Beginner’s Guide

Reviewed 2015-07-12

This guide shows step by step how to get started with OpenStreetMap. You will learn how to set up an account, how to use basic map editing software, and in later chapters you can learn how to go outside and collect information to put on the map.

Are you new to OpenStreetMap and want to improve the map by adding data?

If you want to get started and be able to edit the map data then we recommend that you read these guides:

  • the introduction gives you some background about the project
  • Getting started shows you how to get an account and how to invoke an editor
  • in iD editor you learn the basics of editing the data

You already know how to use an editor and want to contribute to Humanitarian Mapping?

The main point is to learn how mapping in this context is coordinated.

If you are an experienced mapper and want to know more about validation then a section in our Tasking Manager guide explains the process.

Would you like to use OpenStreetMap on mobile devices?

There is a whole chapter devoted to mobile mapping

You are familiar with GIS tools and want access to the raw data?

The guides on where to obtain data and how to use Geofabrik and HOT Export should provide some pointers how to extract data in various formats from the database.