walk through the fields behind my hometown, I ended up at a wide, long trench with a big black pipe in and heavy machinery around it - the new WAG II  was being laid in my backyard.
From this moment, the strange orange, mushroom-shaped things on poles all around the countryside, seen quite often, but never really noticed, became interesting. A new hobby was born: Mapping Pipelines for OSM
During fieldwork, one often asks him/herself why a grown up person wades through ankle-deep mud in bad autumn weather, spends his/her time alone out in the field instead at home with friends and/or rides 60km or more on the bicycle, just to add some things to the OSM database almost nobody is interested in.
1) because its fun.
2) because its there.
3) because it is good and healthy exercise in fresh air.
4) because there often is wonderful scenery you wouldn't have seen otherwise.
5) because the density of the pipeline network is a measure of energy consumption and therefore a statement on the development of society.
6) because one day you might look at the OSM pipeline map before you start drilling into the ground ;-)
So: Why not?
Pipelines in OSM are quite under-represented and neglected - no wonder since they are invisible due to their underground location, and their purpose (heat, energy, water) is often taken for granted without much thought.
Hopefully, this set of pages helps to raise your interest and motivates you to add your own contributions.
As a sidenote, I'm the author (and current maintainer) of GpsMaster, a nice desktop tool for displaying, analyzing and modifying GPS tracks.
Mapping Pipelines: Fieldwork
An article on how data is gathered in the field and the experiences made so far.
pipelines in OSM are somewhat neglected and of interest to very few people, therefore the tag pipeline=marker are just rudimentary. This Proposal extends this set to provide more consistency, allow a greater level of detail, better rendering and processing by code.
See how pipelines are rendered and the result looks like.
Visit this Gallery to get an impression of how field work looks like.
Please help to increase the number of pipelines, markers and infrastructure in the OSM database:
- Find & add pipelines in your area
- If you don't want to add them yourself, please send geotagged pictures of markers & substations to marker @ oudeis.org