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Yesterday I went out to map an unmapped area in Rauma for OSM. Mapping the area was less painful than what I expected. In part I expected to collapse on the street or something since I'm in terrible shape...

There were couple lessons that I learned from the trip and since it's all about sharing information, I decided to share the these pieces of information as well.

  • First thing I realized while heading out was that you really need a proper GPS unit. Initially I planned on using an iPhone and a Garmin Colorado 300 to collect redundant tracks for the whole trip. Since GPS signal varies quite a bit due to various reasons, it's good to have 2 tracks so you can use the average of those tracks. The problem turned out to be the iPhone, which for some reason started acting up almost immediately as I headed out. I don't know if it was the heat or something else. But if it had been my only GPS for the trip, my whole day would have been ruined.
  • Get a map! Yes, even though you should never copy from other maps to OSM, it's a good idea to grab a map of the area and do some light planning on the order you are going to visit the streets. I didn't plan beforehand and I ended up running up and down streets twice or more. It's not a bad idea to draw out your planned route on a map, but keep your eyes open! Most maps lack areas and have streets that don't exist anymore. Those are the ones you are there to catch. That is what makes OSM so important.

  • Take a camera with you. Sure, this is something that most people say anyway, but even though I knew that a camera would be handy, I never expected it to be this handy. It's quite easy to snap pictures of the street signs even on the run. So instead of writing anything down or using any other method, try a camera.

  • You should always carry something to drink. I didn't have anything and it was a hot day. In the end I was exhausted and rather dehydrated. I was planning on heading out to a nearby gas station to get something to drink, but never got there.
  • Take a picture of your GPS with the time and date visible. This helps you synchronize the pictures on the track you created. I always forget to do this...

There you go. I had a good time and will most likely do this again, but first I need to fix my bike.

Posted Thu Jul 2 10:51:02 2009 Tags: openstreetmap