Welcome to Potlatch Potlatch is the easy-to-use editor for OpenStreetMap. Draw roads, paths, landmarks and shops from your GPS surveys, satellite imagery or old maps. These help pages will take you through the basics of using Potlatch, and tell you where to find out more. Click the headings above to begin. When you've finished, just click anywhere else on the page. Useful stuff to know Don't copy from other maps! If you choose 'Edit live', any changes you make will go into the database as you draw them - like, immediately. If you're not so confident, choose 'Edit with save', and they'll only go in when you press 'Save'. Any edits you make will usually be shown on the map after an hour or two (a few things take a week). Not everything is shown on the map - it would look too messy. But because OpenStreetMap's data is open source, other people are free to make maps showing different aspects - like OpenCycleMap or Midnight Commander. Remember it's both a good-looking map (so draw pretty curves for bends) and a diagram (so make sure roads join at junctions). Did we mention about not copying from other maps? Find out more Potlatch manual Mailing lists Online chat (live help) Web forum Community wiki Potlatch source-code Surveying with a GPS The idea behind OpenStreetMap is to make a map without the restrictive copyright of other maps. This means you can't copy from elsewhere: you must go and survey the streets yourself. Fortunately, it's lots of fun! The best way to do this is with a handheld GPS set. Find an area that isn't mapped yet, then walk or cycle up the streets with your GPS switched on. Note the street names, and anything else interesting (pubs? churches?) , as you go along. When you get home, your GPS will contain a 'tracklog' recording everywhere you've been. You can then upload this to OpenStreetMap. The best type of GPS is one that records to the tracklog frequently (every second or two) and has a big memory. Lots of our mappers use handheld Garmins or little Bluetooth units. There are detailed GPS Reviews on our wiki. Uploading your track Now, you need to get your track off the GPS set. Maybe your GPS came with some software, or maybe it lets you copy the files off via USB. If not, try GPSBabel. Whatever, you want the file to be in GPX format. Then use the 'GPS Traces' tab to upload your track to the OpenStreetMap server. But this is only the first bit - it won't appear on the map yet. You need to draw and name the roads yourself, using the track as a guide. Using your track Find your uploaded track in the 'GPS Traces' listing, and click 'edit' right next to it. Potlatch will start with this track loaded, plus any waypoints. You're ready to draw! You can also click this button to show everyone's GPS tracks (but not waypoints) for the current area. Hold SHIFT to show just your tracks. Using satellite photos If you don't have a GPS, don't worry. In some cities, we have satellite photos you can trace over, kindly supplied by Yahoo! (thanks!). Go out and note the street names, then come back and trace over the lines. If you don't see the satellite imagery, click the options button and make sure 'Yahoo!' is selected. If you still don't see it, it's probably not available for your city, or you might need to zoom out a bit. On this same options button you'll find a few other choices like an out-of-copyright map of the UK, and OpenTopoMap for the US. These are all specially selected because we're allowed to use them - don't copy from anyone else's maps or aerial photos. (Copyright law sucks.) Sometimes satellite pics are a bit displaced from where the roads really are. If you find this, hold Space and drag the background until it lines up. Always trust GPS tracks over satellite pics. Drawing ways Now that you have Potlatch open, click 'Edit with save' to get started. To draw a road (or 'way') starting at a blank space on the map, just click there; then at each point on the road in turn. When you've finished, double-click or press Enter - then click somewhere else to deselect the road. To draw a way starting from another way, click that road to select it; its points will appear red. Hold Shift and click one of them to start a new way at that point. (If there's no red point at the junction, shift-click where you want one!) Click 'Save' (bottom right) when you're done. Save often, in case the server has problems. Don't expect your changes to show instantly on the main map. It usually takes an hour or two, sometimes up to a week. Making junctions It's really important that, where two roads join, they share a point (or 'node'). Route-planners use this to know where to turn. Potlatch takes care of this as long as you are careful to click exactly on the way you're joining. Look for the helpful signs: the points light up blue, the pointer changes, and when you're done, the junction point has a black outline. More advanced drawing If two parts of a way have different names, you'll need to split them. Click the way; then click the point where it should be split, and click the scissors. (You can merge ways by Shift-clicking, but don't merge two roads of different names or types.) Deleting a point is easy; select it and press Delete. To delete a whole way, press Shift-Delete. Points of interest Not everything is a line or an area. Sometimes you'll just want to put a point on the map. You do this by double-clicking at the right spot; a green circle appears. Moving around To move to a different part of the map, just drag an empty area. Potlatch will automatically load the new data (look at the top right). You can also drag ways, points of interest, and points in ways to correct their position. You'll need to click and hold before dragging a whole way, to prevent accidents. We told you to 'Edit with save', but you can also click 'Edit live'. If you do this, your changes will go into the database straightaway, so there's no 'Save' button. This is good for quick changes and mapping parties. What type of road is it? Once you've drawn a way, you should say what it is. Is it a major road, a footpath or a river? What's its name? Are there any special rules (e.g. "no bicycles")? In OpenStreetMap, you record this using 'tags'. A tag has two parts, and you can have as many as you like. For example, you could add highway | trunk to say it's a major road; highway | residential for a road on a housing estate; or highway | footway for a footpath. If bikes were banned, you could then add bicycle | no. Then to record its name, add name | Market Street. The tags in Potlatch appear at the bottom of the screen - click an existing road, and you'll see what tags it has. Click the '+' sign (bottom right) to add a new tag. The 'x' by each tag deletes it. You can tag whole ways; points in ways (maybe a gate or a traffic light); and points of interest. Using preset tags To get you started, Potlatch has ready-made presets containing the most popular tags. Select a way, then click through the symbols until you find a suitable one. Then, choose the most appropriate option from the menu. This will fill the tags in. Some will be left partly blank so you can type in (for example) the road name and number. One-way roads You might want to add a tag like oneway | yes - but how do you say which direction? There's an arrow in the bottom left that shows the way's direction, from start to end. Click it to reverse. Choosing your own tags Of course, you're not restricted to just the presets. By using the '+' button, you can use any tags at all. You can see what tags other people use at OSMdoc, and there is a long list of popular tags on our wiki called Map Features. But these are only suggestions, not rules. You are free to invent your own tags or borrow from others. Because OpenStreetMap data is used to make many different maps, each map will show (or 'render') its own choice of tags. Relations Sometimes tags aren't enough, and you need to 'group' two or more ways. Maybe a turn is banned from one road into another, or 20 ways together make up a signed cycle route. You can do this with an advanced feature called 'relations'. Find out more on the wiki. Undoing mistakes This is the undo button (you can also press Z) - it will undo the last thing you did. You can 'revert' to a previously saved version of a way or point. Select it, then click its ID (the number at the bottom left) - or press H (for 'history'). You'll see a list of everyone who's edited it, and when. Choose the one to go back to, and click Revert. If you've accidentally deleted a way and saved it, press U (for 'undelete'). All the deleted ways will be shown. Choose the one you want; unlock it by clicking the padlock (by the ID); and save as usual. Think someone else has made a mistake? Send them a friendly message. Use the history option (H) to select their name, then click 'Mail'. FAQs How do I see my waypoints? Waypoints only show up if you click 'edit' by the track name in 'GPS Traces'. The file has to have both waypoints and tracklog in it - the server rejects anything with waypoints alone. Why can't I type text with accents? Linux users only: This is a bug in Adobe Flash Player for Linux. We can't do anything until Adobe fixes it - sorry. Until then, you can copy and paste from elsewhere. More FAQs for Potlatch and OpenStreetMap. Working faster The further out you're zoomed, the more data Potlatch has to load. Zoom in before clicking 'Edit'. Turn off 'Use pen and hand pointers' (in the options window) for maximum speed. If the server is running slowly, come back later. Check the wiki for known problems. Some times, like Sunday evenings, are always busy. Tell Potlatch to memorise your favourite sets of tags. Select a way or point with those tags, then press Ctrl, Shift and a number from 1 to 9. Then, to apply those tags again, just press Shift and that number. (They'll be remembered every time you use Potlatch on this computer.) Turn your GPS track into a way by finding it in the 'GPS Traces' list, clicking 'edit' by it, then tick the 'convert' box. It'll be locked (red) so won't save. Edit it first, then click the padlock (bottom left) to unlock when ready to save. What to click Drag the map to move around. Double-click to create a new POI. Single-click to start a new way. Hold and drag a way or POI to move it. When drawing a way Double-click or press Enter to finish drawing. Click another way to make a junction. Shift-click the end of another way to merge. When a way is selected Click a point to select it. Shift-click in the way to insert a new point. Shift-click a point to start a new way from there. Shift-click another way to merge. Keyboard shortcuts B Add background source tag C Close changeset G Show GPS tracks H Show history K Lock/unlock current selection L Show current latitude/longitude M Maximise editing window P Create parallel way R Repeat tags S Save (unless editing live) T Tidy into straight line/circle U Undelete (show deleted ways) X Cut way in two Z Undo - Remove point from this way only + Add new tag / Select another way sharing this point Delete Delete point (+Shift) Delete entire way Return Finish drawing line Space Hold and drag background Esc Abort this edit; reload from server 0 Remove all tags 1-9 Select preset tags (+Shift) Select memorised tags (+S/Ctrl) Memorise tags ยง or ` Cycle between tag groups