Mapper of the Month: Yasunari Yamashita (Japan)

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Please introduce yourself

I live in Tokyo, Japan. I work for a company that is not active in map-related activities.

Yasunari Yamashita

When and how did you discover OpenStreetMap ?

I was introduced to OpenStreetMap by a friend in September 2009.

What do you map ?

In the past I was focussing on mapping all the roads. Recently, I started mapping shrines, temples and Japanese gardens.


How do you map ?

This is a picture of the mapping party at Koishikawa Botanical Garden Mapping party at Koishikawa Botanical Garden

I make surveys using fieldpapers, taking many pictures, as well as making videos. Furthermore, I am hosting mapping parties once a month to collect detailed information via surveys.

Which tools do you use ?

I use JOSM for editing.

Where do you map ?

I map locally. I visit the shrines, temples and gardens in Tokyo before I place them on the map.


What is your biggest achievement as mapper ?

Until last year I lived in Kyoto, where I was part of the local community that mapped all 17 World Heritage sites in that city. Some examples are the Kinkakuji temple, Kiyomizudera temple. I presented this work at the SOTM Japan. The presentation is available as speakerdeck

Nijō Castle Nijō Castle in Kyoto on

Why do yo map ?

because it’s fun!

What is the most difficult part of mapping ?

It is difficult for beginners to learn all the different aspects.

I have heard that the address system is quite different in Japan. Does this give you problems ?

I am not geographical expert so I’m not sure.

There are two address systems in Japan.

One system is where both sides on opposite sides of the road have the same address I think that this method is difficult to handle with the OpenStreetMap model.

The other system is that an address belongs to an area This can easily be modelled OpenStreetMap.

I also heard that the road classification is rather different. Can you say something about that ?

Yes. It is quite different. It is normal that the definition of the road is different if the culture is different. So we have our own definition of roads, which can be read on the wiki

Do you have contact with other mappers ?

Yes, on a regular basis, e.g. during the monthly mapping parties.


Do you use OpenStreetMap yourself ?

Yes. Of course. I use to locate places I want to visit.

I am managing a bot that tweets the comments of changesets that modify the relations of prefectures in Japan. e.g. for Tokyo, for Kyoto

I am also contributing to Mapillary.

To conclude, is there anything else you want to mention ?

Happy Mapping!!