In contrast to other mapping projects OpenStreetMap allows you to edit the map on your own. You don’t have to wait until somebody looks at your report and accepts it or declines it… Sometimes it can take a long while, it can happen that the “moderator” deems your proposed change unsuitable… Here you add things that you want to be marked on the map all by yourself – there’s no need to ask anybody to do it.
You can treat OpenStreetMap as a place when you can make a map of your area when you need it. A real and current one. And if you want to add things that should not be on a real map – like your own plans or ideas, there is a service for it too.
Imagine a situation:
You live in a small village in which streets have been assigned names recently. This creates a confusion, because barely anyone knows which street is where, so it’d be nice to post a map on the village website showing the names… On commercial maps such as Google Maps or Targeo this data will appear only after some time.
That’s where OSM can help! You can add street names by yourself (and if the streets aren’t there, draw them) and embed the map when you’re finished.
That’s only an example – you can add any other thing that can be shown on the map.
How come there’s no moderation?
We can say that in OpenStreetMap there’s “post factum” quality control, similar to Wikipedia. If a person who watches edits, for example somebody taking care of their local area on the map, spots inaccurate or false data, they can quickly revert it or contact the author to clarify the issue.
What are other reasons?
OpenStreetMap releases its data and maps on a free-as-in-speech license (like Wikipedia) which means anybody can use it freely. When mapping in OSM you act selflessly and help other people.
Another reason: OpenStreetMap is a global project. Therefore, going abroad you can use an OSM-based navigation without the need to spend money for additional maps. Even though in countries with smaller OSM community the quality of address data leaves much to be desired, OSM maps are much better in such countries as Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands or Poland.