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Daily OSM Tip: JOSM or iD

Hi and thanks for reading another Daily OSM Tip! If this email was forwarded to you and you would like to subscribe yourself, you can do so here.

Today I would like to talk about choosing between JOSM or iD, the most popular editors for OSM data. There will probably be quite a few more tips explaining the differences between these editors and the benefits / drwabacks of each.

Simple answer, you don't have to choose!

Longer asnwer..

When you start your OSM mapping journey, you should be using iD at first. It is beginner-friendly, requires no installation, has a great walk-through tutorial for first-time users, and it's generally harder to "do things wrong" or "do wrong things".

As you become more experienced, you can stick with iD, it can do everything most mappers will ever want to do.

The main reason people switch to JOSM is because it lets you customize your mapping environment, making workflows more efficient and giving you more control of look and feel. One example is custom rendering using Map Styles, which I wrote about before.

Another example is advanced search and filter. For example, in the screenshot below, I downloaded all landuse area features in Salt Lake County using this overpass query:

out;(._;>;);out meta;

I then selected all objects and JOSM gathered some statistics for me about who all contributed to these features. This helps me to decide who to message when I want to discuss land use mapping in my area!

Me, I use both, it all depends on my mood and what I want to map.

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