Introduction to


By Christopher Baines

This workshop will cover

  • What OpenStreetMap is
  • Ways to use OpenStreetMap
  • How to contribute to OpenStreetMap

What is OpenStreetMap

Find out at

This part consists of a tour of the basic functionality offered at

How can you use OpenStreetMap

You may have already used OpenStreetMap

An OpenStreetMap Map

One option is the map on

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

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.

There are several editors, this workshop covers iD and JOSM.

Editing OpenStreetMap requires an account.

If you have an OpenID account (Google, Yahoo and Wordpress all provide this feature), you can use this for authentication.

The iD Editor

Use on

At this point, you should have:

  • An OpenStreetMap account
  • The ability to add buildings to the map with JOSM

If not, the following resources might help:


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, ...).

Installing JOSM

If you are using Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch or probably other other free software operating systems, you should just be able to install JOSM using their package manager.

For other operating systems, including (Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X), see the JOSM homepage

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.

Other Resources