Map editing in a small town.

Hey guys I’m new to mapping and i wanted to try and improve the map for my small town, issue is the satellite pictures are all at least 3 years old or so and there are huge chunks of land that are still covered with trees where now there are shopping centers,bars and other buildings. Hell even the house i live in doesn’t exist according to the map. What should I do? I’m willing to just trace all of my town with the gps if that would help in any way( and If i actually learnt how to do it haha).

Collecting GPS tracks should be your first step regardless. The reason is that aerial imagery is not always aligned correctly so you should have some “ground truth” information to confirm the imagery alignment. If the imagery is not aligned correctly, then the various editors have ways of adjusting it. If you upload the GPS tracks you collect then they will be available for other mappers to use.

I don’t know what editor you use or plan to use. But I know in JOSM there are usually some choices in imagery. Some are older than others. It may be that one of the imagery sources will be new enough to show some of the newer construction.

You don’t say where you are or if there is existing mapping in OSM for your area. If it is in the United States then it might only be mapped with the old TIGER import which has significant issues. If that is your case, then aligning the roads to match imagery and your GPS tracks and verifying the names, etc. will be your first step. If you are in an area without existing map data, then I’d start by tracing the roads that show up in the (aligned) imagery. Once that is complete, then I’d add the roads that don’t show up but for which you’ve collected GPS tracks. Nothing wrong with using GPS tracks only: That is how OSM started and existed before imagery with appropriate copyrights became available.

As you are a new mapper, I’ll add the caution that you should only use imagery that has appropriate copyrights (everything available in your OSM editor of choice). Use of other imagery (like Google) will cause legal issues that we want to avoid.

Thanks for the quick reply! I live in a small town in Italy so what you said about TIGER shouldn’t apply to my case. I’ll check out more info on gps tracking and how to upload the data here tomorrow and in the next days I’ll drive through the whole city, then after that I’ll see what I can do about the actual mapping from the satellite images ( I’m still a huge newbie).

What type of mobile phone do you have? On Android I use OsmTracker to collect GPS tracks. There are other apps that will work as well. I am not sure what is available on iPhone but am sure there is something. One issue with some of the cheaper Android phones is that the GPS antenna/receiver may not be very good. But if you have a mid-range or higher relatively new mobile phone then it should do a fairly good job of creating GPS tracks.

By the way, welcome aboard! What part of Italy are you in? I’ll be visiting some of Italy this September and will be using OsmAnd and/or (both of which use OSM data) during my trip. So thank you in advance for making my trip nicer and keeping me from getting lost!