With all these improvements, OpenStreetMap is gaining popularity and has started a new http://donate.openstreetmap.org/server2013/donation campaign for additional hardware to support all the new contributors.
Yep. It's a work-in-progress; if you know the local paths, go in and add them to the map!
But it's worth noting that partial coverage of rural footpaths is a lot more than TomTom ever has.
Essentially OSM works on the principle of "with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow". There are cases of vandalism in OSM, but they don't last very long; the community usually picks them up rapidly and reverts them.
We have one advantage over Wikipedia in that it's easier for us to determine what's right. On Wikipedia, if one contributor says "John Doe's contribution to scholarship was important" and another says "no it wasn't", you get an edit war. On OSM, if one mapper says "this road is called Market Street" and another says "this road is called Market Road", we just go and look at the street sign. The rule is "what's on the ground". (The one place where this breaks down is disputed territorial borders, such as Northern Cyprus and Kashmir, but there are procedures in place for that.)
First, ask on the OpenStreetMap mailing lists. There's lots of us who've done this kind of stuff before, and we'd be really pleased to help. I collected, scanned and rectified the Ordnance Survey's New Popular Edition - a complete set of England and Wales maps from the '50s, now out of copyright. It's all available in OpenStreetMap as a background layer and loads of people use it for adding rural roads, rivers, placenamese etc. Others are scanning other old Ordnance Survey series right now. Seriously, we love this kind of stuff. (#osm on OFTC can help too.)
Secondly, GDAL is definitely your friend. It's the most amazing set of command-line tools for rectifying and reprojecting data. gdalwarp and gdal_translate are probably the two you'll use most.
John C Welch rightly reams him out over this latest burst of idiocy. Worth reading for the headline ("Douchebags fondly eviscerated") and such prize comments as "You'd have to be smoking hobo crack (as in 'ass' not 'rock') to say that without snickering".
I run our town website. 1,000 registered users but very, very little spam - over seven years I think I can count the amount of spam from China and Russia on the fingers of one hand.
Two reasons. One: a completely bespoke system, hand-crafted from finest dodgy Perl and inefficient SQL. Put simply, if you're not running phpBB or something well-known like that, they're simply less likely to find you. These guys search for phrases like "powered by punBB" to find targets.
I realise this isn't an option for everyone, but the OP sounds reasonably tech-savvy so should be able to do similar.
Regular Google is cluttered up with SEO crap and dear old experts-exchange. Clicking on the Groups 'tab' gets past all that to a load of really useful stuff that isn't indexed by regular Google.
Of course, you have to wade through the Usenet kooks, but hey, at least that's more fun than paywall sites.
What this country needs is a good five cent microcomputer.