Cloudmade Dev Launch

Back from CloudMade launch in London. Richard gives a great summary of the entire evening.

Enjoyed talking to Juha Christensen, the chairman of CloudMade about business models, and my theory of disruptive industries and investments. Very generalised it’s this: If you invest in me, you won’t get a ROI from this investment, you will only get a ROI if you have invested in these other companies as well; if you do not invest in me, your investments in these other companies will suffer. Anyhow, Juha responded saying it could apply but only where there just the one value chain. CloudMade’s aim is creating a new value chain. So, a short term investment opportunity, nonetheless, but in the long term, this new value chain has to prosper. I may have to file it with my time travel theory until I speak with an expert!

(Still) looking forward to playing with the style editor – closed beta, but they are opening up accounts all the time. Steve Chilten asked a question about whether the xml files (needed for doing your own map) can be downloaded, and got a “no”. Not now anyhow. Wonder if people will reverse engineer it…

Back to making money, their plan is to charge / revenue share for heavy / corporate users, and adverts. Adverts are not that popular.

One idea could be for advertisers details to be imported into the osm database, and so the data will be shared and “given back”?

Overall, good evening, great to meet up with folks, old and new, and to see John’s all spruced up and running with some CloudMade tiles.

If anything, it’s these custom tiles which will be the big thing next year speaheaded by CM (my more general prediction for the industry would be in the realm of mobile stuff, and  we’ll see a follow model for personal geo information).

New Map Warper

I’d like to announce the release of the new Map Warper. It’s an online map rectifier, based on Rails, and using GDAL, OpenLayers, with OpenStreetMap in mind.

new map rectifier

It has some new bells and whistles you may like.

  • Search for maps.
  • Users & “MyMaps”.
  • Image cropping.
  • Calculation of RMS errors.
  • Export in different formats.
  • Activity feeds.

I’ve imported all the previous maps so if you used the previous app on, don’t worry, your maps and WMS will still work. If you want to work on them some more, then you may need to warp them again.

You don’t have to make an account to use it, but if you do, you get to track your maps, activities and shortly, be able to make your maps “private”.

Couple of caveats, it will resize oversize images (over 1500×1500)  to make processing quicker and as before, it’s beta so there may be a few kinks but they should be ironed out quickly, so please tell me of them, ta.

It is still open source and is available at: or a slightly older snapshot on github if you would like to grab a copy.