We just hit beta with the new iD map editor for OpenStreetMap! You can use the editor live on ideditor.com to edit real OpenStreetMap data. iD is a full alternative to existing editors, and is going to make OpenStreetMap more accessible and friendly to new users.

Here is an example of adding and classifying a road using the presets editor:

adding and classifying a road in OpenStreetMap

This is how you can add and name a park:

adding and classifying a park in OpenStreetMap

Today’s beta tag not only means we are ready to start integrating the new editor into OpenStreetMap.org but also introduces huge user interface improvements, GPX support, translations, and new onboarding for new users, and much more:

  • Improved feature editing (presets)
  • Interactive tutorial and inline help
  • GPX support
  • Easier translation with Transifex
  • Improved modularity
  • Bugfixes and stability

Improved feature editing

Beta1 brings additional improvements to the radically better feature editing introduced with alpha3. We’ve added hundreds of new presets, so iD natively recognizes even more geographic features. Instead of asking users to enter OpenStreetMap tags manually, iD provides a friendly, guided graphical user interface with helpful hints and documentation.

Interactive tutorials and inline help

iD has a smoother learning curve with a guided tour of its user interface and features to quickly orient new users. And for mid-editing help, the editor now has inline documentation that can be referenced at any time.

This is the first screen of the interactive tutorial mode, which explains how to navigate the map:

Tutorial mode in iD

Here is the help entry for mapping addresses:

Mapping Addresses with iD

GPX support

We’re starting to focus on GPX, the universal format for GPS tracks that’s one of the critical sources of OpenStreetMap’s data and accuracy. This release of iD offers a simple drag-and-drop interface for local .gpx files on one’s computer.

This is a first, minimal implementation - iD will soon have powerful, worldwide GPS support based upon OpenStreetMap’s wealth of GPS Traces, which were released as points last year.

To use your GPS tracks in iD, simply drag a GPX file onto the browser window. You should then see a plotted GPS track like this one:

GPS Tracks in iD

Easier translation

OpenStreetMap is a global project with contributors speaking many languages, so it’s vital that iD is accessible to everyone. We now coordinate translations through Transifex, lowering the bar for contributors and making it possible to quickly retranslate changed text.

This language dashboard on Transifex gives a great overview of overall translation progress. To help translate, simply create an account on Transifex and head over to the project page there.

Improved modularity

We’re working on improving iD’s modularity, and have extracted its authentication layer into the osm-auth module and founded the osmlab organization to host this and other reusable parts. This is part of our goal to make not only a great new editor, but also raw open source parts that other OpenStreetMap developers can use to build tools that enrich the map and the community around it.

Up next

This release is part of the iD team effort to improve the editing experience on OpenStreetMap, funded by a Knight News Challenge grant. While the initial Alpha release in January covered basic editing tasks this first beta release marks the point where iD is now at a level of robustness suitable for day-to-day mapping.

We are one step away from launching iD on OpenStreetMap.org. We are looking forward to working with the maintainers of the OpenStreetMap website to identify integration needs and put the final touches on the project to launch it for a broader audience.