Settle Mapping Party, Sat 15th May

Here follows a blog post that’s written like a press release, sorry.

A group of volunteers from around the North of England on Saturday 15th May 2010, will attempt to map the entire North Yorkshire town, from every street, bridge, footpath and chip shop – in order to create a free and open map of the town. All welcome, no experience or technology required!

The Association for Geographic Informations Northern Group and the OpenStreetMap Foundation are running a mapping party – a cross between an informal fieldtrip and a hands on workshop. OpenStreetMap is the wikipedia of maps – it’s open, free and anyone can edit and contribute.

Organiser Tim Waters said: “OSM aims to create free geographic data, like street maps, that can be used by anyone, anywhere, and over the Saturday we aim to have a complete map of the streets of Settle and many other features in the town.”

With the announcement of the Ordnance Survey releasing a lot of mid scale mapping data for free, the chances of having a top notch detailed map is greater than ever. By making a free and open map, anyone can edit and correct details, making sure the map stays up to date and relevant. It’s also free to copy and change and distribute, which is impossible to do with almost every other map.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend, families and children are also welcome! No previous experience needed, and no GPS units needed either. GPS units will be available for people to borrow, but people can contribute a lot by using a pen and paper. It’s an open organisation with no membership requirements.

People will start assembling at 10 – 10:30 a.m at Ye Olde Naked Man cafe in Settle’s central Market Place, and spend the morning mapping the area. Then they will come back and have some lunch, meeting at 1pm at Thirteen Cafe Bar and either head out again to fill in the gaps, or start editing their notes into the map system. The day comes to an end around half 3pm to 5pm, where volunteers recap on the days mapping, and have a natter over a pint of beer

More information to sign up:

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Settle_Mapping_Party

http://www.agi.org.uk/north/

OSM Slides At AGI North.

Yesterday for the AGI Northern Group I talked about OpenStreetMap, with a focus on how to use, contribute. About the tools, services and people that surround the project. There were two talks, an OSM talk and a MapAction talk. We had a good turn out.

It touched upon the new Ordnance Survey OpenData and it’s impact on OSM, and how we may change the way map in the UK, and then I talked about Haiti too – how what we did “changed disaster response forever” – but only briefly as Anne-Marie Frankland from MapAction gave a great presentation about her work in Haiti, she was one of the first to deploy to the area. Really astonishing and inspiring work they did over there. Hope to be able to see those slides later.

In case you were wondering, MapAction send volunteers out at the very early days of a crisis to provide mapping support and services to responders. During Haiti they produced maps, installed data on GPS devices, trained search and rescue teams how to use them, produced search and rescue sector maps, locational awareness maps, helped identify locations for camps, and a whole host of other things, with not much sleep.

My slides can be found here: http://geothings.net/presentations/osm_agi_north_april2010.ppt

and also at slideshare.net and below

using RAM as chromium cache for speed

Just a little post to help other folks find this hint and tip. I’m using Ubuntu on an Acer Aspire One with the SSD – I recommend fellow Ruby allied Leodian George’s post on getting it all set up if you are interested.

Okay, to make Chromium or Google Chrome to go very fast and use a previously configured RAM filesystem (I used aufs). Use the –disk-cache-dir flag. For example, where /var/tmp is actually held in RAM:

chromium-browser --disk-cache-dir="/var/tmp"

Will get the browser using a cache in RAM, and not the actual SSD. Hope this helps others out there.