Bradford Openstreetmap Pub Crawl. WYLUG gets mapping!

Come to Bradford, West Yorks, tomorrow for OpenStreetMap’s first ever Mapping Pub Crawl, courtesy of the West Yorkshire Linux User Group. It will be very casual, and informal, no GPS needed. From the email:
First Openstreetmap Pub Crawl

We will rendevous at the following locations and times:

6.00 p.m. ‘The Cock and Bottle’ BD3 9AA

7.00 p.m. ‘The Beehive’ BD1 3AA

8.00 p.m. ‘The Fighting Cock’ BD7 1JE

The idea is to plug a hole the map, and get fairly inebriated at the
same time.

It’s entirely informal, with no planning and no expectations.

See you there!

WYLUG seems to have been bitten by the Open mapping bug, recently, they had a very good presentation and talk about OSM, then they organised a micro mapping party last Sunday for Leeds. Eight enthusiastic folks turned up, myself included, and I helped map the famous Jimmy’s Hospital, and the area towards town, see it on the map (when it recovers from the ongoing slashdotting!), now Bradford, which is disgracefully empty in coverage, hence no links to the pubs. Wonder if any of my mapping ex-colleagues from the Council will come…

gpsmid j2me gps and osm

Wow, now that’s an acronym filled title! Way back last summer, I shared my impressions about a range of J2me software for your mobile phone, that did GPS stuff, with Openstreetmap. GpsMid has improved since then, and works lovely. Highly recommended!GpsMid maps on your j2me phone

Vectorised, compressed, it can also record tracks from bluetooth GPS. In active development, so get involved with it. Also there is a routing engine built into it, that shows nice blue turn arrows, which may work for you (I had some trouble using it, or perhaps I didnt read the doc)

Here are links to the precompiled jar and jad file, of Leeds centre, so give it a go, or compile your own, if it doesn’t work.

Also, in the pipeline is a simple app to make compiling the files much easier… watch this space.

New OSM animation

Way back in september, we had the Leeds mapping party, and I produced a nice animation from the traces.

Now, with some more traces, and a nice animation script here’s a new one hosted on motionbox (hoping to convert it into a flipbook… watch this space when I get one)


you can download the bigger original here:

NEW: Got the FlipBook today from Motionbox! It is really cool

EDIT: for video of flipbook

mapping is terrorist activity

Get ready to be followed and spied upon for creating a free map.

Superintendent Brett Lovegrove Head of Counter Terrorism for the City of London Police at the “Project Griffin Conference” in Edinburgh, talked about “hostile reconnaissance” to help spot potential targets:

“This means noticing people who suddenly start appearing at a café and perhaps draw maps of the surrounding area.

Understandably, this is bad news, as we love going to cafes and making maps! Here’s a photo of us at a Starbucks during Leeds OpenStreetMap mapping weekend:

Terrorists at Leeds Mapping Party
image copyright kevin whitworth

Kyle Gordon from Openstreetmap has penned an open email in response to Lovegrove’s advice.

We are in danger of being arrested and unfairly held for a 4 weeks (possibly 6 or 7…) under anti-terrorism laws, just by doing our hobby

josm usertools plugin

Just developed a plugin for JOSM, the OpenStreetMap editor to help work with authors/ users. Has some basic functionality at the moment, but will get more stuff, especially as more of osm work is quality control, and networking with nearby users.

usertools josm plugin

It has three actions, at the moment, 1)Opens up the built-in author panel, if it isn’t already visible 2) Open browser showing the user profile page for the selected user. 3) From all the map data in josm, just select all the data that belongs to the selected user. Also on the list is to improve the way it searchs and selects by user (it is quite dumb in the way it does it at the moment), so if there was a load of fish and chip shops tagged with chippy=yes, then these would also be selected if you asked it to search for the user called “chippy”.



A few firsts at Brighton

The Mayor of Brighton toasted the completion of the map of Openstreetmap, alongside Mikel, Chris Corbin, the Fire Brigade Commander, myself and about twenty others. It marked the successful completion of the Openstreetmap map for Brighton and Hove.

With perfect timing, it also saw at the same event, the launch of a new book, the first commercially published book (for sale) with Creative-Commons licensed, Openstreetmap maps in the back!

The book is entitled, “The Deckchair Guide to Brighton and Hove” by Queenspark Books. In conversation with the QueenSpark book folk there, they said that the cost of other maps meant that they would have not been able to include good street maps in there, then along came Openstreetmap, and they were able to include (full colour) streetmaps.

Next thing, would be a nice way to produce a list of street names, points of interest to help make an index/gazetter (i.e. South Street, Page 233, col2, row D), if more people were wanting to include a collection of free, high quality maps in their books.

It’s a great use of Openstreetmap data, and something that can be championed for other areas! As Mikel says, holding a “1.0” completion event is a great way to increase visibility, and encourage discussion of *uses* of the map with the community.

The other first was the public unveiling of a locative Locomatrix Fruit Chaser game (PacMan in other words) for mobile phone and gps. Richard Vahrman took us around the block in the search of fruit! The idea is to get kids out and about running around. Although there were not enough for teams, the game is meant to be played with teams, and can also be played over other geographic areas, so people running around in San Francisco, and Brighton, hunting for the same fruit. It also comes with an api so its easy to make your own games! Something to looks out for. (It was my first time playing a locative game)

So, full kudos to Mikel and Chris and others who mapped Brighton, and great news that people are using it, and getting engaged with it, lets look forward to seeing more Mayors toasting more completed towns throughout the world!

j2me, GPS, Mobile Phone #4 The Open Data effect

This is the fourth look at the current state of j2me mobile phone mapping with gps focusing at applications with openstreetmap. We are seeing the development of new mobile applications, because now there is data and it is free, and available. A lot of this would be covered by the presentation I made at the State Of The Map Conference, Manchester July 2007, you can see my slides and the recorded audio too.

Viewing Recording Editing Other Stuff

Trekbuddy : Talked about this in an earlier post, and it’s going from strength to strength, The next version will have routing based on gpx, rte, rtept, wpt – so one to look out for. Also, Tom Higginson’s application enabling you to easily create a TrekBuddy map, allows mapnik and osmarenderer.

J2memap : I finally got this working, but requires a hack to get osm on there. However, j2memap does provide a library, so you can built an application that uses osm images, and the j2me engine. Quite smart. Network costs are for me, the main reason why I don’t use this. Zooming in and out of the map takes up far too much money. (you can disable the network access, but then you don’t get any maps).

GpsMid : Is a really cool opensource application for use with openstreetmap data. Talked about this before. What this does is read a downloaded .osm file and packages it into a precompiled midlet for the phone. It compresses 3mb osm into 244k midlet, code and data! It works really smoothly, zooming and connecting with the gps to get your position. It displays the streetnames, and POI /Nodes, and because it’s vector, you can search the data for names and it will zoom in to that area, and give a line from where you are to where it is. It is open source, and needs developers! I’d like to see nice gps recording, and overlays of tracks, or the loading of gps traces from the server. or the correction of road names instantly… (more on this later)


Getting a GpsMid midlet is reasonably straightforward too.

java -jar Osm2GpsMid-0.2.29.jar manc.osm propertiesfile

propertiesfile = manc = 53.326 = 53.626
region.1.lon.min = -2.592
region.1.lon.max = -2.052

you can have it churn over the huge planet.osm or use JOSM to get a smaller .osm file.

Vgps – Vietnamese GPS : Similar to GpsMid, but you gotta pay them and give them the osm to compile the midlet. However, the rendering looks nicer, and there are one way arrows, etc. Nice search and waypoints too. Uses gps to get location. Worth a look. You can download a load of applications for free from their site, including Cambridge and London. Couldn’t get it to work on my Nokia 6230i – but have a look to see what people are doing with osm data.

Mobile Trails Explorer : Briefly mentionned in an earlier post, I really like MTE. It’s the other open source project, and one where openstreetmap can really lend itself to. It basically records and displays tracks (both before and after). I’ve written some code to import a gpx track and then you can display as a greyed out ghost track. The good thing for openstreetmap is that this is useful when keeping track of whats already been mapped. and it would be a short step to download and import traces from the osm api too. Again, it needs you. would love to see some osm background map. They have a google groups discussion list.


Whereami: By Adam Boardman. This is a great S90 and S60 Mobile application using Openstreetmap Data.whereami.jpg

This actually downloads osm data from the server, and renders it on the fly. It keeps areas in a cache, so if you got to the same area, it doesn’t have to download the same data. You can zoom in and search and annotate things too. Great stuff! Haven’t got a link to this yet, but will update.


So we are seeing openstreetmap data availability increasing the development of mobile applications. Proof indeed of the argument that National Mapping Agencies keeping hold of the nations data stifles and stunts good development and enterprise. Now people, are using osm data, as that’s what is available, and are doing the work with that.

We also had quite a lot of discussion about the type of mobile applications and what we want. At the moment, we are creating the data from scratch, but soon we will be editing and annotating existing data, should our tools reflect this change?

I record tracks on the phone and then use my desktop to correct and edit openstreetmap data, add tags, straighten out the wobbly roads etc. I also use the phone is display map of where I am or want to go to.

I would like to be able to edit names, add in points of interest, maybe not edit the geometries of roads on the phone, but add in tags, maybe flag a road up that’s wrong. I want to see the tracks being made on top of existing osm data, so we can check for accuracy.

In the future, our phones will be more powerful, adding in photos, voice, etc, we can have quite a powerful application. We also need to make it simple enough for my mum to use!