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A New Editor for OpenStreetMap: iD (mapbox.com)
130 points by rachbelaid on Feb 5, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments

MapBox is an amazing company. This new editor is very early alpha but already excellent and usable. Good editing tools should be a huge boost for OpenStreetMap. Funny that OSM is getting a modern editing tool before Wikipedia.

The Javascript libraries they're using are interesting. D3 is a big part of it, but equally notable is that there's no conventional slippy map library like OpenLayers or Leaflet. Instead they're doing something simple with d3.geo.tile, a relatively new component.

Particular attention is due to MapBox's OAuth implementation ohauth, purely client-side (no server proxy): http://mapbox.com/osmdev/2013/01/15/oauth-in-javascript/ They also use RTree (for spatial indexing), Lo-Dash (an Underscore alternative), and a few extra bits like JXON for XML, the async library Queue, and Bootstrap tooltips.

FWIW, Wikipedia's Visual Editor has been in public beta since December, and it's arguably a much harder job because of the baroque complexity of MediaWiki's markup.


Not that this takes anything away from MapBox's achievement, and OSM were foresighted in choosing a sanely structured data model that allows things like this.

This looks amazing, props to MapBox for putting out yet another beautiful, approchable and useful tool.

From the product page[http://ideditor.com/]:

"We’re building iD in pure Javascript, using d3.js and SVG for map display."

This has got to be the coolest non-graphing use of d3.js I have seen so far.

Anyone who hasn't should view the demo here: http://geowiki.com/iD/

Wow, this is amazing! I always wanted to contribute to the OSM project, specially because my area (Sacramento) isn't that well mapped, but I found the tools to be cumbersome and difficult to use. This changes the game.

I said they should rename it because iD is taken by the makers of a popular game called DooM. I have no opinion of the quality of the service but it looks good. I apologize for my snarky comment.

Point taken :), the name is quirky, hard to google, and surely used for other things. The eventual goal, though, is for it to be just 'the openstreetmap editor' with iD being a codename - so the problem will 'go away'.

This is great! A good way for beginners to get their feet wet with OSM.

I'm sure they'll add a lot of improvements eventually, but if you're looking for a more feature complete, more polished OSM editor in the interim, take a look at the ArcGIS OSM editor: http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/extensions/openstreetmap

JOSM is right now the most popular editor in OSM. It's desktop software and very powerful. JOSM is very much a power user tool where iD is aiming for a great experience for beginners and casual users.


It runs on Node.js and is open source, too: https://github.com/systemed/iD/

I think you're seeing package.json and leaping to Node.js. I think they use the Node package management to help during build.

My bad. It also mentions node as a test harness: https://github.com/systemed/iD/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md

Sorry, no node.js here ;) The beauty of iD is that it's all client-side Javascript. No dynamic server components involved.

How do the maps get saved then? Or is that part of it still in the works?

It's fully functional, and you can switch over to the live OpenStreetMap database by clicking 'dev' in the lower right. Loading and saving data happens via an XHR request to the OpenStreetMap API hosted on http://www.openstreetmap.org. The API supports CORS, making direct cross-origin connections possible.

Fantastic work. Love the tagging autocomplete - I find JOSM's icon menu completely counterintuitive, you have to guess what classification the tag is under before you can use it (and of course some things aren't there)

I'm glad to see that the grant from the Knight Foundation to Mapbox, helps OSM is bringing something great. OSM really needed a new editor.

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