OSM Mapping Party

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notes, open street map party.

Presenter, Schyler Earl.

Started with a go around discussing what people have done with mapping.

Intro to Open Street Map:

OSM is a publicly editable, free and open map of the world (database of GIS data, relies entirely on volunteer effort)

OSM is sort of like wikipedia+gps data

Enough people acting together can create an open data map of the world:

Why not google maps: google data is not free; OSM data is free and accessible and modifiable. Google is often full of mistakes and very car centric. Until recently google maps was a combination of data sets produced by commercial providers mostly generated via cars.

Google has started to do something about this issue by borrowing the methodology of OSM.

GPS/satellite nav data can be inaccurate and has led to trouble in routing truck traffic.

Google data is not free for re-use/restyling.

For google, economics rules coverage of their maps. This leaves out many lower income areas and countries. OSM is collaborative and has done a great job of adding in data about these less served areas of the world.

In some areas mapping can run up against legal issues, such as in India where there are restrictions to publishing maps that do not adhere to the government's opinion of disputed borders.

OSM can respond quickly especially in crisis situations (showing bridges that were washed away by storms) where google can take months or years to get that data online. This can create a mess during a crisis.

with OSM you can extend the maps in ways not supported by systems like google (making maps of hiking paths and shelters for example)

OSM has a nonprofit foundation that provides coordination including an international conference each year.

There are many companies that are starting to use OSM data over google data.

OSM is not just data, but also software. --restful api --simple data format to allow for flexibility and growth --tagging for metadata --standard map tiling --many applications being developed

taking the path they did has allowed OSM to become a thriving ecosystem of groups/data/applications

OSM data was produced by downloading data into a GPS device and paper to take notes; then the GPS tracks are uploaded and then draw on top of it so it is accurate, then it is uploaded into the system and accessible to anyone.

POI+ is an IOS app for accessing/editing osm data OpenMap for android OSMand for android


ways == lines/shapes nodes == points of interest

OSM data model consists of nodes and vertices which connect them to networks of roads and other geographic features.

Editing OSM data is non-trivial but they are working to lower the bar to allow for more input.

The open street map wiki (wiki.openstreetmap.org) is a resource for learning how to participate in the project.

There is a team that watches recent changes to do their best to keep data from being damaged/vandalized. There was a recent edit-war around mapping data of Cyprus (editing the language of road names and which should be primary --greek or turkish).

QuantumGIS is a desktop app for reading OSM data; tilemill/mapmill is a great took that can read/extract OSM data for various use cases. Styling the data for different types of roads is still difficult and needs better solutions.

People have been arrested for open street mapping (recently in the West Bank and Jordan); it is illegal to do GPS mapping in China.

As a rule making maps is hard as it is a complex interplay between art and science.

OSM was motivated by the failure of govt's to provide for their citizens and the failure of the market to compensate for that.

The session then left the building and walked around Preservation Park to get an idea of how to add data/tag data in OSM


Ericfg 13:22, 16 November 2012 (CST)