It’s been an amazing year for OpenStreetMap and it continues to get better. New users from Foursquare to Apple to Wikipedia to Esri, TV and press coverage around the world, innovative releases from MapBox, MySociety, Skobbler, Stamen, and a thousand others. More people are using OSM data than ever before.
More people are adding to it, too. Our data has grown by 43% in just one year. Most of this is added with two tools: JOSM, the offline editor (Java), and Potlatch, the online one (Flash). Launched in 2006 and 2007 respectively, they’re mature, stable, and enjoyed by thousands of users – the tools that have built the best map of the world.
But how do we harness the knowledge of millions of casual users who are now seeing a ‘Data by OpenStreetMap’ credit for the first time? How do we get people editing on the move, using phones and tablets that can’t run Flash or Java? Can we build something that doesn’t have the power of JOSM or Potlatch, yet is easier for the first-time user to grasp?
iD is a new project to build a simple, friendly editor for OpenStreetMap – an editor designed entirely for the first-timer to quickly add their street or their local cafe. It’s not a new Potlatch or a new JOSM: it’s ‘an editor for the rest of us’, a stepping stone into OSM.
Development is at its really early stages. It doesn’t do much yet: no tagging, no save. It’s not very pretty. That’s where you come in. OSM needs the best, most intuitive map editor there is, and you can help. Coder? Designer? UX specialist? Get involved.
You can read the project introduction, fork the code on github, and read the live docs. Check out the code, play to your heart’s content – tear it up and make it drastically different if you want – and let’s build something to take the OSM editing experience up another notch.