Completely new and a little lost!

Hi there!

I am very new to open street map and I am not from a computer related back ground. I am finding all the computer talk a little confusing and I am finding getting started a struggle. I know to a lot of you it may look simple but I basically have no clue. I have tried looking at the help guide, which was useful in places but not for my main problem. I am currently stuck on trying to get my GPS tracks to actually appear, there may be a simple explanation and if someone has got a simple explanation that would be grand. Simpler the better! I really want to get my head round it and start to map my town.


Hello Anne.

Have you uploaded your GPS tracks to OSM?
You can do this by going to and picking the track you wish to upload. If you’ve done this already skip to the next step.

Once uploaded the tracks will become available to OSM editors. They can be traced over to create new data for the project. This doesn’t have to be done by yourself however another user may not use the data for quite some time so in practice I think most users do create data from their own tracks. You can do this in Potlatch, the online editor.

If you want the GPS track preloaded in Potlatch then go to your traces and click the “edit” link next to the track you want to use. That will open Potlatch with the GPS track preloaded for your use.

Once in Potlatch you can draw over the trace, shown as a thin blue line. Then add relevant tags to your new ways and/or nodes.

If you get stuck just pop back here and I’m sure that others will also help you.

Welcome to OSM!

Welcome, you allready checked out this nice introdutcion? :

Welcome to OSM.

One problem which I remember experiencing when I started with OSM was my GPS tracks failing to appear. I use a Garmin etrex and I was trying to upload a ‘saved’ track: these do not have enough information for OSM. If by any chance you are using a Garmin then you need to upload the raw track data.

Unfortunately I can’t find a detailed reference to this issue at the moment. has some excellent tutorials. I’d strongly recommend you follow these rather than the badly written and confusing Beginners’ Guide on the wiki.