Introduction to


By Christopher Baines

What is OpenStreetMap

  • Planet wide digital map
  • Built and maintained by a worldwide community
  • Open Data (can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose)

You may have already used OpenStreetMap

is a dataset

Changing OpenStreetMap

To change what you see, you need to edit the underlying data.

To change the data, you need to use an editor.

The iD Editor

Use on


Another popular editor is JOSM, it is an extensible editor for OpenStreetMap.

It is more complicated than iD, and does not work from a web browser.

However, JOSM can be faster to use than iD, and has more capabilities (mutiple data layers, filters, ...).

Legal Details

You hold the copyright for the data which you add to OpenStreetMap.

OpenStreetMap is licenced under the
Open Database License (ODbL).

Open Database License (ODbL) Summary

You are free:

  • To Share the database
  • To Create works from the database
  • To Adapt the database

As long as you:

  • Attribute any public use of the database.
  • Share-Alike, you must offer derived works and adapted databases under the ODbL.
  • Keep open, you must distribute the database without technical restrictions.

An OpenStreetMap Map

One option is the map on

Other applications like OSMAND provide offline maps for Android, and iOS devices

Haiti Earthquake in 2010

OpenStreetMap contributors provided essential maps to Search and Rescue and Relief teams responding to the Haiti earthquake.

Other Resources