Providing data to OpenStreetMap – a new guide for data owners

As more and more maps are built on OpenStreetMap data, OSM is becoming the most compelling way for public organisations and other data owners to get their information out to the greatest number of people.

Two local councils in the UK, Oxfordshire County Council and Buckinghamshire Council, were recently funded by the Open Data Institute to investigate using and contributing to crowdsourced open map data – like OSM.

As part of this, I worked with the two councils to draw up a straightforward how-to guide for other organisations that want to contribute their data to OSM. The guide covers all the prerequisites – working with the community, compatible licensing, and ongoing maintenance – as well as explaining the different approaches for integrating data, and discussing which approach will be most suitable in each context. It covers the issues most frequently raised by data owners over the lifetime of OSM so far, and shows where to find more help if you need it.

I hope it will serve as a useful reference for the many organisations who express an interest in working with OpenStreetMap, and encourage more successful schemes in the future. Many thanks to the ODI and both councils for their support!

Richard Fairhurst

8 thoughts on “Providing data to OpenStreetMap – a new guide for data owners

  1. Max

    I’m glad to hear OSM usage is expanding; unfortunately, in my admittedly very personal / subjective and very limited experience external OSM usage has basically dropped to zero even compared to just a few years ago. Literally every single new embedded map I see now uses Gmaps, no exceptions. So it’s good to hear I must be seeing it all wrong…

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  2. Sadless74

    Thank you Richard for the clear guidу. Will you allow it to be translated into Russian and adapted for our country?

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    1. RicoElectrico

      Not Richard here, but from PDF properties this was made in Pages (Apple office suite). A bummer, if we’d like to keep the original format and fonts.

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      1. Bernelle Verster

        Hi, I’m new to OpenStreetMap and also learning how to use open source typesetting, my current favourite is Scribus and perhaps SILE as a better alternative to TeX related things. Would you suggest to convert this to one of those (and advise which you’d recommend please). It may be a good and useful practice run for me.

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  3. Deane Kensok

    Thanks, Richard! That is a very informative and well written guide. I will share a link to the PDF with GIS users from local authorities that Esri is encouraging to share their data with the OSM community. You explain the benefits and considerations for doing that better than I ever could!

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  5. Jez Nicholson

    An interesting read. I was surprised by the omission of the Local Chapter structure within your description. Organisations do have someone to talk to when they first approach OSM, for example this was how the ODI connected.

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