I am sitting on a plane flying eastbound at 37,000 feet over middle of America. A few hours ago we left San Francisco the host city for State Of The Map US 2013. State of the Map US is the American regional conference for OpenStreetMap participants and enthusiasts. A common theme for the weekends events was building community.
Posts Tagged ‘openstreetmap’
Tags: community, maps, open source, opendata, openstreetmap, osm, SFO, sotm, sotmus
Tags: community, hack weekend, open source, openstreetmap, osm, ryerson, software, software design, technology, toronto
This weekend we had the second annual Toronto OpenStreetMap developer weekend. The nice folks at the Ryerson Department of Geography hosted us. My focus this weekend was to work the Serge and Martijn on maproulette
Maproulette is software that presents an easy to do mapping task to users which they can complete and then mark the task as completed. Examples of past maproulette mapping challenges include fixing connectivity errors or fixing objects touched by the license change.
Tags: fosslc, gis, mapnik, maps, openstreetmap, osm, pgcon, postgis, postgresql, qgis, tilemill
The presentation covered
- Common reasons people render their own maps
- Where to get OpenStreetMap data and how to load it into your PostGIS database
- How to use Tilemill to design your own map style
- How to render map tiles, both statically and dynamically
- How to use OpenLayers to display your map
The presentation was recorded. I will update this post when the recording comes online.
I’ve been a regular attendee of PGCON since the first year it was held in Ottawa. Like past years I enjoyed the conference and I would like to thank Dan Langille for putting together another first-rate conference. My favourite part of PostgreSQL conferences is meeting and reconnecting with users people in the community.
Updated: The video is available here
Tags: gis, huntsville ontario, maps, openstreetmap, osm, pen lake, peninsula lake, penlakemap, tilemill
I have published a new version of the Peninsula Lake map. This edition includes new cartography and map updates based on my survey work last summer.
I had written the previous map style in Cascadnik, a CSS like language that translates to mapnik XML. Cascadnik has since been replaced by Carto so I have decided to rewrite the map style using TileMill (Map design software that uses Carto and Mapnik).
One of my goals while redesigning the map was to put to use what I have learned about cartography over the past year. The original PenLake map style was based on a sample Cascadnik style adapted to my colour scheme, nautical features and a print scale. The new style was designed by me from scratch to focus on
- The lake and nearby rivers, streams and marshes
- Recreational attractions around the lake including hotels and golf courses
- Roads near the lake
- The water depth of the lake including suspected rocks
This style is much smaller than the previous one ( the style is less than 300 lines of CSS) and it behaves well at different zoom levels between 12 and 18. I suspect the number of layers can still be further reduced for faster rendering times.
Some of the water depth data in this version of the map is based on observations I manually made while kayaking on the lake in the summer of 2011. I have tried to correct this data to match the sounding datum used by the CHS in their observations. I don’t expect the observations taken by me with a kayak, rope and a tape measure to match the accuracy of the CHS with their fancy sonar but we have to work with the equipment that we have available to us. The depths on the map should be based on a datum of 913 feet.
The Source code is still available from github
Tags: hack weekend, openstreetmap, osm, postgresql, rails port, ryerson, toronto
The Toronto OSM hack weekend (2012) started on friday with an introduction to OpenStreetMap presentation at the Ryerson Geography department. Experienced OpenStreetMap presenter, Richard Weait gave a talk to a room of Geography students, staff and faculty. After Richard explained the basics of OpenStreetMap A.J. and Tristen gave a short presentation on some of the work that they have been doing for MapBox.
After the presentations we did a QA session with the audience. The OSM ‘experts‘ in the room tried to answer the questions from the audience. Most people in the audience were geographers and GIS people who had already heard of OSM. A number of the attendees already had worked with various components in the OSM stack. We had questions on projections, layers, TileMill, Mapnick, tagging and an assortment of other topics.
After the Q/A I went with A.J and Tristen to Chiplote for some Burritos. At Chipotle we learned three things. 1) Chipotle in Washington does more of the meat preperation in the back room than they do in Toronto; Toronto should take a hint. 2) Keeping the Burrito in the tinfoil wrap it in keeps it from falling apart as you eat it. 3) Next time I need to remember to bring Buritos back to my fellow hackers. Friday night we had a social at the hack weekend social HQ, there was plenty of beer and the room was packed.
Saturday morning I took the train back downtown for the first day of hacking. We had local OSM developers and out of town hackers from three different countries participate along with a group of Ryerson Geography students. I spent some time Saturday morning helping someone get the rails port working on their OSX laptop. The part they seemed to have the most difficulty with was getting PostgresSQL running. This tells me two things. First that the work people in the OSM community have done to make the rails port easier to install has paid off and some PostgreSQL binary distributions could make their user experience a bit better.
I had suggested the EDB one-click installer for OSX but they opt’d for the KyngChao binaries. They were okay installing the package but they weren’t clear how to startup PostgreSQL and connect to it. I feel that the EDB installer makes it easier for an inexperienced PostgreSQL user to get up and running.
In addition to helping people with installing PostgreSQL I also helped some people with SQL queries and helped with changes to the website look cleaner for users logged in but haven’t uploaded any GPX traces.
Saturday night we had another party at social HQ. Party highlights included beer with ingredients from seven continents, comparision of political systems, talk of election rigging. Thai food, wine and beer were also spotted. Most of the geography students from the hack sessions were able to make it out and saw how fun OSM parties can be. I hope to see them at the regular Toronto OSM pub nights.
The GO train back to Oakville was pretty full. This was St. Patricks day and the streets of Toronto were filled with drunk people in green. The 11:43pm train to the suburbs is a bit too early for serious leprecons. Many of the riders had been at a Van Halen concert, it didn’t seem like many of them were interested in making maps.
There is a saying in the OpenStreetMap world that if you want to build an local OpenStreetMap community you should import a bunch of Germans. If you can’t import some Germans the next best thing is to import Richard Weait. He almost single-handedly organized the Toronto hack weekend, secured a venue and provided food, drinks and social entertainment. I also want to thank the Ryerson Geography department and Claus Rinner for letting us use their facilities and providing eager GIS students.
Tags: new houses, oakville, openstreetmap, osm, sub-divisions
The neighborhood I live in is between 20 and 30 years old, other parts of Oakville are under constant growth. When a new sub-division is built the developer will put in sewers, roads and start building houses. Sometimes the street signs will look home-made other times proper street signs will already be up.
When I see a new subdivision going up near my I try drive (or walk) the roads with my GPS capturing the data for OpenStreetMap. Often my GPS traces in OpenStreetMap will be the first time these roads show up on a map outside of the towns GIS. It might take years before some of the commercial maps send trucks to map these roads.
On Sunday I was driving past a sub-division that was being built and decided to map some of the roads. I got about GPS traces and names for about half of the roads. I need to make a point of going back and finishing the soon. Sub-division construction sites usually have construction workers and heavy equipment moving about. It is important to pay close attention to your surroundings and the condition of the road your mapping often it is a work in progress.
I doubt anyone is going to be moving into these houses until the spring. In the spring when people move into their new houses they will be able to use OpenStreetMap to invite there friends to the house-warming party.
Tags: fosslc, openstreetmap, osm, postgresql, sotm, sotm11
Tags: birthday, mapping party, maps, opendata, openstreetmap, osm
Yesterday (It is still the 10′th in my timezone) was my 3rd OSM birthday. Pascal Neis has built http://osmbirthday.neis-one.org a site that shows you your OSM signup is anniversary and how you rank (in terms of signup time) with respect to other OSM contributors that have made an edits.
I am contributor 17,540 (out of about 143,000 and growing).
In the summer of 2008 I bought an Openmoko Freerunner, an open cellphone running Linux (with xterms and vi). The phone includes a GPS, I needed a source of map data for it to be useful. The first GPS application that I installed (tangogps) used OpenStreetMap tiles. The OpenStreetMap was missing many streets in Oakville and it wasn’t long before I was taking summer walks with my Openmoko and notepad collecting data for OpenStreetMap.
A little over a month later on a friday night I drove to a cafe in Hamilton where I nervously climbed up a set of creeky old stairs. I walked into a dark room illuminated by an overhead project and laptop LCD backlight. The room was filled with a handful of people sitting around a table. Glancing at the people in the room I was pretty sure that I hadn’t just walked into a meeting of the local chamber of commerce, which was fine since I was attending my first OpenStreetMap mapping party and not my first chamber of commerce meeting.
During the evening and the mapping party the next day I met some interesting people, learned some new mapping techniques and made it out to do some mapping. The trend of meeting cool people and learning new things (and not just about OSM), has continued for the past three years.
During the past three years in addition making friends and attending mapping parties I have
- Conducted an import of GeoBase roads in Alberta and Ontario. I am proud of and happy with both the process we used for the import and the results of it. The imported roads aren’t perfect ( no map is ever perfect) but resulting map is a lot more than the map we had before
- Given presentations on OpenStreetMap at a number of conferences
- Seen looks of delight on peoples faces when I’ve handed them a free ledger sized colour map of there local area made with OpenStreetMap data
- Perhaps made a few enemies along the way
I’m looking forward to meeting more mappers next month in Denver at StateOfTheMap and many more years of mapping.
Tags: gps data, maps, opendata, openstreetmap, osm
Over the past few months I have been watching the reaction people have when I have introduced them to OpenStreetMap. I have noticed a number trends worth commenting on.
Describing OpenStreetMap as a free wiki-editable map doesn’t excite them. The problem is that when most people think about an online map they picture a slippery map, and google maps is free enough for them. When I tell them that OpenStreetMap is like the wikipedia of maps they seem to understand what I am talking about. Typically, these are people who have used wikipedia to look something up, but have never seriously considered editing an article. To most people wikipedia is a free source of information on a wide variety of topics. The ability to edit and contribute to those articles isn’t at the front of their mind.