Which is the preferred resource: Mapillary, or OpenStreetCam?

Hi folks,

OSM is great, the more I learn the more I’m excited by it. I’m just recently getting more interested in contributing to OSM, and thought that likewise contributing to one of the imaging projects (OSC or Mapillary) might be useful. I’ve tried them both but haven’t decided which imaging project to stick with.

When y’all are editing OSM based on contributed images, do you tend to prefer one service over the other?

I’ve reviewed a few foreign-language topics regarding Mapillary vs. OSC13 but still couldn’t answer this question since I’m pretty new to actually making edits in OSM based off of imagery, using iD with plugins, etc… Those threads mostly seem to deal with issues around the image generation & legal side of the two imaging projects, not the outputs and cartography side. I wanted to get a practical sense of where my images would be the most useful.


I wonder the same - for me the images looks better on OpenStreetCam but it might be that I was more lucky with people filming with actual cameras vs smartphone.

Also, obviously some places are covered only with one of them so you don’t have much choice.

Just some observations that I’ll fine tune as I learn more (read: record more street-level imagery) but here are some quick pros & cons from the content generation perspective. I’m currently tied to an Apple iPhone so all my experience is based on that. Here goes:

/ prefixes an observation that is subjectively neither better or worse that the competition

  • prefixes an observation that is subjectively better than the competition
  • prefixes an observation that is subjectively worse that the competition

/ Seem to have the same content license, although I did not try to download any of my original images in bulk
/ Seem to offer scripted uploading from image sources outside of the app
/ I don’t know how long they’re kept, but un-blurred original photos (without watermarks) are available for download via the website. This may be a ‘-‘ depending on your level of trust regarding these companies, but I find it useful as a make-shift dash-cam.
/ I don’t see a way in either iOS application to import your own geotagged images which were created in another application
/ Both services offer vehicle mounts if needed
/ Image quality appeared similar in both cases


  • More reliably captures images; it’ll resume after the app regains focus
  • Will let you record in either horizontal or vertical orientation, but will not rotate
  • ODBII-support for vehicles that provide it, but I haven’t tried this
  • Resolution can be specificed
  • Does not truly appear to be open-source; the github.com repo is already stale by two years despite more recent releases in the iOS App Store.


  • Seems to have better community (documentation, how-tos, etc.)
  • Ability in the iOS application to copy an image to local storage
  • Ability in the iOS application to delete any images before or after upload
  • Features a low-power mode which stops displaying the camera’s view
  • Will stop capturing if you switch focus away from the app


I was just looking at this issue for my area in Klang, Malaysia. I tried Mapillary first, but previous contributions are very sparse. Only a few main roads are captured. Then I tried OpenStreetCam (OSC), a lot more contributions from others near my area. Based on that I’m likely to continue contributing VSVI (Volunteered Street View Imagery) using OSC. Recent acquisition of OSC project by Grab is likely to lead to more contributions in my area.

I also found this recent journal article comparing usage of Mapillary vs OSC in USA, that came to a similar conclusion. Mapillary and OSC popularity differs depending on the cities.