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Higher Education Profiling using Open Source GIS - A Primer on OpenStreetMap Data, Mapnik & OpenLayers


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Higher Education Profiling using Open Source GIS - A Primer on OpenStreetMap Data, Mapnik & OpenLayers

  1. 1. Higher Education Profiling using Open Source GISA Primer on OpenStreetMap Data, Mapnik & OpenLayers <br />Oliver O’Brien & Alex Singleton<br />Department of Geography<br />University College London<br />
  2. 2. Contents<br />The Problem<br />Requirements<br />The Solution<br />OpenStreetMap Data<br />Mapnik<br />OpenLayers<br />Data Sources<br />Putting it all Together<br />The Completed Atlas<br />
  3. 3. The Problem: Presenting the Data<br />A large amount of education-related spatial information available from various governmental bodies but not in a readily accessible graphical form (i.e. maps) for non-technical users.<br />Dept. for Schools, Children and Families<br />Communities and Local Government<br />Higher Education Funding Council for England<br />Higher Education Statistics Agency<br />Office for National Statistics<br />“Widening participation” initiatives require effective ways to view such data, to make decisions on target schools and areas. <br />
  4. 4. Requirements I. Straightforward<br />Standalone GISes<br />Hard to use (Haklay, 2009a)<br />Often expensive<br />Require delivery of data to the client<br />
  5. 5. Requirements I. Straightforward<br />Web GISes<br />Slow<br />Unattractive<br />Difficult and/or expensive to build<br />May require delivery of vector data to the client<br />
  6. 6. Requirements I. Straightforward<br />“Slippy Maps”<br />Simple to use<br />Very popular<br />Simple to build<br />Powerful API (e.g. Google Maps API)<br />
  7. 7. Requirements II. Accessible<br />Software installation<br /> Requires time and skill<br /> Constrained by platform<br />Plug-ins<br /> Generally require a fast computer<br /> Still some platform issues<br />A solution without installation or plug-ins is most accessible<br /> HTML, CSS, AJAX<br /> PNG images<br />
  8. 8. Requirements III. Self Contained<br />No dependencies on third parties with constraints<br />Ordnance Survey “tile limits”<br />The “derived data” problem, Google and Ordnance Survey<br />Can’t put Ordnance Survey derived data on a Google Maps “mashup”<br />Government departments often provide data that has been geolocated from Ordnance Survey mapping (e.g. using National Grid References)<br />Ordnance Survey is being very active at protecting use of its data at the moment<br />
  9. 9. Requirements III. Self Contained<br />Full control over what’s on the map<br />Google’s colour scheme and branding can be distracting <br />
  10. 10. The Solution: An Education Atlas<br />Static tiles of choropleth maps<br />Minimal computer requirements<br />Scalable<br />Mapnik<br />Makes “beautiful” raster maps<br />OpenStreetMap data<br />Easily available data source to create background maps<br />Full control over what is included<br />OpenLayers<br />Provides the “slippy map” interface familiar to users<br />Self-contained<br />
  11. 11. Using OpenStreetMap Data<br />For a background map to provide context<br />Will include roads, town names, coastlines<br />We don’t want all the data – just what we need<br />Ways to obtain the data<br />Directly from as XML, requires converting<br />Shapefiles produced by CloudMade or Geofabrik<br />Data quality and completeness<br />Improving rapidly (Haklay, 2009b)<br />Now pretty good for England (Reed, 2009)<br />Can always obtain a very up-to-date dataset<br /><br />
  12. 12. Using Mapnik<br />“Mapnik is a Free Toolkit for developing mapping applications. Above all Mapnik is about making beautiful maps.” –<br />Data Sources<br />Shapefiles<br />PostGIS databases<br />Direct from OpenStreetMap<br />Tiles<br />Can be configured to systemically create square tiles at different zoom levels for the whole country<br /><br />
  13. 13. Using Mapnik<br />Stylesheets for the cartography<br />e.g. minor rivers and canals<br /> &lt;Rule&gt;<br />&lt;Filter&gt;[waterway]=&apos;river&apos; <br /> or [waterway]=&apos;canal&apos;&lt;/Filter&gt;<br />&lt;MaxScaleDenominator&gt;80000<br /> &lt;/MaxScaleDenominator&gt;<br /> &lt;LineSymbolizer&gt;<br /> &lt;CssParameter name=&quot;stroke&quot;&gt;#88c <br /> &lt;CssParameter name=&quot;stroke-width&quot;&gt;3<br /> &lt;CssParameter name=&quot;stroke-linejoin”&gt;round<br /> &lt;CssParameter name=&quot;stroke-linecap&quot;&gt;round<br /> &lt;/LineSymbolizer&gt;<br /> &lt;TextSymbolizername=&quot;name&quot; <br />face_name=&quot;DejaVu Sans Book&quot; size=&quot;10&quot; <br /> fill=&quot;#666&quot; halo_radius=&quot;1&quot; <br /> placement=&quot;line&quot; min_distance=&quot;200&quot;/&gt;<br /> &lt;/Rule&gt;<br />
  14. 14. Using OpenLayers<br />A way to display maps on a website<br />Just a simple web browser is needed<br />Accepts “layers” from many sources<br />Google Maps<br />Microsoft Bing, Virtual Earth, Yahoo<br />ArcGIS 9.3 Mapping Services<br />Ordnance Survey OpenSpace<br />More powerful (but more complex) than the popular Google Maps API<br /><br />
  15. 15. Other Data Sources<br />New Popular Edition Postcoding<br />Government Data<br />Combined with UKBORDERS boundary data, to create choropleths of each educational metric<br />Includes the National Pupil Database with postcode, for Key Stage 4 (GCSE) and Key Stage 5 (A-Level)<br />
  16. 16. Putting it all Together: Tile Generation<br />OpenStreetMap API<br />Stylesheet<br />Geofabrik Shapefiles<br />Mapnik<br />PostGIS<br />Database<br />Other<br />Tiles<br />Shapefiles<br />UKBORDERS<br />mySQL<br />Database<br /><br />
  17. 17. Putting it all Together: The Website<br />Web Browsers<br />OpenLayers<br />Tiles<br />mySQL<br />Database<br />The layers in OpenLayers<br />Top: Schools (pins)<br />Middle: Network (B&W)<br />NPEMap Postcodes<br />Bottom: Choropleth (colours)<br />
  18. 18. The Completed AtlasIDACI in Hampstead vs. Willesden, London<br />
  19. 19. The Completed AtlasA-Level French Popularity in S.E. England<br />
  20. 20. Putting it all Together: The Completed AtlasA-Level Geography Popularity in England<br />
  21. 21. The Completed AtlasOutput Area Classification in Manchester<br />
  22. 22. The Completed AtlasIDACI in Manchester<br />
  23. 23. The Completed AtlasGCSE Performance in Manchester<br />
  24. 24. Problems<br /><ul><li>No spatial data for independent schools or further education colleges – hence no A-Level metrics for Manchester
  25. 25. Tiling process is quite slow and requires ~1GB of storage space for each choropleth set</li></ul>Next Steps<br /><ul><li>Bring in higher education flow data
  26. 26. Incorporate individual school metrics</li></li></ul><li>Further Information<br /><br />References<br />Haklay, 2009a: Neo and Paleo GIS – is the difference in the usability culture?<br />Haklay, 2009b: OpenStreetMap and OS Master Map – Beyond good enough–-beyond-good-enough/<br />Reed, 2009: More on OSM Coverage<br />