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Who's on First: Adminstrative Boundaries and Localities


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NACIS 2016 Presentation
Martin Gamache, Art of the Mappable
Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso, Mapzen
Who's on First is an open source gazeteer. Administrative level 2 and localities boundaries for countries outside North America and Europe where largely missing from this gazeteer. We have been collaborating on a project to populate or create these from open sources when available or secondary sources when necessary for most of the world. We have built polygons from point sources, scoured the internet for national mapping agency data, and compiled boundaries for dozens of countries around the world, helping create a true open source dataset that can be used for any purpose.

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Who's on First: Adminstrative Boundaries and Localities

  1. 1. Who’s On First The open gazetteer from Mapzen Nathaniel Vaughn KELSO Chief Cartographer, @mapzen @kelsosCorner NACIS 2016 // 2016.10.20
  2. 2. Mapzen is building a gazetteer of places. Not quite all the places in the world but a whole lot of them and, we hope, the kinds of places that we mostly share in common. A gazetteer is a big list of places, each with a stable identifier and some number of descriptive properties about that location. An interesting way to think about a gazetteer is to consider it as the space where debate about a place is managed but not decided. We call our gazetteer “Who’s On First” (or sometimes “WOF” for short).
  3. 3. Chronology • Natural Earth 2009 • Where On Earth (WOE) 1990s • (WOE) >> Yahoo! GeoPlanet 2005 • Flickr Alphashapes 2008, 2011 • SimpleGeo Betashapes 2012 • Quattroshapes 2013 • Zetashapes 2014 • Who’s On First (WOF) 2015
  4. 4. Sources • Quattroshapes - global national mapping agency admin polygons + custom neighbourhoods • Zetashapes - USA neighbourhoods • Natural Earth - global selection of zoom 8 features • GeoPlanet - names, hierarchies, and backfilling missing places • - populations and backfilling missing places • Wikipedia - names and linked data • SimpleGeo - venues
  5. 5. Placetypes - continent (C) - empire (CO) - country (C) - region (C) - "county" (CO) - "metro area" (CO) - locality (C) - macrohood (O) - neighbourhood (C) - microhood (O) - campus (CO) - building (CO) - address (CO) - venue (C)
  6. 6. Services • Mapzen Vector Tiles • Mapzen Search • Who’s On First API • Who’s On First Spelunker
  7. 7. Open License • • See also • CC-BY (with Mapzen’s original work CC0) • Data should become more free over time