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Open Street Map Project

1137 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  njcioffi
If you guys have never heard of the Open Street Map Project, it's worth looking into. Their goal (and they're doing quite well at it) is to have the entire earth mapped, and all of the data in the public domain. You can sort of think of it as the wikipedia of maps (only it's more accurately vetted). You can use the map data for free in any way that you like. It is typically far more up to date than the maps you have to purchace every year for your (insert brand name commercial GPS device here), due to how much fun volunteer cartographers have with this. There are several Free GPS applications for Android, and probably some for the iPhone too (if you're a girl :p ). On my phone I have: OpenSatNav for navigation, OSMDroid for location or just browsing a map, and OSMTracker for recording GPS traces.

If you're a cartographer, or would like to play one in real life, and you want to own and participate in a map that actually counts, please have a look at They accept participation in the form of map edits, as well as uploads of GPS traces.

Here's a couple of screen shots to show you the level of detail that you can expect.
Map Plan

Map Ecoregion Atlas Line World
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I have been having a lot of fun collecting traces of trails and such, and converting my walks in the woods into a usable map. Improving the map is really fun for me.

So, I'll make the same offer to you guys as I've made to my other friends. If you send me your gps traces (.gpx files) I'll enter them onto the map for you, and you'll be able to use the improved map next time you go out. I also make a habit of deleting my traces once the map has been updated.
Even though no one seems interested in this, I still want to share some areas where I've done some work. Maybe someone will be interested some time in the future.

This is a small tree farm near my house. It's loaded with red squirrels (or at least it was until I found it), oak trees, a couple of deer, and it has a million trails running through it. I've walked and drawn all of them that are on the map. OpenStreetMap

These are some power lines and snow mobile trails near my house. It took me about 7 hours to hike them all (I even got lost, since the map was just blank), then I added them to the map. I also added several of the roads that jut into those woods. OpenStreetMap

Here's some trails about 20 minutes north of me. I hiked them all, it took several trips. I added the logging road, the conservation trails, the dirtbike track (you have to zoom in more to actually see that) and all of the quarries and restricted roads (don't ask how I recorded those traces). It was some good scouting, and my son and I also hunted Grey Squirrels on the logging road. OpenStreetMap

Here's a state forest trail that my wife and I hiked together. It's weird, because it's partly on private property. It's sort of a land grant that lets the owner keep it, but gives the public access.

This is a public park near my house.

I added all of these things to the map. I'm kind of proud of that. They were all just white space a few months ago. I think it's a great way to show hunters doing a good thing for the public.
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That is very cool. I will check into it when I get a chance. Really cool concept! Thanks for sharing it.
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