Big changes for OpenStreetMap editing in Pushpin 1.1

06 December 2012 by Coleman McCormick

Editing OSM POIs

Since we released) the initial version of Pushpin back in October, we’ve seen dozens and dozens of feature requests and a lot of input from the awesome OpenStreetMap community. It’s clear that there’s a need for simplicity and user-friendliness in the OSM editor space, and users from all over the globe have downloaded the app and made edits.

So in spare time over the last couple of months, Zac has cranked out a pretty substantial update to Pushpin, our OpenStreetMap editor for iPhone and iPad.

The biggest new feature in the update is the ability to edit tags on polygon features, things like buildings, parks, lakes, and others (even relations). Traced but untagged building outlines can be downloaded to Pushpin, edited, and saved back to OSM. Along with this capability, we’ve added quick selection lists for building and landuse types. Area and relation editing makes for a great workflow of tracing and adding basic tags back in the full editor at home, then taking Pushpin out in the field to add full attribution.

Zac also added a fantastic set of over 100 icons to represent different points of interest and make it easier to tell features apart. Makes it really satisfying to add everything in your neighborhood just to download and view all those POIs! Go grab the updated version and check it out. Hit us on Twitter with any questions, comments, or feedback.

And for the geeks in the audience, Pushpin was built with Fulcrum’s APIs, so it’s a great example of what could be built using our mobile data collection platform. Check out our demo app for iOS to see examples of using the Fulcrum API in an iOS app.

Other small (but useful) changes:

  • Create a new OpenStreetMap account from within the app
  • OAuth support
  • Landscape support on iPad
  • Fix for source tagging & other changeset tags
  • Tons of stability improvements

We’re excited to get a more complete (yet still simple) editor out there to drive contribution by more casual mappers. Keeping the tool fast and easy has allowed us to grow our community locally, and we hope it can do the same for other mapping communities around the world. Lowering the bar to contribution from novice mappers by reducing complexity is important for the longevity and continued growth of the project, and we think apps like Pushpin can drive more edits from casual users. Along with MapBox’s work with iD and other design improvements, it’s an exciting time for OpenStreetMap. There are nearly a million registered OSM users, and we want them all to be active contributors.

Coleman McCormick

About the author

Coleman is a geographer and VP at Spatial Networks, working with users to bring Fulcrum’s field data capability into their organizations.