Map builder going global

Hi all,
Map builder is map editor by Microsoft. We are trying to make it super easy for Bing users to edit maps. In regions where Bing maps uses OSM, we are putting “Edit maps” button in map canvas. If users click it, they are entering Map builder application. We will start global rollout (from May 2024) to enable “Edit maps” button worldwide! This is big step for us, as we think we are ready to both have global coverage and necessary scale (in moderation and resources) to welcome new generation of mappers:)

We had our own set of region-specific problems, like in Latvia where Bing aerial images’ offset cannot be used for tracing. Or in Australia where we had to add access tag for service roads. We are aware that world is large place and we want to use this thread as a heads-up:

  • to inform community that you can expect more Bing users in your vicinity, and
  • to report us any unsolicited/suspicious behavior coming from Map builder

Please use our osm[at] e-mail for general-purpose question and feedback, and we can use this thread to alert us on region-specific systematic problems that could come from Map builder!

To figure out if Map builder is already in your country, go to Bing maps, zoom in to area of interest and see if there is OpenStreetMap attribution in lower right corner and if road network/landuse is coming from OSM too. If it is, that region is having “Edit maps” already. If it isn’t, we will start global rollout there very soon.


Does Map Builder edit OpenStreetMap data?
Do users alter OpenStreetMap by using Map Builder?


Yes on both:)

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Thanks Branko.

Just as a clarification

is fairly unspecific, for example you use OSM buildings* where I live but nothing else, I’m assuming “uses OSM” means road network and maybe some POIs?


* BTW it seems as if the exemplary attribution that you used to have is AWOL.

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You are right, you can assume road network, admin boundaries, landuses… I will edit original message!


How can one identify changesets created by Map builder? Is Map builder just one generic OSM user account?



I was about to ask something similar. I tried making an edit, but was asked to sign into Bing, so I stopped there. If I continued, would I be asked to create an OpenStreetMap account in addition to being signed into a Microsoft account?

As far as I can see, this uses a version of the ID Editor. But I couldn’t see a way to get to the Walkthrough that a new OSM user would see when using ID the first time.

There is no way I would have understood what to do if I wasn’t already familiar with OSM editing. For example, the suggested new road locations were shown as isolated segments. As an OSM contributor I would have been able to connect them to nearby roads correctly, but I don’t think that would be obvious to a new user. I don’t know if that would have been flagged if I had continued. Maybe it would be useful to incldude the ID walkthrough, or something similar, in the process?


Just a pointer for those that seem to not have been following the lead up to this announcement, there has been substantial discussion and contact with Microsoft on the topic over something like two years

I kind of remember that there was a talk about it last year but I can’t locate that right now.


No, every user has its own account. We are in process of moving to SSO, so every user will have OSM account too (it is progressing slowly, watch for updates here). You can identify changeset same as you would identify other editos - using “created_by” changeset tag. It should have “Map builder x.y.z” valiue. If it went through post-moderation, it will have “source=Map builder”

It would create “proxy account” in OSM that would submit on your behalf, but as mentioned above, we are transitioning to SSO (it just that we are working on making it possible for users to return back to originating editor when creating new OSM account).

Yes, we used iD as a starting point, but don’t think of Map builder as “iD with different skin”. We are trying to create simplified experience for users. It means that long-term we will probably sacrifice what will be possible to edit with Map builder, but we will try to rely on visual clues for those elements that Map builder is offering. As you can see today, there is tooltips that follow mouse and GIFs that try to replace walkthrough and offer less steep learning curve for users coming for first time)

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did you build your own presets or are you pulling them from other projects like josm or id? If they are external, are you keeping them in sync with future updates?

Do you have by any chance screenshot how it looked before?

They are our own crafted version of presets (what is able to be added from Map builder). As you can see, they are failry limited in choice (by design) and tags they can handle

I had conversation about this with @SimonPoole . Seems like Simon cannot see attribution in lower right corner (for both TomTom and OSM) in one browser, while I can see it (same zoom level, same lat/long). Also his other browser can see it. I will be following up with Bing maps frontend team, so far it looks like a bug to me.


The problem seems to be specific to FF and some other magic, for example on my laptop the attribution works. The behaviour is not just for me btw, but it simply seems to be a bug.

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I created a test account and tried out the map builder. Unfortunately there are a lot of translation errors, especially for the feature objects to be mapped.

Also, the auto-generated changeset comments are in the language the user logged in with. I wonder if this is a good idea, as people may be also editing the map where their browser language is not the spoken language?

This is very valuable feedback (something that we cannot figure out themselves, for sure:D). We have two translations - one done by Bing localization team, and we take iD localization for some stuff (suspicuously buidling types, road types…). I will ping you privately for more details, not to spam here (but if you think it would be beneficial for everyone to see those details - write it please here)!

I cannot repro this. Localization language in Map builder should be language that is set in your account (Bing wide). If you just created your account, I would assume it took language that you signed in with (probably language that browser sent in Accept-Language header and your IP address). If I change langauge to something else, I see both Map builder interface and autogenerated comment in that same language. Do you think autogenerated comments should be in English and not in language of interface maybe (we can debate about this, I would say they shouldn’t be in English)?

Thanks again for valuable feedback!

I am posting it here, maybe other languages are also affected :slightly_smiling_face:. In my case it’s German. It seems that many words are translated without context. For example “track” (highway=track) is wrongly translated (you used the German word for “to track”). Also feature objects have more than one term (see screenshot “Mehrfamilienhaus”-“Apartmentgebäude”; the first one seems to be from iD and is correct) or are concatenated together without grammer rules.
Screenshot 2024-05-14 003008
Screenshot 2024-05-14 003020
But this is just a small selection I found. I would just always take the term in iD for the feature object. They are almost always correct.

Do you think autogenerated comments should be in English and not in language of interface maybe (we can debate about this, I would say they shouldn’t be in English)?

For example I made some edits in Africa. My browser language is German, so the changeset edits were generated in German, even tough nobody speaks/understands German in that geographic region. I don’t know if its better to have them in English, but it would be a better solution in case people are editing things outside their language region.

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