Use OpenStreetMap maps

ios-app
android-app
web
#1

I would love to use maps from OpenStreetMap in iNaturalist. They’re are different map styles available, for example Mapnik or OpenTopoMap.

The use of different map styles can be seen in Historic.Place. Use “Base map” in the menu on the upper right.

OSM maps are made from volunteered open data and often more detailed than Google maps.

#2

I second this request! I’m not so tech savvy - I wonder if it’s as easy as it seems, at iNat’s end. :) In my case (mostly intertidal observations), it would be particularly useful to have the OSM level of detail and editability!

3 Likes
#3

As someone who also contributes to OSM, I’d find it delightful. Google Maps is awful in my area.

4 Likes
#4

@lvdt In which areas is OSM good enough? Can it be used world wide?
Google Maps is not a worldwide service? Where is bad?

2 Likes
#5

The level of detail and accuracy varies drastically with OSM. Much of the rural U.S. for example is horrifically bad, but Europe as a whole is excellent.

1 Like
#6

I live in Italy and I’ve been using OSM for hiking for quite a while. Google Maps has absolutely no information on anything besides the “main” (paved) roads, and in the countryside even those are sometimes wrong (shows non-existing road links). This is made worse by the fact that they, more often than not, ignore reports of mistakes on the map.

3 Likes
#7

Google Map is a major problem in China :( The entire service of Google is banned, so iNaturalist users from there cannot see any thing

3 Likes
#8

As an OSM contributor, I heartily agree. Google maps quality is great in Florida, US cities but is not complete in or around many conservation areas. I find myself opening the location in OSM (that’s an option under the embedded google map) pretty often to figure out where an observation is.

2 Likes
#9

Openstreetmap has much more detail about natural areas and third world countries. Trails are almost non-existent inGoogle.

4 Likes
#10

I don’t see how to use the openstreetmap option you describe in the android app. All I see is Satellite, Street & Terrain.

2 Likes
#11

Welcome to the forum, Alan! The OSM location is under the Google Map, I’ve attached a screenshot.

2 Likes
#12

Not an option for the ‘Your Observations’ or ‘Explore’ tabs though?

1 Like
#13

This has support among the iNat team, but we would have to either host the tiles or pay for hosting them and then re-engineer our front-end, so it would be a pretty big deal to make this possible.

2 Likes
#14

Maybe you can find helpful information in the OSM forum:

https://forum.openstreetmap.org/index.php

1 Like
#15

I know of websites that directly access tiles from tile.openstreetmap.org.

There’s some terms of use, but it seems it’s not impossible to get permission from the admins even if heavy use might be involved: https://operations.osmfoundation.org/policies/tiles/

It also lists some alternative tile providers.

4 Likes
#16

I agree, please use openstreetmap maps.

2 Likes
#17

Thanks for letting us know that, @tiwane! Could we fundraise for this?