basic technique for mapping a path (street, road, bikeway, etc.)

I have a basic question about getting started making a track with my GPS to create a path for OSM. Do you map the centerline of the path (or close), or actually go up and down both sides (which helps define the width), or one side, and knowing it was approximately x distance from the left or right edge of the actual path?


I don’t think it really matters where you’re walking/driving unless the street you map is wider than long :wink:
Accuracy of most gps devices is around 10 meters and if you upload your first track you’ll see, they never exactly match the existing lines. At least it is for me using a bluetooth gps device with sirfIII chipset.

If you are in a concrete canyon try to walk in the middle of the street, so you get better sattelite locks. You can get a aproximated width by visiting the same street several times, but that is going to take a long time, and Openstreetmap has little support for that kind of data.

But upload the GPS tracks, because of the massive amount of data that is needed you will probably not beable to do this on your own.

Btw for me with a clear sky I have no problem getting tracks within 2-3meter of each other…

I walk along the middle if there’s no traffic.

If it’s a busy street, I walk along one side, but I sometimes cross to the other side when I go past a side-street. This has two advantages: (1) the bumps in the GPS track give me an idea of the width of the road, and (2) it provides an extra indication of where the side streets meet the road I’m walking along.

Smart one changing sides… But I get apalling accuracy when in cities so that’s something I will try when in the country side… :slight_smile:

I try to stand still in the middle of intersections (yes even in traffic) this way I get better satellite locks, so you can see my tracks drifting slightly and then at every intersection getting a good lock on… Since the intersections are the most important things this strategy has served me well…