Editing OpenStreetMap with Mapillary and RapiD

Detailed editing in OpenStreetMap, adding buildings, turn restrictions, or street crossings can be laborious and time-consuming. But more data and newer tools are available to assist armchair mapping from the comfort of your home:

  • Mapillary provides street-level imagery and point data extracted from the images, which you can use to guide editing in popular editors like iD or JSOM.
  • RapiD, an extended version of OpenStreetMap’s default iD editor, provides additional datasets from Microsoft, Esri, FacebookMeta and functionality to integrate the data into OpenStreetMap.

Open Mapping Hubs and Meta recently hosted an online workshop introducing how to use Mapillary and RapiD to edit OpenStreetMap, and the recording is available on YouTube.

Both helpers come with caveats. During my very unscientific review (I checked a few neighbourhoods around the world that I’m familiar with), I noticed that Mapillary images can be pretty outdated – most images I saw were from 2019 or earlier, some even from 2014. And for RapiD, the OpenStreetMap Wiki includes a big banner saying that every edit must be reviewed individually, otherwise the modifications are considered an import.