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Osm Presentation

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general brief on the OpenStreetMaps project for a class presentation.

general brief on the OpenStreetMaps project for a class presentation.

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  • 1. OpenStreetMaps is an organization that utilizes collective input to compile a mega resource of mapping data. This data is then provided free (as in free speech) to the community under creative commons licensing. Map detail throughout the world (red = more complex maps)
  • 2. The overriding goal of the project is to map the entire world with data provided by people who take to the streets, trails and back roads equipped with a gps device, or simply a pencil and paper. This low cost, bottom-up approach will lead to increasingly nuanced global geo data set. Map showing parts of London that have been updated in the last year (from OSM Mapper)
  • 3. OSM was founded in 2004 with a fairly large blank canvas: the globe. As of September 2009 they now have enlisted over 140,000 users. Though there is still much further to go, a quick look around the world map on OSM’s home page reveals how much data has been collected within the past 6 years. screenshot from osm home page.
  • 4. WHY The most common question heard in response to their mission is “why not just use google maps.” As we have learned over the past few weeks, the distinction is that with google we are given “free beer.” You can only use their interface and their system. You cannot fix mistakes, and you cannot contribute new data. Also, goggle is licensing their data from the dominant geo data companies like tele atlas and navteq. These companies levy heavy fees for narrowly defined licenses in order to maximize market share, which creates a buffer against potential grass roots initiatives.
  • 5. The flexibility of OSM’s open source approach makes it an ideal option for applications that are based on geographical data. If you have an iPhone and you like mapping apps, chances are you will have an app that utilizes data from OSM. A few examples are OpenCycleMap and OpenMaps and Roadee. a few images from Roadee
  • 6. And in the same way wikipedia produces better quality encyclopedic reference through peer review and editing, open source geo data makes more reliable and user specific maps. When someone takes the initiative to go out with their gps device they are typically going to be extra careful to add the local nuances to their mapping efforts. Cycle maps, for example, could include info on bike shop locations, bike parking, (un) official bike routes, and even degree incline of streets. The cycle map-now has hill-shading
  • 7. HOW For content users there are two ways to utilize this amazing resource. For one, you can simply use the available interfaces running with OSM data. Visit their homepage and simply start browsing. Clicking around you will see that the interface relates to most other map browsers. There are tutorials available on their wiki page that explain how to go deeper and actually begin contributing to the map data. It seems easiest to use a gps device, which are fairly inexpensive these days. But if you desire, you can go old school recording data with pencil and paper. The most empowering aspect of this collective resource is that up-to-the-minute data sets can be accessed by anyone for almost any use. Maybe someone has a new idea for developing interface, or a complex geo info graphic, or needs mapping data to enhance an emergency humanitarian effort. All of this is made possible with OSM’s flexibly licensed geo data along side their use of development friendly open sourced code. Nothing left to map? Try underground pipelines, deduced from manholes, wall markers and open pit construction work.
  • 8. INSPIRING EXAMPLES The recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile elicited an immediate response from the OSM community of developer. Using low cost measures they were able to offer a few different platforms for people on the ground there to access vital data update by the day. Example zoomed in area of http://haiti. openstreetmap.nl/ The Haiti custom rendering set up by User:Ldp which shows damaged buildings and refugee camps mapped within OpenStreetMap using specialv
  • 9. Of interest to me is OpenStreetView which is trying to map with open sourced street level photography. Seem like they have a ways to go, but I find the possibility of mapping my immediate area quite interesting. OpenstreetView homepage