Happy OSM Birthday (to me)

Posted: August 11, 2011 in openstreetmap
Tags: , , , , ,

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.

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