/>
X

Photos: Unfolding OpenStreetMap

Images taken from the open-source application illustrate how information is collated to create a detailed map of an area
zd-defaultauthor-jonathan-bennett.jpg
By Jonathan Bennett on
openstreetmap-1.jpg
1 of 5 Jonathan Bennett/ZDNet

Contributors to OpenStreetMap walk, cycle or drive around an area, recording their position at regular intervals using a GPS receiver. This creates a set of breadcrumb trails that show the position of streets.

openstreetmap-2.jpg
2 of 5 Jonathan Bennett/ZDNet

Once GPS data has been gathered, it can be traced using JOSM, the offline editor for OpenStreetMap. "Nodes" and "segments" define the physical layout of roads, rivers and other features.

openstreetmap-3.jpg
3 of 5 Jonathan Bennett/ZDNet

Street names, routing information and other data is overlaid on the physical layout using "ways". Each segment can belong to more than one way, so that the topology can be reused as much as possible.

openstreetmap-4.jpg
4 of 5 Jonathan Bennett/ZDNet

Once the topology is defined and tags added to define street types and other features, it can be rendered into a map.

openstreetmap-5.jpg
5 of 5 Jonathan Bennett/ZDNet

Freemap combines OpenStreetMap data with contours from a Nasa project and photos from Geograph to create an annotated map aimed at walkers. The Creative Commons licence used by OpenStreetMap allows this kind of reuse of its data.

Related Galleries

First look: iPhone 13 Apple event [in pictures]
california-streaming-2.jpg

Related Galleries

First look: iPhone 13 Apple event [in pictures]

72 Photos
Toshiba laptops through the ages
screenshot-2020-08-11-at-11-52-27.png

Related Galleries

Toshiba laptops through the ages

11 Photos
The naughty list: Tech CEOs getting coal for Christmas
Coal

Related Galleries

The naughty list: Tech CEOs getting coal for Christmas

10 Photos
Tech turkeys: Apple and Google dominate the year's menu of failures
placeholder.png

Related Galleries

Tech turkeys: Apple and Google dominate the year's menu of failures

26 Photos
The Nightmare in Silicon Valley: 8 horror technologies that should scare you to death
try.jpg

Related Galleries

The Nightmare in Silicon Valley: 8 horror technologies that should scare you to death

8 Photos
2019's tech, security, and authentication trends
Tech chart graph stats

Related Galleries

2019's tech, security, and authentication trends

13 Photos
Carry on: Must-have minimalist travel gadgets in 2019
screenshot-2019-05-29-at-15-19-01.png

Related Galleries

Carry on: Must-have minimalist travel gadgets in 2019

11 Photos