製作地圖的手續大致上可以區分為兩種動作：第一，你必須蒐集物件「在哪裡」(例如街道)，第二，你必須知道這裡「有什麼」，所謂的POIs(Point of interest)，街道的名稱和性質。你可以分階段或一次完成這兩種動作，但很難在得知位置之前就描述POIs的性質。
使用GPS記錄時，最好把記錄的點設定的愈密集愈好。在Garmin的系統中，你可以在 "Tracks", "Setup", "Resolution: Highest" 頁面中編輯。
許多城市有高解析度且幾何糾正過的航空像片，這些可用來繪製OSM圖的資料，但因為資料著作權(資料權限)關係，只有共享(公有領域)或創用授權(Creative Comon, CC)的資料可使用。當然在許多的地圖編輯的應用程中，所用YHAOO的衛星影像是可被允許的 Yahoo!'s aerial imagery，事實上，這可幫助後續的製圖工作如果你使用的是線上的 potlatch 編輯。
在你製圖前，請選擇一個區域來畫，請上 Yahoo! maps選定，確認有衛星影像的籤標頁(satellite tab)，這樣你就不會使用到有著作權的地圖資料，且列印出衛星影像(不是印街圖)，當你繪圖時，你可以使用這印出的衛星影像和筆(注意: 這筆最好是中性筆或墨水筆，不要是鋼珠筆除非你用寫字板夾，而且也不要用鉛筆因為在圖上那不會那清楚)，而且可以標記上街道/路徑的名字和重要的地方的位置在衛星影像。你或許也可以用這印出來的衛星影像來看看有那些地方是否被遺漏了，如被掩藏的街道或庭院。
另一個替代方案是使用GPSbabel來轉換你的航跡為Google Earth的kmz檔，這可以載入航跡到Google Earth且套疊到衛星影像上，每一個GPS都固定的給予一個'點'時間/日期的戳記(stamp)，被寫入註記的這些戳記可以在不同座標參照(reference)中輕易地轉換，任何有有GPS航跡問題的區域立即地被顯示出來，你可以記下所遺失的路徑/道路或錯誤。
為了避免著作權問題，使用Google Earth是用來找出問題資料或需要再進一步調查的區域，不要將Google Earth的資料直接拿來用，如道路或地名。
取得細節的方法 (Getting the details)
GPS接收器使得標記航點變得容易，例如，在Goko，按"Mark", "OK" 即可插入一個數值的航點，在這個案例中，製圖者停在酒吧的停車場中且標記了一個為名為206的航點，有些GPS的型號可讓你取得一個'平均'的點，也就是說，從許多點中理論上更準確的取得一個航點，這通常是被使用在高度精準優先的資料收集，且時間不是一個主要考量的因素，但通常可以很快的完成。
GPS補償方法(GPS Offset Method)
基地台1 = 90公尺 在航點1的 340°
基地台2 = 60公尺 在航點2的 176°
(NOTE: Looking for a free alternative to accomplish this and will post here if I find one...)
- 主條目：Photo mapping
城市街道手繪圖 (Hand-drawn maps of city streets)
- 主條目：City mapping
Walking Papers Printed Map
- 主條目：Walking Papers
This technique is similar to a hand-drawn map, but it gives you a head start with what we already know and you have the option of letting another volunteer edit the map from your notes.
Visit the web site walking-papers.org and choose the area where you will be going, print out the OpenStreetMap for that area, then take it with you and make notes on what needs to be changed.
After you are finished making notes for an area, you can choose what to do with them. You can just look at your notes while editing the map normally or you can scan in your notes. After scanning, you, or any other map editor, can edit the map while using your notes on the screen as a backdrop.
Voice recording / Audio mapping
- 主條目：Audio mapping
I have found voice recording to be the medium of choice mapping by bike. I started using paper as above, but found the continuous stopping and starting was time consuming and a killer on the knees.
There is a great number of different audio mapping styles, with different accuracy, level of detail, using different hardware and software. There are easy techniques for the beginner and difficult, but extremely powerful techniques for the advanced mapper. Check out the completely restructured main article.
- 主條目：Video mapping
For those driving alone who can't stop to take notes: mount a video camera (or digital camera in "movie" mode) somewhere that it can see roadsigns, and leave it recording for the duration of your journey.
Afterwards, note the timestamp of anything interesting in the video (e.g. "Shops on the left between 1:32 and 1:37") and correlate that with the GPS tracklog.
Photogrammetry is a technique used by many mapping agencies and companies gather data. When you have two photos of a scene from different positions it's possible to extract the geometry of the scene. This can be done manually or by software and by using this features such as buildings, road shape and amenities can be added to the map with a high relational accuracy.
Colorizing the map
Once all the tracks have been added and updated, you are ready to begin colorizing the map. Some areas can be added from memory, but not all areas have clearly defined boundaries. It is important to make sure the streets (the GPS tracks and TIGER data) are properly updated first because often times they form boundaries for other areas.
You can use Yahoo images to fill in such things as parks, shopping centers, hospitals, golf courses, lakes and airports. Some things that aren't marked on the map include cemeteries, campsites, churches, schools, buildings and city zones. These areas can't be filled in with a GPS.
One way to start off is by referencing a directory for a certain category (i.e. churches, schools) with their addresses and then cross referencing them on a map. Once you know where they are, you can begin adding nodes and land use into OSM.
Most times cities and counties will have color-coded municipal zoning maps that can be used to fill in the land use for residential, agricultural, retail, commercial and industrial. These maps are often dividing into specific categories (ie light industrial, heavy industrial). The zoning maps can be loaded into an image editor such as Photoshop and then the zone colors can be combined. It doesn't matter what colors you pick just so you know what colors are what.
You can use a program like Map Rectifier to warp an image so it can be used in OSM. Once it has been warped, it can be loaded into JOSM in a WMS layer. From there, you can trace the zones and add the appropriate land use tag.
You may be able to find a GIS map from a city or county that has park info on it. You can view that shapefile data in a program like ArcGIS. Once the info is on the screen correctly, you can do a screen shot and then use that as your layer to warp in May Rectify. Shouldn't be a problem with copywrites but you'll want to check and make sure.
Buildings can be added from Yahoo images by drawing a shape around the building and then tagging it building=*. Since each town and city could have thousands of buildings, you'll need to decide where you want to start. Maybe doing all the buildings for organizations such as churches, schools, community buildings. Maybe you start with the downtown or a major shopping center. If you want to tackle a whole town, try to focus on the larger buildings and work one a specific area at a time. Yahoo images are mostly from 2006 but in some areas even from 2001, so they may not be up to date. You may have to rely on your own notes or memory to image some of the newer buildings.
Depending on the type of tracks which you intend to create, some transportation means are more suited than others. Obviously, for tracking rails and motorways, you have to use an allowed vehicle. Generally, a car is good to track all the length of a motorway, where little special features appear. A bike is good for medium distance tracks, where you might want to stop frequently to mark points of interests or intersections. For tracking residential areas with dense features, inline skates or a skateboard/longboard are the way to go.
- 主條目：Long journeys
In some cases, you may be away from a computer for an extended period, and the number of trackpoints your GPS holds can become a severely limiting factor. You may need to increase the interval between trackpoints, consider using a different model of GPS, and plan ahead for extra battery capacity.
In general you should keep your traveling to public rights of way, although there can be some exceptions (such as an access road into a camp site for example). Use your common sense, if a driveway is labelled 'No Trespassing' then respect the sign and do not enter.
When taking photographs which will later be made public, treat the property as you'd expect yours to be treated. Intrusive photographs are not needed in order to map the streets, you might question whether street number signs are 'fair game' - in rural areas these can be useful as they may be the only way to confirm the name of the public road leading to the property/address.
There's also a page for more detailed analysis of restrictions on photography and national differences.
Physically Securing Your Device
If traveling with a lot of gear and/or when there's a risk of dropping/loosing your gps unit, it's good to rig up your gps so it attaches to you. Here's an example photo. Just attach beaner to a secure d-ring or loop on your belt/vest/pack etc. Attaching bright color flagging ribbon is very helpful to find the device if you do drop it in a place where it blends into the terrain like in forested regions. (This setup also works great for other types of gear as well ie. field book, compass, range finder etc.)