State of the Map

Back from State of the Map, Openstreetmap’s first conference in Manchester. It was a very good, full two days. I think everyone was left with the feeling that OSM is maturing, growing and suceeding. Getting entire countries now, Netherlands, Spain. We will see a domino effect where National Mapping Agencies will be being increasingly eager to donate their data.

Plus we are in a new place, asking each other “what do we do when the map is complete?”. This new step was mentioned in a few talks, Muki Haklay’s and Sean Phelans, we will be evolving from working with creation, the nuts and bolts, to editing and maintaining, with abstractions of the inner workings, and that also the types of users will also change. Tools should be developed to help the newbie, the OSM wives and school kids to be able to easily and accurately work with OSM.

some initial highlights:

  • Mainly, meeting people from online mailing list, putting faces to names.
  • Muki Haklay’s talk about usability concerns (I own up, I have trouble pronouncing osmarenderer too!).
  • Seans energetic talk about the UK mapping space. Multimap has a lot of goodwill from openstreetmappers.
  • Barry Crabtree’s wiggly puslating maps. Wonderful!!
  • Licensing panel debate – still not totally convinced either way, but I do feel the need for people to be able to use osm and their own copyrighted data.
  • Mapnik’s live linux CD
  • The excellent organisation. It went so smoothly
  • The Rails book, cheers Steve, I solemly promise to use it for osm.
  • The realisation that I need a cycle now 🙂
  • Great beer and curry and chats and laughs! (see pic below)

My talk went alright (i get a bit nervous) , I’ll be posting about some of the ideas in more detail later, but the Open Source J2me / mobile mapping space is starting to take off now. Whether its because of the increase in GPS ownership, or the new mapping API’s, what we are seeing is projects springing up that are using Openstreetmap data because its out there, and free. Plus, people are developing cool applications towards openstreemap data now.

All the recorded talks will be found online, and some were also videoed. In the meantime you can view my presentation via slideshare.

Oh, Leeds Mapping Party! September 15th-16th 2007!

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