“would you just look at the state of that map!”

Back from State of the Map 2008, Openstreetmap’s second conference, this year held in Limerick, Ireland.

Chaitanyakuber, was live blogging many of the sessions, so go there for some more detailed commentary. Also, all the sessions were recorded, so watch out for video and accompanying presentations.

It certainly seemed more professional this year, with a high standard of talks being presented. No panel discussions though. Thanks to the sponsors for the BBQ and for the hosts and volunteers for making everything go smooth. Also, if you are looking for a good Bed and Breakfast in the Castletroy area of Limerick, I can very much recommend Castle Moor.

Some quick notes:

Many State of my Country presentations got round of applauses. Everyone is amazed at the progress that a few folks can do.

In particular, Japan, with Hiroshi Muira speaking about progress to date, and the particular challenges. he showed the 3D plan of Tokyo station – one multi levelled, underground street complex.

The Italians had a really funny video. They also had a Month of OSM, where each day, they were interviewed on the radio about what they did. In one year, their data increased from 15mb to 216mb!

ITO announced a kind of map inquirer, enabling you to subscribe to areas, and query who is doing what, and how much etc. Very nice.

John must have done his last public thing for Multimap before going freelance. He’s written up his review too. Good luck!

Frederick Ramm gave an interesting presentation about the Threats to OSM. And warned about the community developing a FIC, or Feted Inner Core. OSM is a “do-ocracy”. OSM doesn’t have unlimited labour – it competes with wives and girlfriends!

Cloudmade announced custom styles for map tiles, and another tile server, with 64×64 tiles for mobile devices – this is worth keeping an eye on. I wonder if they are making any profit, or if the business plan is all “disruptive” – it’s certainly worth it for an investor to shake up the market, and make it cheaper for their other investments to benefit from shaking up the market, and lowering the price of geodata in general. They also announced that they had the whole of the Isle of Man, and offered it to Google, but under CC-by-SA, so G declined. Since only 3 users made it, I’m wondering if they should licence this as public domain, and re-offer it.

Ed Parsons showed up and talked about Map Maker – no big surprises, except he did repeat that the vast majority of G map users couldn’t care less about open data, so there’s no user requirement to open the data. For commercial data, i.e. data from Navteq etc, availability is driven by needs of car sat needs. G has more structured taxonomy behind scenes.In India, the “employees” added more POI’s and landmarks, as these, they thought were more important for navigation.

Robert Barr suggested that if we import more and more gpx files, then the statisticians may take notice, and start on the automatic feature extraction from them.

Netherlands. Here they have the whole country pretty much complete. Community wise, some early active pioneers have left, now that the main shift is on maintaining, rather than creating.

Hiroshi gave a presentation about sexy GPS. tiny attractive GPS units for ladies, hot off the news from Taiwan (“GPS Island”). Hiroshi also mentioned that it was crunch time in Japan for geodata companies. There are many at the moment, and competition is going to be very high. Only three will survive, he said, and OSM will be one of them.

Oh, and go here -> http://www.pledgebank.com/osmfieldwork and sign up to the pledge. 1 hour and £10 – and you’ll have a 1 in 60 chance of going on a (hard working mapping) holiday to Grenada in the West Indies.


overusing the word “open” at where2.0

Where 2.0 has started, alas, I’m not attending in person this year, but Nick Black spotted that my image is there instead, on the conference programme!

Big big thanks to Seero.com who are streaming most of the sessions, plus are archiving a lot of them too if you miss them. Also, the irc backchannel is #where2008 on freenode. The current over-used and misused word is “open”. (last year it was “GeoRSS”).

For live blogging, John Mckerrell is doing exhaustive transcribes too.

Things of note so far:

google includes geosearch in it’s API, and tries to kill Mapufacture. People freak out about augmented reality enhanced police states. Dash opens their API, ESRI and google have a “partnership”. This partnership, basically uses google earth and Arc Server may give a push into good open source / Free Web Processing Servers, as more people see the value of real geographical and spatial analysis, and not wanting to pay tens of thousands for a paleo-program and a new server with ridiculous specs for the privilege.