Saturday, 2 June 2012


What is OSM?
As the title says, OSM is "Open Street Maps". OSM is a project, similar to that of Wiki or any editable 'thing'. People, anywhere around the world can add to this project which is used by many people since it is Open Source. The reason why I brought this up is to raise awareness for a great cause. I actively use OSM maps for bushwalking as since they are user contributed, they are generally more detailed than Google Maps. These maps may also show people paths or parks not listed on Google Maps. For my hobby Geocaching, these are extremely useful for finding the most direct way to a geocache including parking.

To contribute to these maps you don't have to be a geographic expert, you just need a GPS (preferably hiking) or a smartphone with GPS capabilities. When walking down a track not listed on OSM, just turn on tracking and when you're home upload your track.

You can even contribute if you have neither of the above, if you're looking at the map and see a park not named on the map you can add a name and help thousands of people.

With even a small contribution you could help someone find that park where they're meeting a friend. You can even use the maps. Mapquest is an mapping website and application that uses OSM for calculating driving trips and fuel costs. If you have an android phone there is also an app for it.

If you have a GPS that supports maps then OSM is the free way to go. Just download the maps, load them and navigate since they are also routable. I can confirm that they work on my Garmin Oregon 300.

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