Advice for mapping a hospital

Hi all

I’m going to attempt mapping the inside of this hospital (given that hospital signage is notoriously terrible, more or less everywhere).

I’ve had a look at the Wiki here but it’s not that intuitive to a total newbie.

Can anyone recommend where I start? I’m looking for a ‘101’ that will in the first place help me to understand how indoor mapping is done at the ‘back end’, and at the front end, how it can be accessed by a ‘normal user’ (ie, not a mapping/web/tech geek like those on this forum, myself included!)

I want hospital users to be able to open a webpage map on their phone and get directions to their chosen destination (eg, ‘Audiology’, ‘Pathology’, ‘Orthopedic outpatients’) - perhaps even on a special hospital map app.

Is this the sort of thing that OSM can help with, or would I be better somewhere else?


The standard method for indoor mapping is Simple Indoor Tagging, which contains everything you need to know if you want to map the interior of a building.

As for user tools, I am afraid the only real generic tool for viewing indoor maps is OpenLevelUp, which you have probably already seen already. It’s a great tool, but probably not yet for the “normal” user (I personally use the “legacy” version, which displays more useful data and is easier to use).

Thanks, that’s very helpful.

The article mentions POIs with the same coordinates and how to work around that problem:

What I can’t see is how to deal with two areas that share exactly the same coordinates: am I missing something ? How do we deal with, say, a two-up, two-down house, where both floors have an identical floor plan but each room has a different use?

You can simply draw two completely unrelated areas – separate ways, separate nodes – that happen to be in the same place. Give them different level tags, add other tags as needed.

The repeat_on solution is suggested for elevator door nodes because those should be part of the same way (the elevator’s outline) for semantic reasons. For pretty much everything else, copy & paste is a proper solution.


Final question then: once all my areas are lying exactly on top of each other, how do I select just one of them to (re)edit it?

I’m using iD and even when they’re not duplicate objects, it seems very hard to select one object instead of another if they’re close to each other or layered.

Is there some kind of a feature like the ‘reorder objects’ function in Powerpoint? Or something really obvious that I’m missing?

In JOSM, you can use the middle mouse button to select from a group of stacked features. JOSM also has a filter tool that can be used to only show features that are on a particular level.

Not sure if/how this works in iD, sorry. :confused:

A good tool for clicking through different levels and editing them is here:

I have the same problem with ID, which is probably not suited for indoor mapping. JOSM is better for indoor mapping (and everything else), but my favorite tool is Vespucci, which is an Android app.

Or try using ID-Indoor (I have rarely used it, but it probably lets you do what you want since it has level filters).