Newbie question - uMap and alternatives

Hi everybody!

I’m just getting started with using OSM – not initially from the perspective of contributing, but the more I read about that, the more interested I am becoming in looking into how to do that, too. :slight_smile:

But for now, my question is on the usage side of things and probably pretty simple. I am looking for an OSM-based service that I can use to make and save my own maps – initially this will primarily be setting customisable pins and saving some extra information, but the more powerful the tool the better. I am aware there will be many – I’ve already seen this and from a first look like the interface of uMap. I was really just wondering whether there is one that would be considered the “Go To” service for these kinds of things, whether it is personal taste and 3 people will give me 5 opinions, and in the latter case, whether some of you would be willing to share those opinions. (Use case would just be me making my own highlight maps, like many people make them on Google maps, and to possibly share with friends occasionally, nothing more complex than that.)

The other one from that list above I’ve seen recommended somewhere was FacilMap, but I can’t find much about it online – and somewhere on this forum (here I’ve seen Leaflet recommended – yet from my limited understanding and a bit of reading around that seems to be a JavaScript library underlying services like uMap, rather than a comparable service - or am I missing something here? (Disclaimer: Not a software engineer, so forgive me if this is a stupid question.)

Hope this makes sense, and hope I’m in the right forum – please feel free to tell me off if I’m not. :smiley:



I’m certainly not an OSM expert like many here. I mostly just use OSM through mapping apps like ViewRanger, etc. For online maps, I was using Google Maps like a lot of people, but when they messed with the API, and then kept changing stuff around, it became annoying. I then switched to an online mapping site out of Spain called ikiMap. It wasn’t bad, but I realized I wanted something more flexible using various OSM base maps. Like you I searched for the various alternatives, and looked at the various lists on the OSM website. I settled on uMap. I wish there was a common, nearly universally supported app for plotting waypoints and sharing maps, but there doesn’t seem to be. I’ve now made four different uMap maps for myself: One plotting the path and features of the National Old Trails Road from New York City through Pennsylvania (not quite done, and plan to do other regions); Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) archeological sites in the southwestern U.S.; ancient megalithic sites in the British Isles (using Megalithic Portal data); and one of medieval sites in the British Isles. Obviously, these aren’t small projects! uMap seems to be handling them well.

My only problem with uMap is that the main development is from France, and the main help site is in French. I speak it, but not very well… not well enough to ask technical questions. You can ask some basic stuff on the English OSM help site using a uMap tag.
You can make your own custom icons if you place them in a server online, or use online icons with unique URLs (I make my own). However, it’s a little more cumbersome than just picking their ready-made icons.

@Parsa9, there is also a mailing list for umap, where you can ask questions in English, see