How to use data from OpenStreetMap

I’m keen to help out with data from my area. But before I do that, it’s not too obvious to me how to download OpenStreetMap data for my own use. I thought the idea of the project is to make data available for everyone…

Is it in fact possible to download maps that are calibrated? And above all, my main aim is to use so called poi’s when travelling. Is it possible to download lists of points of interest that have been marked on maps?

I think this project is superb and I think the poi angle is something that many people will get into as gps units become more and more common, especially in phones. Is OpenStreetMap into that sort of thing too?

The data is available in three major ways:

  • The (webbased) API through which you add your data is also used to deliver all available data for a specific area to you. There are a few applications able to communicate with the API, most importantly JOSM.
  • The (webbased) maps based on OSM data as can be found on, and
  • Then there is also the weekly dump of the OSM database, called the ‘planet dump’.

Using the API and/or the planetdump you have raw access to all the data as collected by OSM. You can decide what is done with that data. As of now, OSM does not provide ready for use printable maps, however I’m sure people are working on that, but you can yourself using e.g. PDF atlas or ImgAtlas,

See the above answer. All data for OSM is stored using the same projection as used by Google.

There is a wiki page that specifies all (agreed upon) tags for POI’s (among others). You can add your own POI’s ofcourse as OSM does not enforce any standard (though some standardization is useful for creating maps ofcourse). An simple, but interesting and powerful POI finder is OpenStreetMap Name Finder.

A nice answer would be: OpenStreetMap can be everything you want it to be. It is a community base project, so you can (partly) decide what is done and which subjects are important. :slight_smile:

I tried out josm but ended up just with the error file after it closed down. If i downloaded just gpx data it was ok, but when i downloaded full data it closed down. Should I send the error log to someone? I do I get lat and long. plus the name that has been assigned to a particular point?

I still think that the website would be a great repository for poi’s for travellers. But not with the current interface. I was hoping for a geographical version of wikipedia. Maybe it will come with time…

Strange, I’ve never heard of that behavior before… Can you post the JOSM version, Java version and the relevant portion of the error log please? Maybe lat/long and zoom level or the url as well? Thanks.