The OpenStreetCam JOSM plugin helps the community to improve the map by displaying up-to-date street view images. Street view images are collected by the OpenStreetCam platform and are available also via the OpenStreetCam web application and map editor.
Having an extra source of free and open imagery eases the process of remote mapping and allows the users to reflect the reality also on the map. Street view images are helpful for editing map features that are not visible on satellite imagery like traffic signs, house numbers, bus stops, points of interest.
Install the OpenStreetCam plugin the familiar way, through the JOSM plugin Preferences menu item. After you install the plugin and restart JOSM, you should see the OpenStreetCam layer and panel.
After a successful installation, the OpenStreetCam layer is available in the layer menu panel, and on the main map, the image locations are displayed. Image locations are illustrated with blue icons, each icon indicating the image heading.
An image location can be selected by single mouse click action as long as the layer is visible. You can select images even if the OpenStreetCam layer is not the active layer.
OpenStreetCam layer displays data starting with zoom level 14, so in order to see the data, you need to zoom in into the desired mapping area.
For Imagery layers, the data is loaded as you move the map and zoom in/out. In the case of OSM data, the OpenStreetCam layer data is loaded only for the downloaded area.
The plugin saves the open/closed state of the layer. So if you delete the layer then at the next JOSM session the OpenStreetCam layer will not be loaded by default. A previously deleted OpenStreetCam layer can be activated again from the Imagery menu.
In the OpenStreetCam panel, you can interact with the currently selected image.
The panel along with the image displays basic information such as OSM username and date of creation.
The panel also has a number of action buttons on the bottom. These are for filtering, next/previous image loading, centering the map, opening the image web page, and giving feedback. Image-related actions are enabled only when the image is showing in the panel.
These features will be discussed in the next sections.
The plugin saves the open/closed state of the panel. So if you delete the panel then at the next JOSM session the OpenStreetCam panel will not be opened by default. If you don’t see the panel you should be able to open it by selecting the OpenStreetCam icon from the left side panel.
The displayed data can be filtered based on the creation time and JOSM user. In order to view only your uploaded images, you need to authenticate in JOSM using OAuth login.
By default no filter is set, custom filters can be removed by clicking the Clear button.
Visualizing an image and corresponding track
Individual images can be visualized by clicking on the image icon displayed on the map. The corresponding image is loaded in the OpenStreetCam panel and the corresponding track is displayed on the map.
An OpenStreetCam track is illustrated with a blue directed line. Images belonging to the selected track are illustrated with opaque icons; while other images along the track are illustrated with transparent icons.
Image zoom in/out
The displayed image can be zoomed in and out using the mouse wheel. In an already zoomed-in image details can be observed by moving the image left, right, up, and down.
You can navigate between the previous and next image of a track either from the OpenStreetCam panel by clicking on the Next/Previous button or by pressing the Alt-Left arrow/Alt-Right arrow.
If the next or previous image is not visible in the current view, the map is moved automatically and images near the track are downloaded.
Center map to the selected image
The map can be re-centered to the selected image location by clicking on the “Location” button from the OpenStreetCam panel. This feature is useful when the map was moved and the selected image location is not visible on the map.
Image web page
The selected image web page can be opened by clicking on the “Globe” button from the OpenStreetCam panel.
We are working on improving our JOSM plugin and plan to add new exciting features. In the near future we plan to:
- improve image loading speed by adding caching mechanism
- allow the user to select easily nearby images to an already selected image
- improve the map view and suggest street view coverage by displaying OSM ways instead of individual images. We will implement something similar as in the case of the web and mobile applications.
The source code for the plugin can be found on GitHub.
We take a look at all incoming ideas, so be sure your input is heard and very much appreciated!
Have fun adding missing map features using OpenStreetCam images.