Private Maps Now Available in the Warper

Added the ability to make your uploaded maps private in the Map Warper – only you will be able to see and edit these maps, they won’t show up on the lists.
You can also delete maps too.
Access to both these features are via the map’s edit tab.

maynooth map warper

Other bit of news is that I’ve disabled anonymous uploads, so sign up if you haven’t already.

Benefits Census Tiger

Sean writes: from http://www.usaservices.gov/events_news/documents/Transparency.pdf (page 10)

When OpenStreetMap came to the United States, the Census Bureau’s TIGER line street data were already available in the public domain. This provided a huge jump-start for OpenStreetMap and the team quickly began updating and correcting errors in the data. Now there is a resource with updated and more accurate TIGER data available for the public. This cost Census no additional resources and no additional budget. In addition, the data made available by OpenStreetMap has provided the foundation for several technology start-ups creating new jobs and innovation in the marketplace.

nice quote.

Cloudmade Dev Launch

Back from CloudMade launch in London. Richard gives a great summary of the entire evening.

Enjoyed talking to Juha Christensen, the chairman of CloudMade about business models, and my theory of disruptive industries and investments. Very generalised it’s this: If you invest in me, you won’t get a ROI from this investment, you will only get a ROI if you have invested in these other companies as well; if you do not invest in me, your investments in these other companies will suffer. Anyhow, Juha responded saying it could apply but only where there just the one value chain. CloudMade’s aim is creating a new value chain. So, a short term investment opportunity, nonetheless, but in the long term, this new value chain has to prosper. I may have to file it with my time travel theory until I speak with an expert!

(Still) looking forward to playing with the style editor – closed beta, but they are opening up accounts all the time. Steve Chilten asked a question about whether the xml files (needed for doing your own map) can be downloaded, and got a “no”. Not now anyhow. Wonder if people will reverse engineer it…

Back to making money, their plan is to charge / revenue share for heavy / corporate users, and adverts. Adverts are not that popular.

One idea could be for advertisers details to be imported into the osm database, and so the data will be shared and “given back”?

Overall, good evening, great to meet up with folks, old and new, and to see John’s MapMe.at all spruced up and running with some CloudMade tiles.

If anything, it’s these custom tiles which will be the big thing next year speaheaded by CM (my more general prediction for the industry would be in the realm of mobile stuff, and  we’ll see a follow model for personal geo information).

New Map Warper

I’d like to announce the release of the new Map Warper. It’s an online map rectifier, based on Rails, and using GDAL, OpenLayers, with OpenStreetMap in mind.

new map rectifier

It has some new bells and whistles you may like.

  • Search for maps.
  • Users & “MyMaps”.
  • Image cropping.
  • Calculation of RMS errors.
  • Export in different formats.
  • Activity feeds.

I’ve imported all the previous maps so if you used the previous app on wrp.geothings.net, don’t worry, your maps and WMS will still work. If you want to work on them some more, then you may need to warp them again.

You don’t have to make an account to use it, but if you do, you get to track your maps, activities and shortly, be able to make your maps “private”.

Couple of caveats, it will resize oversize images (over 1500×1500)  to make processing quicker and as before, it’s beta so there may be a few kinks but they should be ironed out quickly, so please tell me of them, ta.

It is still open source and is available at:  http://svn2.geothings.net/mapwarper/ or a slightly older snapshot on github if you would like to grab a copy.

Haiti

Over the Christmas period I imported the road network for Haiti – many thanks to Haiti’s CNIGS (Centre National de l’Information Géo-Spatiale) and CartONG. It has pretty much all the regular roads, but there’s still quite a bit of work to do.

haiti openstreetmap jan 2009

Late last year, we met at the GeOng conference in Chambery, organised by CartOng.  It was about the role of geodata and GIS in humanitarian work & crisis response (we also had a tiny mapping party afterwards). At the time, there were people on the ground in Haiti working to get some good quality data to share with other organisations. There were a few sources, some quite detailed, with even the little farm tracks mapped but very poor quality and inaccurate (possibly traced from un-orthorectified imagery), others were good, but were unable to be released publicly.  Bernard from CartONG was out in Haiti during and after the conference and was key in giving us the data on behalf of the Centre National de l’Information Géo-Spatiale (CNIGS).

Yahoo Imagery covers the area quite well, however the hurricane has affected the area quite considerably:

That saying, there are residential roads and tracks that can be traced.  It would be good to incorporate affected areas, which roads are closed, and which ones have been opened.  ReliefWeb has a few good resources. Interestingly, the map of road conditions highlights the types of road conditions interpreted as practical information, “4×4 can only pass over bridge, trucks have to ford river”. This is exactly the type of information that the UNSDIT seeks to make it easy to record.

Topology needs checking and validating – the original data had plenty of gaps and overhangs – roads that didn’t join up with each other properly (spent a couple of days fixing most of these). There are a few things that need to checked and correct properly.

Northern Mappers Meetup, Sun 25, Leeds

Behind the recent formation of Talk-gb-thenorth OpenStreetMap mailing list for the North of England. There’s the first Northern Mappers Meet-up.

Meeting 3pm at Scarborough Hotel, Leeds on Sunday 25th Jan. Details on Leeds page,

With a lot more active users, interested people and mappers up north here, we’ve started this mailing list. A place to discuss local relevant issues, announce and plan events. We hope to start a few social / say trips out events around the region in the new year. All welcome to sign up!

Africa Online Maps Compared

Robert Soden has a nice blog post showing why international development organisations should use OpenStreetMap if they want the most current data. He looked at three African capital cities, in Zimbabwe, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

For two our of the three, Mogadishu and Kinshasa, there is simply no contest – OpenStreetMap is way ahead of the others in both coverage and in the level of detail. OpenStreetMap and Google Maps are comparable in Harare. The data available through Microsoft’s Virtual Earth lagged way behind in all three

Nice to see that more and more organisations are seeing clear benefits and potential.

Robert follows up with plans to create a “GIS for Humanitarian Relief”, utilising OSM. They’ve a great idea of using Interns to do the mapping! Hopefully, we can work together with the OpenStreetMap Foundation, and build on existing work  and relationships.

december updates & talk-gb-thenorth

Busy couple of weeks, two BarCamps in Sheffield and Liverpool, AGI North in Leeds, and announcing today, the creation of Talk-gb-thenorth OpenStreetMap mailing list for the North of England.

With a lot more active users, interested people and mappers up north here, we’ve started a mailing list. A place to discuss local relevant issues, announce and plan events. We hope to start a few social / say trips out events around the region in the new year. All welcome to sign up!

Location and mapping technologies were in evidence at both BarCamps, with myself doing the OSM session at Sheffield, written about earlier. And John doing one in his home town of Liverpool. John brought a big A1 printout of Liverpool, with stickers so people could stick on the map the location of points of interests. A good idea. Oh, I came second place in a pitching competition for a pet (non-geo) project of mine, thanks Katie and sponsors for the prizes. For those who went to Sheffield, there’s a “viral” competition open, I made a slightly embarrassing entry, click & share the link, help me win and it may even make you laugh! 🙂

Geocaching, Iphone & location, GPS Art, Mobile & geo games, slippy maps were amongst the sessions held, there was quite a noticeable geo theme to the events. TheGeoWeb would be proud!

Recently in Leeds, I went to  poorly attended but very very good (and free) presentations of the AGI North SIG. Three presentations were from Neil Bendel representing the AGI Health SIG, Nick Armitage with the NHS Info Centre, and Andre Britten from Dotted Eyes (the winner of the new NHS Digital Mapping Agreement).

Interestingly, Dotted Eyes won the DMA from Ordnance Survey… they also offer NAVTEQ products and some additional products such as maintaining list of obsolete postcodes. They don’t have any data that shows footpaths, however, but only have cyclepaths – not really great for a Heath service that wants people to go out and be healthy. Also, there’s no direct way for ambulances out in the field to submit corrections to road networks (and they really need up-to-date maps), but they can send their DMA agent an email, and then the company would tell Navteq, and then they would have to request an update of the correct data. That’s really really un-easy.

Another interesting project from the NHS folks was about “Fruit & Veg Deserts” (not desserts!) project. The idea here is that you can map where shops have fresh fruit and veg available (oases), and see where there is a dearth of fresh food (deserts). Makes it easier to approach the smaller shops and say “look, here’s a gap in the market”.