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Map My Tracks blog

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The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that Map My Tracks Mobile uses map data supplied by Open Street Map. We use OSM maps as the background on the handset to show where you are right now.

Map My Tracks MobileOne of the interesting things about Open Street Map is that it is a community of members that all contribute GPS data to help build a detailed street-level map of their area. The fact that a street or building is displayed is a direct result of members submitting GPS data and marking up any key features or road names. As more data is submitted the better the maps become adding greater detail and coverage around the world.

The detail displayed on the maps used within Map My Tracks Mobile depends on where you live. For example, the UK has considerable coverage and is nearly fully mapped. In other areas the detail is not as comprehensive but one of the great things about Open Street Map is that they regularly hold mapping parties for members to come together and concentrate their efforts to track specific locations in one go. The results of each mapping party is added into the mix of data and ends up on display in maps.

Contributing tracks to OSM

Given that Map My Tracks generates GPS data we would encourage all our users to get involved and start submitting their tracks to Open Street Map. Doing so is simple: after making a tracking use the export as GPX option on the track page and submit the data at Open Street Map. Having added your data you’ll need to edit and mark up the information before it can be used in the maps. One of the benefits of submitting tracks from your area is that you’ll begin to see the results of your efforts within Map My Tracks Mobile.

If you’re interested in Open Street Map and getting starting have a look at the OSM wiki.