Posts Tagged ‘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.

Peninsula Lake, June 2011

The June 2011 version of the Peninsula lake map is ready. You can download a PDF or get the SVG and the map styles from github

This version includes more buildings, docks and rocks traced into OpenStreetMap from Bing imagery along with a few bay names and some cleaner text. My next step is to try and collect depth data in some areas the that the Hydrological service skipped. I’ve already been out in a kayak with a weighted container and rope trying to develop techniques.

I’m planning on attending two conferences this September in Denver. The first conference is the annual OpenStreetMap State Of The Map‘ September 9-11. This year will mark the first time since I’ve been involved with OpenStreetMap that the main State Of The Map conference has been held in North America. I am looking forward to putting faces to names and meeting lots of awsome mappers. I might be giving a talk on new features in PostgreSQL 9.1 at the conference but they haven’t yet accepted talks or announced the schedule.

Following State Of the Map I will be hanging around in Denver for FOSS4G 2011 (September 12-16). FOSS4G is the annual conference for open source geo-spatial software. I will be giving a talk on ‘PostGIS replication‘ where I will give an overview of built in replication and Slony. My blog post comparing Slony and 9.0 replication is by far the most popular post on this blog, and the talk will expand on that material.

They are expecting about 1000 people to attend FOSS4G this year. I am expecting there to be a lot of maps and talk about maps. In addition to my talk there are many other PostGIS/PostgreSQL talks on the schedule. If your going to be attending a conference related to databases this September what better place to be than Denver? The early registration discounts end on June 30’th so remember to register before the price goes up

Tonight, I gave a short talk at OpenData, Waterloo Region on ‘Consuming & Presenting OSM Data‘. A discussion on how to use OSM data followed. The audience had a range of OSM experience. Some people had heard of OSM but never used it, a few people had used the data in applications or while traveling and some experienced mappers were also in attendance. The talk was geared to give an introduction to drive an informal discussion/Q&A versus as a ‘how to’ tutorial.

The meetup was held at ‘Mitsy Mountain Coffee‘. Mitsy Mountain is a spacious coffee shop that has room at the back with a meeting table and large screen that can be used by groups such as ours for meetings. Mitsy wasn’t around when I moved out of Waterloo, but seems like a nice place and is worth visiting again the next time I’m in KW.

My slides from the talk are available here

An OpenStreetMap ‘cake’ is a map, used for a mapping party, where the map is divided into ‘cake slices’. Each slice of the cake is assigned to a mapper who will map it during the mapping party. By dividing an area into cake slices you can avoid mappers duplicating effort.

cake-maker is a script I wrote that uses Mapnik to take an .OSM file containing cake boundaries and produces one map file centered and zoomed to each cake slice.


Recently I wanted to make a custom printed map of Peninsula Lake in Ontario Canada. The Canadian hydrographic service has been kind enough to give me some of the lake depth data that they had collected for the recent G8 summit. I wanted to take the OpenStreetMap data of the lake and surronding area and combine it with the depth data to produce a map of the lake.


FOSSLC OpenStreetMap Talk

Posted: August 15, 2010 in Presentations, Uncategorized
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Yesterday I gave my “Intro to OpenStreetMap” talk at FOSSLC in Ottawa. I think the talk went well, no one threw things at me. My slides are available here.

The talks where recorded. I’ll post a URL to the recording as soon as they are put online.

I was surprised at the number of other talks that mentioned OpenStreetMap in one way or another. It is nice to see that the word is getting out there. Unfortunately the the map displayed in the closing session to show attendees how to get from the lecture hall to the restaurant for the dinner/pub night was not based on OpenStreetMap data.

Github and Ingres bought beer and food for us after the conference. They both deserve a thumbs up.

Update: A video of the talk can be found at fosslc, flash is required.

OpenStreetMap CanVec Importing

Posted: August 8, 2010 in Uncategorized
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I’ve been working on importing some Canvec data into OpenStreetMap and thought I’d write about the process.


June OSM Pub Night

Posted: June 16, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Tonight I attended an OpenStreetMap pub night in Toronto.
In addition to some of the regular local OpenStreetMap mappers (Heather Leson) was there. Heather is involved with Crisis Commons. Crisis commons is a groups that tries to use crowd sourcing to help in emergency situations. For example, following the earthquake in Hati they (along with OpenStreetMap) worked on using aerial imagery to make post quake maps of the area to assist aid agencies on the ground.

I’m starting to see some similar problems show up more frequently. Consider the following motivational stories