How can we contribute?

We are an open-mobility company namma yatri. We would like to contribute to OSM and were told that uploading tracks in urban areas wouldnt contribute much since these are roads that are already well mapped. Requesting suggestions on how we could better contribute to OpenStreetMaps.
Thanks in advance.

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I believe that the most positive impact a company can have on OSM would be to create software to assist OSM or help develop existing software. Since that is an area that is very hard for individual volunteers to contribute to.

For example:

  • Having an option in your app to report missing or incorrect data, then fixing it yourself or notifying local mappers.
  • Having a platform to view normalized GPS traces. And being able to detect when the trace does not align or exist in OSM.

You might want to look at what other companies are doing to improve OSM. For example see Lyft - OpenStreetMap Wiki for what Lyft does in North America. Note however, that organized editing is done with stricter guidelines. See Organised Editing Guidelines - OpenStreetMap Foundation.


If by tracks you mean gps recording then I think they can still be useful in areas that appear well mapped as they can give a better indication of actual road position and can be used to better align satellite imagery.

The traces need to be of a reasonably decent quality though and Iā€™m not sure if a plain HDOP filters out the urban canyon problem which affects areas with a lot of high buildings.

If you have a lot of traces some sort of pre-processed heatmap overlay might be the most useful as the least accurate traces will normally be outside the main hotspots. Strava has one of these that is/was very useful, but you may wish to do more trimming of the start and ends if the rides to help preserve user privacy.

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One major thing often missing from OSM is actual street numbers / addresses, so that would be a valuable thing to add, as long as you are using either personal reports from your drivers, or an authorised source.

As mentioned earlier though, please make sure you follow the Organised Editing rules.

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