OSM instructions

Guide to mapping through OpenStreetMap (adopted from LearnOSM

The Elk River Alliance needs help adding your town features to the map. This is a revolutionary concept in community planning for flooding; there is no other documented case in which an organization actively enlists the community members to contribute to their flood hazard maps. Research suggests, however, that the more involved community members are with the planning stage, the more ready they will be when a disaster occurs.

OpenStreetMap is a tool for creating and sharing map information. Anyone can contribute to OSM through drawing maps on computers, rather than paper. Like drawing on paper, you will still draw lines for roads, buildings, etc., as well as use symbols for places. The key aspect of OSM is that the map is available online to anyone at any time for free.

To create an account click here and follow the instructions. Make sure you remember or write down your username and password!
Once you’ve created an account you can visit www.openstreetmap.org to begin mapping your area. The best web browsers for this are Chrome or Firefox. Click  in the top right corner and use the username and password you created for your OSM account. When you’re logged in, you can use the iD editor  to draw on the map. You must zoom in close to edit.
To add a new point, click on the Point button. Your mouse cursor will change into plus (+) sign. Now, click on a position that you know to mark a location.

Notice that a new point is added. At the same time, the left panel will change to show a form where you can select attributes for the object. If you make a mistake, such as a wrong location, you can move your point to a new location by holding the left mouse button on your point and dragging it. Or, if you want to delete your point, click the left mouse button on the point and then click the button which looks like a trashcan.

Besides adding points you can draw lines, for roads and paths, as well as shapes for buildings and areas. To add a new line, click on the Line button. Your mouse cursor will change into plus (+) sign. Find a road that hasn’t been drawn on the map and trace it. Click once on a point where the road segment begins, move your mouse, and click to add additional points. Double-click to end the drawing process. Notice the panel on the left. You can drag points from the line by clicking your left mouse button on a point and dragging it. You also can move the whole line by selecting it, and choosing the Move tool. Then drag the line to a new position.
To add a new multi-sided shape, click on the Area button. Your mouse cursor will change into plus (+) sign. Try to trace a building using the imagery as a guide. You will notice that the color of your shape will change depending on the attributes that you assign to it.
Click “Save”  at the top to save any changes – but don’t save your changes unless you are sure they are correct! You will be asked to provide a description of your changes. Then you click “Save” once more, and your additions will be saved to the OSM database. It may take some time for the changes to appear.

For more detailed instructions on how to edit with OSM visit http://learnosm.org/en/beginner/id-editor/

A special note about Deleting: In general you should avoid deleting other people’s mapping if it just needs improvement. You can delete your own mistakes, but you should try to adjust other people’s mapped objects if they need changes. This preserves the history of the items in the OSM database and is respectful of fellow mappers. If you really feel something should be deleted, consider asking the original mapper or one of the OSM email lists about it first.

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