Open Street Map (OSM) is a world map that anyone can edit, just like a wiki. I used the data in a few projects but seeing as the US road system was generated from a mass import of US Government data, I thought that it was largely complete and not much to do. This was, of course, wrong.

Back in May I was in East Yorkshire, England and I added a trail to the map.  A local OSM mapper contacted me about it. When I got back to Tucson, Ariz. I was inspired to look more closely at the local data to see what was missing.

I found that most of the streets were not aligned correctly. Also the National Forests were missing, plus a nearby National Park. There is a lot to do in the US, that’s for sure.

I started off by realigning the streets in my area and completed four square miles. But what really interested me was the forests. A bonus is that US Government data is in the public domain and can be freely used for OSM.

I’ve now spent the last month, off and on, working on this. So far I have added all the National Forest boundaries in Arizona and New Mexico, some grasslands in New Mexico and Oklahoma and a Nature Preserve in New Mexico. I’ve also added Saguaro National Park East and the trails in the park. Currently I am working on adding the Wilderness Areas for Arizona and New Mexico and the forest trails.

I encourage you to take a look at the map in your area and see what you can do!