Fri 15 Jul

Cooperation between GR and OpenStreetMap

  Cooperation between GR and OpenStreetMap

Grote Routepaden vzw and OpenStreetMap are working together to add the data of the GR routes of Flanders (Belgium) to the OSM geographic database. This means hikers are now sure their itineraries are always complete and up-to-date on the OSM map. The collaboration is a win-win for both organisations and it opens several promising perspectives for the future.

To get started the GR Vlaanderen’s existing GPX traces will be used to improve OSM’s route relations. Where needed missing itineraries will be added and route relation hierarchies will be reworked. During workshops GR volunteers will get the chance to learn how they can adapt OSM data and add new routes themselves. People who prefer to walk following the GR routes will also be able to report errors, changes or interesting features like benches, pubs, shelters. This can be done directly using smartphone apps like Osmand, Maps.ME, or through the OSM website. Photos are also very useful to clarify situations. Another possible way to contribute data is creating a sequence of pictures taken every 1 to 3 seconds, using the Mapillary app. This is very non technical, but you need a smartphone with GPS capability, a good battery and storage. It can also be used to selectively make pictures of areas of interest.

Everybody benefits:

  • Both Groteroutepaden vzw and the OpenStreetMap community can show the Flemish GR-routes faster and more correctly and make them available to anybody who wants to do something with them..
  • OSM can count on additional data of each interested GR hiker. Groteroutepaden vzw gets to publish their GR itineraries to the worldwide community of users of OSM based maps.
  • The GR organisation can count on the support and technological know how of the OSM community in the further deployment of their digital activities.

To see GR routes on OSM based maps on your PC the best option at the moment is It’s possible to download gpx files for the routes there as well. Other options are BaseCamp and RouteYou. On your smartphone the Osmand app is ideal. In the menu item 'Setup Map' you can enable  'Show hiking paths', which will display all currently mapped GR routes as an overlay.

Interesting times ahead.

Photos Cooperation between GR and OpenStreetMap

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