Nokia Mappers Arrested in India

So, we mocked the UK government when they said that mappers were terrorists, but as Geocarta writes, two people in India, making a map with their GPS device have been arrested for this “reason”! Apparently they were working for the GI company Biond Software, collecting data for Nokia (and Navteq?). As of writing this post, the pair will be in day 7 in police custody.

Biond Softwares director Milind Dalvi, who came here and met the ATS officials, explained: ‘We have been commissioned by Nokia Navigator to do survey of major roads, terrain mapping and tourists destinations in the country using a GPS system. (source)

Citizens alerted the authorities after seeing the GPS devices on the cars. Then, after being arrested, they were futher doomed after the police saw that they were taking pictures of gates and walls, especially around an airport which has an army base next door.

From the India Times:

A police official told TOI that more than the data, the agency is interested in knowing to what end is the data used. “A detailed map can show strategic locations or disclose sensitive information, it can be used by terrorists or people with malafide interests. Thus, we are going through the maps and also questioning them about their clients,” said the official.

More info from India Times

From: http://geocartablog.com/?p=900

I’ve asked Nokia International for comment, but have yet to hear anything.
Edits: Nokia India’s press office email  at communications.india@nokia.com is not working  (user unknown error)!

Tokyo, OSM & Japan

The second of my Japan blog posts: A couple of weeks ago, we had a mini mapping party at Tokyo. My hosts were Hiroshi Miura from Openstreetmap.jp and the Kodeo (Little Edo) Linux User Group, a great group of people, professionals and enthusiasts. We met at the IPA (the IT Promotion Agency – a kind of governmental centre for promoting excellence in IT), near Sugamo. Hiroshi Miura, who recently has started openstreetmap.jp invited me to give a talk and demonstration about OpenStreetMap (slides) and then afterwards we walked out to map a local famous garden. Unfortunately, I may have gone on a bit, as by the time we got there, Rikugi-en Garden was closing (4:30), so instead we journeyed out to the more complex streets around probably better for giving a more representative view of osm mapping, if less pretty!

Tokyo LUG Openstreetmap mapping party

Most of the folks had GPS, after Miura-san introduced the OSM project to them earlier in the year. Many different types of GPS were present, a few built into phones, bluetooth, loggers, and one person even had a PSP with GPS unit (he said that the quality was quite poor, plus the only application that it can be used with, only works in Japan). Part of the afternoon was meant to be an exploration of the various quality of GPS receivers.

Tokyo LUG Openstreetmap mapping party

Road signs are different in Japan, many roads are not named – instead, the block that the road goes next to are marked, blocks of houses become the address, rather than the street the house is on. More details can be found on the wiki for mapping in japan (in english), and http://www.openstreetmap.jp (in japanese). The ward boundaries are apparently available from the government under a similar to CC-by-A licence, so work could be done to help import this into the osm database.

Tokyo LUG Openstreetmap mapping party, apaman

This is “hatochan” Kentaro Hatori – the organiser of Kodeo LUG, pointing out local landmarks! In this case the very famous Anpanman, outside a childrens creche.

Here are the initial results from that day (click map for big):

results from sugamo mini mapping party

We noted many things, such as a difficult five road junction, with various types of roads. Junctions, parking, amenities, restrictions and buildings were among the things mapped. We also encountered a special form of police box a “Koban” – different from a police station (we came across one of those as well). Japan’s cities, and Tokyo is a good example are very compressed and dense – something that was mentioned a few times by those mapping- which brings certain problems and opportunities, but I’ll talk about these in my next post.

After heading back to the IPA we extracted GPX tracks, and started to do some editing using potlatch and JOSM. Then it was off to the pub. I’m pretty sure we ended up at Akasaka Gorou Hazime, for beer, shochu, dried & fresh fish & other tasty morsels. Much laughs, and cultural understandings were exchanged about the world of otaku, and things geek! I found out about bash-on-rails (apparently it works really well), and some of the activities of the LUG, including selling “attractively covered” linux mags at the huge twice yearly Tokyo Comic Market. We ended up at a famous pig back-fat ramen shop, for a bowl of oishii-delicious noodles. I think we all enjoyed ourselves! Thanks to Hiroshi and the folks at Kodeo LUG!

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. http://geothings.net/osm/leeds/GpsMid-leeds-0.3.01.jar
http://geothings.net/osm/leeds/GpsMid-leeds-0.3.01.jad

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)

part.png

you can download the bigger original here:

http://geothings.net/osm/leeds/leeds_mapping_party.mp4

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

flipbook.jpg
EDIT:
http://geothings.net/osm/leeds/flipbook.mp4 for video of flipbook