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Benches is an iOS app that uses Open Street Map (OSM). This talk at #GeoMob London (January 2016) explained how we implemented it, why, some results, etc.

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  1. 1. Benches from January 2016, London GeoMob Carles Pina - Carles Estevadeordal
  2. 2. 2/21 Today... ● What is benches ● Why have we done benches? ● Micromapping, OSM bench amenity ● How is it done?
  3. 3. 3/21 What's Benches ● iOS app (, a friend who does apps) ● Also available for Android! ● Shows your location ● And shows nearby benches – and toilets – and drinking water fountains
  4. 4. 4/21
  5. 5. 5/21
  6. 6. 6/21
  7. 7. 7/21 Users can add benches, fountains, toilets and POIs with their own description. At the moment we don't automatically upload user POIs to OSM: ● We need to double check OSM licensing issues (users don't have OSM account) ● We are afraid that users don't understand that this is publically available (and they might just test...) We would like to collaborate more with OSM
  8. 8. 8/21 Why?
  9. 9. 9/21 Reason 1
  10. 10. 10/21 London LOOP (London Outer Orbital Path)
  11. 11. 11/21
  12. 12. 12/21 Reason 2: reduced mobility
  13. 13. 13/21 Reason 3: happy people
  14. 14. 14/21 Reduced mobility ● I started testing routing algorithms ● Walk from point A to B ● Constraint: maximum distance without a bench ● But I need to have more mapped benches, so I thought to start simpler and get ready for when I really need the routing algorithm
  15. 15. 15/21 User feedback This is a very simple app that will be very useful when we put some data in it. Obviously, it takes all of us to find the benches and put them on the map. I encourage you to down load the app and spend 5 minutes providing info for your neighborhood. Even if you don't think you'll use the app, this will be a great service to other users. My daughter has MS. She would be much more confident going for a walk if she had the information this app is intended to provide.
  16. 16. 16/21 Micromapping ● A few months before starting the benches I wondered: – Why mappers map “useless” things like trees, lamps? ● One day I thought: how can I find benches? – Look at OSM! YES! They are there! Thanks! ● Please do more micromapping (someone will use it... or yourself!) ● Micromapping differentiates OSM from google Maps ● Please add benches!
  17. 17. 17/21 Tag:amenity=bench ● It's a node ● Optional tags: – backrest=yes/no – direction=compass point (e.g. NW) – seats=number of seats – material=wood, steel, stone – operator=who maintains the bench – color=brown, black, etc. (commonly used)
  18. 18. 18/21 Current setup ● Every week a script downloads planet- latest.osm.pbf ● We import the relevant nodes to our PostgreSQL (with GIS module) ● We use Leaflet ● Users can add benches, toilets, fountains and favourites. So far only for the same user (we don't upload them to OSM)
  19. 19. 19/21 Tech stack ● HTML + Javascript (with Leaflet) on the client side ● iPhone app to show the HTML+Javascript and a few more “bits and pieces” (e.g. ads, premium, etc.) ● Flask (Python microframework) to create an API (from Javascript we call the API) ● A Python script to import the planet into PostgreSQL ● PostgreSQL with GIS
  20. 20. 20/21 Numbers ● 535K benches in OSM ● 4K benches in London ● There are more non-mapped benches than mapped ● Since April 2015 to January 2016 (iOS): – about £10 in ads – about 5 premium users (thank you Michał) – Lot of fun! – I know OSM much better now, JOSM, PostgreSQL and GIS, Leaflet...
  21. 21. 21/21 Thank you! ● Thank you for listening ● Thank you for your mapping ● Any questions? ● Download benches from the AppleStore Carles Pina
  22. 22. 22/21 Image attributions ● content/uploads/2012/05/walking.jpg ● content/uploads/2013/07/sandwich-clipart- 300x197.gif ● My grandparents (reduced mobility) ● An anonymous happy colleague