Our maps are based on OpenStreetMap. This means that within minutes, you can add your local knowledge: roads, cafés, buildings, cycling trails, and more. Here is your guide to getting started.

screen shot 2016-02-02 at 11 06 23 am

Let’s get started

As a first step, sign up for an account on OpenStreetMap and then click on the “Edit button” to open OpenStreetMap’s editor. You’ll be greeted with a short interactive walkthrough to help you begin mapping. For starters, here are some things to remember:

  • Only map current and real things present on the ground.
  • Don’t copy data from anywhere unless you have explicit permission to do so.

Add a simple point of interest

Once you’re in the editor, let’s update the map! And what better place to start than adding your favorite spots like a cafe, a restaurant or a shop.

Selecting a map feature in the editor.

  1. Click the “Point” button in the upper left corner of the map and place it at the cafe’s location. The attribute panel will open on the left.
    • Search and select the appropriate feature type for the marker, in this case, “Cafe”.
    • Enter the name in the “Name” field
    • Close the attribute window and click “Save”.
    • You’ll be prompted to describe your edit, a short description like “Added New Roads Cafe” is fine. Click “Save” again.

You just updated the map!

cafe

Back on the map view on OpenStreetMap’s front page, you will see your changes updated within a few minutes.

Add a footpath

Next, let’s add a footpath. This is a good example for a linear feature like roads, rivers and railway lines.

  1. Click the line tool, and trace the path of the trail. Make sure to connect it to other roads or paths it crosses.
    • While the line is selected, search for “footpath” in the attribute panel on the left and select it.
    • Now click “Save”, add a comment like “Added a footpath” and confirm.

ezgif com-optimize 7

Tracing a footpath.

Add a bridge to the trail

And now let’s take it one notch up. In our example above, the footpath crosses a stream. There’s a bridge at this crossing, and you’ll want to add that bridge to complete the trail.

  1. Add a node where the bridge starts and where it ends. You can do this by selecting the trail, then grabbing one of the small triangle markers in the middle of a trail segment and dragging it to the start/end location of the bridge. This will create a new node on the trail.
    • Select the start node, click the scissors icon. Then select the end node, click the scissors icon.
    • Select the part of the trail that crosses the bridge, then select “Bridge” in the attribute panel.
    • Click “Save”, add a comment like “Added bridge” and confirm.

ezgif com-optimize 6

Adding a bridge in OpenStreetMap.

Dive in deeper

These are the basic steps to get started mapping on OpenStreetMap. With them, you can map almost anything in your surroundings . To go to the next level for adding roads, buildings and other interesting features, check out the OpenStreetMap Wiki, in particular, the Map Features Guide for thorough documentation on how to map anything, from trees to trash cans. These first edits are your start to get involved with mappers in your community, share mapping notes and build great maps together with the world.

Improve this map

Mapbox maps based on OpenStreetMap carry an “Improve this map” link offering a convenient link directly to OpenStreetMap. Whenever you see an opportunity for improving the map, click “Improve this map” and then on “Edit map” to jump directly into OpenStreetMap’s editor.

improve3

Hop into editing OpenStreetMap from a Mapbox map.

Live updating maps

Changes to OpenStreetMap are live on Mapbox maps within minutes. OpenStreetMap is an amazing data source which is not only open but easy to access and update, allowing it to capture a fast changing world in high detail. Today, OpenStreetMap counts with over two million registered users, just last month, about 30,000 contributors added their local knowledge. You can be part of this and get your corner of the world on the map!

ezgif com-optimize OpenStreetMap is created by people like you. Explore its growth over time and join the community.