2.4 Editing with iD and JOSM

This section provides:

  • A comparison of OpenStreetMap editing tools, JOSM and iD Editor
  • An overview of iD Editor, including presentation slides
  • An overview of JOSM, including presentation slides

The following materials are designed to assist project managers and others leading trainings and workshops. If you are an individual interested in learning how to map with OpenStreetMap using iD Editor or JOSM, please visit LearnOSM.org.


There are several ways to edit in OpenStreetMap. The two most commonly used tools and best programs for mapping projects are iD editor and JOSM. This section provides an overview of each tool as well as presentations to be used in trainings. For self-paced materials and guides, visit LearnOSM.

The following section is designed to provide Project Managers and OSM Communities with guidance in making management decisions.

Comparison of Tools

iD Editor

The iD editor is a user-friendly tool that allows you to directly make changes in OpenStreetMap.

iD Editor is best for:

  • Simple edits
  • Fast Internet access to load the imagery and save the edits.
  • Following a consistent and simple tagging scheme.
  • When you are restricted from installing a program on the computer you are using.

Skills and Technology Needed:

  • Computer
  • Mouse
  • Strong Internet connection
  • OSM account


JOSM (Java OpenStreetMap Editor) is an open source editor for OpenStreetMap data with offline compatibility.

JOSM is best for:

  • Adding many buildings (See buildings_tool plugin).
  • Editing many polygons or lines that already exist.
  • When you are on an unreliable Internet connection or offline.
  • Using a specific tagging scheme (or custom presets).

Skills and Technology Needed:

  • Computer
  • Mouse
  • Minimal/intermittent internet connection for data download & upload
  • OSM account
  • Installation files (Recommended: download installation files for offline sharing and installation)

Resources and Training Materials

This section features a selection of resources targeted at project managers, trainers, or even self-learners on the topic(s) outlined above.

The following presentation(s) can be used to lead a training or workshop.

Additional Resources