Alternative to Bing?

Large areas of Malaysia aren’t yet covered with high resolution Bing images. I wonder if there is an alternative service available for Malaysia. If so, how can I add it to JOSM?

Google? :laughing:

Nothing that I know of. Considering that the government doesn’t even print out topographical maps available to the public (without permission etc etc), that’s one option that we can write-off. Even my surveyor friend asks where to get updated imagery other than google.

Thanks for the information.
I’ll start with the area near the Thai border where the images are good.
Perhaps somewhen later other areas like Ipoh could be covered… Let’s wait and see.
By the way, can bicycles be used on any type of road in Malaysia? In Thailand, one can even use dual carriage highways (“trunk”) - there the outmost left line is for bicycles and small motor bikes, only a few motorways near Bangkok are closed for bicycles.

Not formally allowed motorways (the main ones) I think, like the North South Highway and East Coast Highway, although those have wide emergency lanes that is used by slower scooters/motorbikes all the time (most probably just like in Thailand, cyclists are tolerated, but don’t quote me on that). In town, motorways usually have distinct, but rather narrow motorbike lanes where you can ride on although I almost kept ploughing over the cyclists with my motorbike.

Other than that is fair game, although DANGEROUS! In the attempt to widen its rural roads, the emergency lane usually is no bigger than 1 foot wide in most places. If lucky, there is a parallel gravel trail used by the locals to move about away from traffic.

you can refer to the 2 taiko in malaysia community mapping.

download their open or public gps tracks, convert to gpx and load in josm…

happy tracing :smiley:


are those the gps traces in Kuantan that you uploaded? If they are, then those tracks are kinda funny since they are segmented (i.e every link between two nodes is a unique way that needed to be joined together to create a way of multiple nodes). Tedious editing. A user uploaded the same kind of tracks for Kuantan/Gambang area a couple years back and how fun it was :stuck_out_tongue: editing to make them meaningful. Alas, better than nothing… :sunglasses:

“Mapbox Satellite” is also available for several regions of Malaysia, I just checked Langkawi, Perlis, Alor Star, Taiping, Kuala Kangsar, Ipoh. For more information, see the post in the Thai forum:

Out of curiosity guys, from my understanding QGIS and OSM has some form of connection. Basically, you can download OSM data directly unto QGIS and I think you can upload modified versions back to OSM. As QGIS is open source, they handle Google Maps base layers. So you can digitize on QGIS over Google Maps and reupload back to OSM (giving credits to Google Maps of course). But is this right in legal terms? We have new KLIA 2 opened and the only way to see the alignment of the runways, building features etc is only through Google. This is just an example.


NO!!! That’s a breach of Google’s licensing terms.

Thanks Bernard. No using Google Maps past and present for OSM. Will work out something from open and free sources on extracting new data

Strava (Running / Cycling) Heat Map is now available in JOSM - very useful to trace highways where high resolution satellite imagery is still unavailable, and doing imagery offset adjustments if needed - on top of available public GPS tracks.

In addition, the Slide add-on incorporated in this custom iD editor from Strava is really useful to trace or improve accuracy on (usually very windy) bike tracks.

Read more here.

If tracing landuse=, water=, etc is your thing, one may rely on Landsat 8 imagery. However, it has 30m resolution (roughly at level 14) and can be very cloudy. I am one of the lazy kind of mapper, so I obtained TMS imagery via OpenAerialMap (rather than downloading a TIFF file and mess around with that TIFF file to get it displayed through JOSM). I think one may credit USGS (US Geological Survey) for the Landsat imagery.

Maybe the good thing is, Landsat has quite recent imagery. Probably ranging from 10 days, up to 60 days if I am not mistaken.

Also, it is the viable alternative to Bing imagery or Mapbox satellite for some imagery blind spots.

Something from the Senior Program Manager for Bing Maps…

Well well well. Hopefully your place would get them (and my places of interests as well!)