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While I agree that OSM is great and highly accurate, I would be careful using it in remote locations where your life may depend on a correct trail. It is very easy to edit OSM (changes are propagated into map tiles after a few minutes), and malicious intent is not immediately spotted. The latter is especially true in remote locations.



I usually look at Strava's heatmap when I'm unfamiliar with an area. Chances are if there's a path on the map, it shows up on the heatmap.

https://www.strava.com/heatmap


That is a fantastic idea. Thank you for sharing. I just checked a few trails that were missing in OSM and they all showed up as bright yellow on heatmap.


Strava even has their own fork of the OSM online editor iD[0], that uses the heatmap data to align (or "slide" [1]) paths to where people have been. I haven't used it in a while, it was pretty slow when I did and I don't know about licensing etc, but it looks like it still works. So if you want to add the trails you could try it out.

[0] https://strava.github.io/iD

[1] https://labs.strava.com/slide/


Slide unfortunately hasn't worked for years. Not long after Paul Mach, who created slide, left strava, there was that whole national security incident with the heat map.

The heat map was changed to hide military bases, etc, but it broke slide and no one cared enough to fix it.


This is incredibly unfortunate because Slide is ideal for mapping trails in the woods. Lacking something like it I end up tracing them by hand, which is a pain. (I do a lot of trail mapping in Michigan.)


I mean...sure, never blindly trust anything. But is there any proof of "malicious intent" in OSM mapping, having lead to actual issues?


I mean...sure, never blindly trust anything

This. 'death by GPS' is a thing unfortunately, and those are usually maps you actually pay for which makes it worse, in some way.




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