OpenStreetMap: Your map of last resort

Google Maps’ map of Baghdad is sparse (to say the least),


Microsoft Virtual Earth isn’t much better,


And Yahoo’s is beginning to look familiar:


And yet Google Mapmaker isn’t enabled for Iraq. What to do? OpenStreetMap to the rescue!


OpenStreetMap, going where big corporate mapping datasets fear to tread.

(And when you’re done with Baghdad, check out Kabul, yet another place where Google Mapmaker isn’t enabled: Yahoo Maps, Virtual Earth, Google Maps vs. OpenStreetMap. It isn’t even close.) (Idea stolen from Aid Worker Daily, but for a good cause:-)

8 thoughts on “OpenStreetMap: Your map of last resort”

  1. From what I’ve seen in your screenshots and in my country, Google and Microsoft use the same road data in some countries. And basing on these screenshots, all three seem to use the same water/river/shoreline data as well. :-)

  2. The contributors own the openstreetmap database, unlike wanna be wikis and wanna have free MapMakers.

    I’m very sorry to here that Wikimapia get contributors, even though it’s 8M features are a long way from the 300M of openstreetmap it’s still sad that people allow their creations to be owned by other people.

  3. I have a lot of interest in this area, working for one of the big MapMaker companies… I’ve always advocated community input as a way of improving the map and broadening coverage. But here’s the question: does the possible drop in quality from what is normally provided by commercial MapMakers bother you? For what uses would you use OpenStreetMap versus a commercially-generated map?

  4. Openstreetmap is good if you want to create maps cheap. It doesn’t take long to map a place with two OSM organizers and a bunch of inexperienced people.

    If you have a large budget then you can buy very good commercial databases that are updated with the data you need. If you don’t have the budget to do this then Openstreetmap can be an option, or if there’s no one offering the exact data you want then it might very well be cheaper to go out and collect it yourself.

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