Today I decided to get out on the bicycle and do something more than just exercise. I emptied the memory on my GPS, normally I keep it loaded with Geocaches, and proceeded to take one of my normal 10 mile loops. Columbia, Md. is a town with many “bicycle” paths, though more properly they could be called ‘muli-use’ paths. I’ve seen everything but horseback riders on them.
The trail starting just behind my home, I can see it from the computer room, runs about three miles to ‘town center’, and connects with many other paths in Columbia. The paths on the west side of Columbia had not been showing up on OpenStreetMap.org or on OpenCycleMap.org, though some of the paths on the east side of Columbia have. One major limited access highway, US-29, bisects the town, thus the ‘ease’ and ‘west’ labels.
I started the ‘track’ recording when I started, and kept it running for my entire 12-mile route, downloaded it from the GPS, then uploaded it to OSM and edited the resulting track, keeping only the actual bicycle path. I marded it as a ‘local bikeway’. When I expanded the map to see the entire town I find that whoever has been mapping the east side has classified them as ‘walkways’. What’s the difference. The trails on the east side are red, and the west side trails are marked in blue.
While out Caching early this week I found a new community that is missing on OSM. Probably next week I will get out on the bicycle and map it. Yes I could do it by car, but bicycling is lots more fun, and definitely easier to get into all the small streets and cul-de-sacs.