How this book was written

Fives of the OSM sprinters, Anne Gentle missing
, and the clock, marking the end of the sprint

You are reading the first free and open book about OpenStreetMap, the open and editable map created and refined by world wide contributors.

This book is dedicated to newcomers interested in collaborative mapping who have not yet gotten their hands on OpenStreetMap. Though we wanted to make this book accessible for beginners, advanced users will also find more complex information in the last two sections.

It was written during a three-day book sprint held during the Google Summer of Code Documentation Summit in Mountain View, California between the 18th and 20th of October 2011. The team consisted of a group of six co-authors (developers, users, trainers and beginners), Kate Chapman, Ian Dees, Anne Gentle, Shaun McDonald, Nóirín Plunkett and Tomi Toivio, and was facilitated by Anne Goldenberg of FlossManuals-fr.

This book was written with several goals in mind:

  • To welcome you to the practice of collaborative mapping.
  • To introduce you the OpenStreetMap contributing community.
  • To explain to you the basics of OpenStreetMap contribution.
  • To present to you the tools, the tricks and the more advanced uses of OpenStreetMap.
  • To offer you free and updated documentation that can be edited by the community.
We hope you enjoy this book as much as we enjoyed collaborating on it. Don't hesitate to contribute to this text online if you want to improve or update this documentation and collaborate with us. You will find everything you need at You are also welcome to help with the translation of this book at And we are looking forward to welcoming you to the OpenStreetMap community, where we hope you will enjoy collaborating with us in future!