WhooTS a small wms to tile proxy – WMS in Potlatch

WhooTS is a small and simple wms to tiles proxy / redirect system.

Essentially it enables the use of WMS in applications that only accept Tiles (google / Openstreetmap scheme) – WMS is now in Potlatch!

How to use it?

http://whoots.mapwarper.net/tms/z/x/y/{layer}/http://path.to.wms.server

Example:

a mapwarper map:

http://whoots.mapwarper.net/tms/!/!/!/2013/http://warper.geothings.
net/maps/wms/2013

viewing it in Potlatch, the OpenStreetMap editor:

Goes to:

Caveats:

Its’s quite simple, does not do any caching, it just redirects a tile url to an equivalent WMS request. It would only work with WMS servers that accept EPSG:900913 projections, and at the moment, it outputs OSM / Google Tile scheme, not a proper TMS tile scheme.

It’s written in Ruby with the Sinatra micro web application framework. The code is available on GitHub too. http://github.com/timwaters/whoots

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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

Haiti #2

Almost exactly a year ago, I finished the import of a large amount of road data for Haiti. This was the result of the mapping community responding to the devastating storms and flooding that shook the country, and the need for good quality data for people to share.  Now the country is struck by another disaster.

The main page coordinating efforts from OSM is here:

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Haiti#2010_Earthquake_Response

We’ve set up a special Map Warper instance at  http://maps.nypl.org/relief/maps has a number of public domain maps that you can warp. Please come along and rectify these maps. OSM volunteers will then trace over the top and add these onto the map.

WhooMS – a tiny public geotiff WMS server

WhooMS is a tiny public WMS server for those people who have a GeoTIFF and need someplace to serve it as WMS. I wrote it a while ago, but now its running for all to use.

It’s written in Ruby, using the Sinatra Web Framework, which basically means it can all fit neatly on one file.  It uses Ruby Mapscript to read the uploaded GeoTiff and serve it out to the world.

Nice and simple and basic. Got a GeoTiff handy? (EPSG:4326) give it a go. whooms.mapwarper.net

The code for it can be found on github: http://github.com/timwaters/whooms

Main caveat: when the disc space gets full, the older files will be deleted to fill up space.

Free Headingley A-Z Map with MapOSMatic

MapOSMatic creates lovely maps with an index from OpenStreetMap maps. Click on the thumbs to get the full size PNG images.

You can also download them as PDFs here:

Headingley

Headingley_index

And for the curious, the MapOSMatic page : http://www.maposmatic.org/jobs/5493

It’s very very awesome. I hope to do a whole series for Leeds.

WhereCampEU is a go! March 12-13 London.

We’re having a European WhereCamp in March 2010 – its in London!  The venue is the Guardian offices! It will be excellent!

WhereCampEU is a free unconference for geohackers, mappers, developers, mobile location folks, augmented reality enthusiasts, traditional geographers, neogeographers, psychogeographers, cartography geeks, romantic mappers and geo-hippies  (amongst others!).

Register now for early bird tickets!

Follow the twitter account at @wherecampeu and keep an eye with your RSS readers on http://wherecamp.eu/

If you would like to be a sponsor, and we’d like that very much please contact me at: tim@wherecamp.eu

just some words

Before a few posts about Psychogeography in Leeds here are some nice words:

geo-tagging
guided walks
volunteered geographic information
ephemeral cities
social history
short cuts
psychology
imaginary urbanism
altered maps/radical cartography
travel writing
psychogeography
marxism
place based photo blogging
urban exploration
site specific sculpture
land/earth art
neogeography
old maps
architecture
situationism
hauntings
green space
performance art

mainly ripped off from neogeography.net

Tracks in Time – Tithe Maps for Leeds

Popped along to the official launch of West Yorkshire Archive Service’s (WYAS) Tracks in Time website and their new online mapping application, held at the City Museum. Earlier the prototype was leaked onto Secret Leeds to an enthusiastic response. I’d always been interested in this project, having been made aware of it when I was asked for some advice about it in the very early days of the project, by me living in Leeds, and recently with our work with the New York Public Library georectifiying and digitizing their historical map collection – so it’s really good to see it out there and completed!

Its a nice application (even if it has a bit of an old fashioned/council GIS feel to it) and works well, that used the code from a similar Cheshire Project.  The project is the culmination of some Lottery funding and although the Archive service is for the whole of the county, the project was restricted to Leeds. Gardline Infotech were contracted to do the offline GIS portion, and the folks at WYAS, with Leeds City Council and Cheshire Shared Services who put together the online version.

The system has two map panes, on the left tithe maps and on the right some more modern reference maps.

leed tithe map application

There is also  layers for land use and who owns what. Users can search for people and get these selected on the map – it’s a great resource. Searches can be exported as CSV file, which gets marks from me. Unfortunately, both these exports and the maps miss out the land value data, which had been transcribed, apparently due to a technical limitation in the software, which is a great great shame. I’d love to be able to compare the price of land as it was then to house prices now.

I think it was Stephanie? from WYAS, who was describing how it was not only people that can be searched, but corporations or other owners. A search for “railway” for example gave results for all those portions of land taken for new railways. Railway companies such as Leeds & Bradford Railway Company and North & Midland Railway are recorded, with land also taken for railway stations. On the map we see that the present day lines of the railways, before the lines were built. Its a particularly good resource for that time of the industrial revolution, and is strong in the north of england where a lot of the industry was taking place.

leeds west yorkshire tithe map

The 58 hand drawn tithe maps were scanned, georeferenced and digitized. The digitized vectors were tied together with volunteer transcribed apportionment information – over 29,000 records!

The maps are hand drawn.
The maps were scanned by the Coal Authority in Nottinghamshire. They have the largest facility in its kind in Europe. Some of the maps took up the entire table – they were over 3m long!

Tithe maps were not meant to be definative maps of boundaries or for navigation, they were never meant to be a record of rights of ways and roads. As a consequence, these maps have parts where some areas are out by 60m or more. Its also important to remember that the maps are hand drawn. There were only ever 3 copies of each made – one sent to London, one to the Diocese and one to the Parish. The Archive Service had a copy of all of the maps but sometimes only one of the were found – and some were in poor shape.

We had a chat with the representative from Gardline Infotech whose name I didn’t catch and Peter Lythe, the project manager for WYAS – and discussed some of the challenges.

Georeferencing the maps proved troublesome – in particular where maps had folds and some where the original surveys were inaccurate. The side by side panes help to disguise some of the inaccuracies where they occur. They used the historical buildings data to help pin point some of the areas on the maps, and then used OS MasterMap to get the tie points. Yes, I can hear alarm bells ringing too – by using OS Master Map, the georectified maps are derivative works of Ordnance Survey, and so you’d need to have an OS license to use them.

Gardline used Cadcorp and FME mainly to vectorize the data, and they did a good job.  I don’t think the vectors can be downloaded either – if they were the digitized land parcels vector GIS files would also be under this same license. There was never a requirement to make available these files available to the public at large for free – so nothing wrong happened, just another missed opportunity. The good news is that the transcribed data is separate from the maps and can be accessed and downloaded (without the land values field) – and the scanned source imagery would be free of OS tie-in and it wouldn’t take too much to georectify the source maps (and even remaining ones for the whole county) and vectorize them in a collaborative and open manner, as we’ve seen.

Overall it’s a plus to the city and a marvelous resource of the past for the future.