Over the Christmas period I imported the road network for Haiti – many thanks to Haiti’s CNIGS (Centre National de l’Information Géo-Spatiale) and CartONG. It has pretty much all the regular roads, but there’s still quite a bit of work to do.

haiti openstreetmap jan 2009

Late last year, we met at the GeOng conference in Chambery, organised by CartOng.  It was about the role of geodata and GIS in humanitarian work & crisis response (we also had a tiny mapping party afterwards). At the time, there were people on the ground in Haiti working to get some good quality data to share with other organisations. There were a few sources, some quite detailed, with even the little farm tracks mapped but very poor quality and inaccurate (possibly traced from un-orthorectified imagery), others were good, but were unable to be released publicly.  Bernard from CartONG was out in Haiti during and after the conference and was key in giving us the data on behalf of the Centre National de l’Information Géo-Spatiale (CNIGS).

Yahoo Imagery covers the area quite well, however the hurricane has affected the area quite considerably:

That saying, there are residential roads and tracks that can be traced.  It would be good to incorporate affected areas, which roads are closed, and which ones have been opened.  ReliefWeb has a few good resources. Interestingly, the map of road conditions highlights the types of road conditions interpreted as practical information, “4×4 can only pass over bridge, trucks have to ford river”. This is exactly the type of information that the UNSDIT seeks to make it easy to record.

Topology needs checking and validating – the original data had plenty of gaps and overhangs – roads that didn’t join up with each other properly (spent a couple of days fixing most of these). There are a few things that need to checked and correct properly.

The shell meme.

Found The Shell Meme over on Caius’s blog and, since it’s a meme that’s entirely voluntary, and doesn’t require me to actively spam other people for them to do it, here it is:
Type this into a new terminal / shell:
history|awk '{a[$2]++} END{for(i in a){printf "%5d\t%s\n ",a[i],i}}'|sort -rn|head

and I got this:
79 svn
53 ls
52 rake
30 cd
25 identify
25 convert
21 gdalinfo
21 cucumber
18 gnome-open
15 rm

All in preparation of my newer Map Warper which will come out very soon.

Northern Mappers Meetup, Sun 25, Leeds

Behind the recent formation of Talk-gb-thenorth OpenStreetMap mailing list for the North of England. There’s the first Northern Mappers Meet-up.

Meeting 3pm at Scarborough Hotel, Leeds on Sunday 25th Jan. Details on Leeds page,

With a lot more active users, interested people and mappers up north here, we’ve started this mailing list. A place to discuss local relevant issues, announce and plan events. We hope to start a few social / say trips out events around the region in the new year. All welcome to sign up!

Africa Online Maps Compared

Robert Soden has a nice blog post showing why international development organisations should use OpenStreetMap if they want the most current data. He looked at three African capital cities, in Zimbabwe, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

For two our of the three, Mogadishu and Kinshasa, there is simply no contest – OpenStreetMap is way ahead of the others in both coverage and in the level of detail. OpenStreetMap and Google Maps are comparable in Harare. The data available through Microsoft’s Virtual Earth lagged way behind in all three

Nice to see that more and more organisations are seeing clear benefits and potential.

Robert follows up with plans to create a “GIS for Humanitarian Relief”, utilising OSM. They’ve a great idea of using Interns to do the mapping! Hopefully, we can work together with the OpenStreetMap Foundation, and build on existing work  and relationships.