The ArcPad Team Blog

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Friday, May 04, 2012

Using ArcPad to Collect Data for OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap s a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. This includes a massive community of OpenStreetMap Contributors collecting spatial data in their local area to include in the project. It is easy for anybody to get involved and begin to make contributions, see the OpenStreetMap Beginner's Guide for more information.

As professional field data collection software, ArcPad is a great tool for collecting and editing OpenStreetMap data.

ArcGIS, ArcPad and OpenStreetMap
If you are working within the ArcGIS environment, there is an ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap designed to help ArcGIS Desktop 10 users to become active members in the growing community of users building the OpenStreetMap database of geographic data. This editor has been built for ArcGIS Desktop 10 SP3 + and includes the following tools:
  • A set of geoprocessing tools and models to download, extract, and upload vector data from and to the OpenStreetMap server.
  • Customizations to the core editor environment in ArcMap to handle the OpenStreetMap tags inside the core Esri software.
  • A conflict editor user interface to similar to the Reconcile Version tool for enterprise geodatabases.
Once you have downloaded and extracted OpenStreetMap data, you can use the ArcPad Data Manager  to export and import your data to and from an ArcPad Project. This means that ArcPad can be used to collect new features and edit existing data in the field and then import any edits back into your original geodatabase. The ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap can then be used to upload your edits back into the OpenStreetMap server.

Open Source Software, ArcPad and OpenStreetMap
If you are working in the open source environment, ArcPad can also be used to edit and create new features in shapefile datasets. There are many freely available tools that can be used to convert OpenStreetMap data to shapefile format, as well as tools that can be used to import shapefile data back to OpenStreetMap server. This allows you to leverage the power and professionalism of ArcPad for the field data collection and editing aspects of your OpenStreetMap survey projects.

Either of these methods will allow you to use ArcPad to support OpenStreetMap and it's commitment to the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anybody to use and share.