Monthly Archives: March 2010

Maps on Radio 4

With thanks to those who put this text together on the mailing list:

Starting on Monday, 3.45pm for 15 miniutes every day for 2 weeks(?) …

‘On the map’, presented by ‘Map addict’ author, Mike Parker

Full list of programmes is (with key words), 3-45 to 4pm Radio 4 each day:

Mon 22nd – Map makers – OS
Tue 23rd – Mapping the metropolis – Manchester and A-Z London
Wed 24th – Motoring maps – road atlases and satnavs
Thu 25th – Social mapping – mashups and crowdsourcing
Fri 26th – The lie of the land – borders, stats, politics
Mon 29th – World View – territories, travel
Tu 30th – Off the map – military
Wed 31st – Whose map is it anyway – future of OS
Thu 1 Apr – Digital maps – OpenStreetMap and the future
Fri 2 Apr – Maps of the Mind – Archers, mental maps

GSoC 2010 mentoring organizations announced

The GSoC mentoring organizations for 2010 have been announced and
you’ll recognize some of them.

OpenStreetMap will mentor students for GSoC for the third year in a row.
Mapnik – a rendering toolkit frequently used with OSM is on the list
for the first time.
OSGeo – is on the list as well.

Of course, all of the mentoring orgs are our friends. GSoC is a great
project to nurture young coders. Go have a look.

FME loves OSM


Michael Weisman writes on the FME Blog:

It’s true. Getting data into OpenStreetMap can, at times, be difficult.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some great applications out there
for pulling data off your GPS, or tracing Yahoo imagery or adding your
favourite coffee shop as a POI from your iPhone. But, what if your
organization has building footprints in Darwin Glacier Lambert
Conformal 2000 for an entire city in Oracle Spatial and you want to
put that data into OSM?

I have written in the past about using data from OpenStreetMap in your
FME workspaces as a data source, and so I was happy when we recently
added a very early stage writer to compliment the reader. So what does
this new OSM writer mean? Well, if you’ve got some data you would like
to share with the OSM community, you can write it to OSM XML just like
you could with any other format supported by FME. If you want to load
your city’s public data into OSM you can use FME to create OSM XML
from that data. (Note, make sure the license of data you don’t own
allows this, just because it’s public doesn’t mean it can legally be
loaded into OSM. Read and understand the terms and conditions)

To use this writer you will need to be running an FME 2011 beta. It is
still in a somewhat early stage of development, but will improve as
time goes on, and become easier to use.

So if you use OSM data, and you have something to share, why not give
back to the community by loading it into OSM? Download an FME 2011
beta and let us know what you think. If you’re not a current FME
customer, feel free to sign up for our evaluation program for a 14 day
trial. Once you get your trial license, you can download the beta and
be up and running with our OSM writer. We’re always open to comments
and suggestions!

Now a little birdie pointed us to this blog from the talk-ca list. A
tip of the hat to Daniel Bégin for bringing this good news to our

It’s nice to feel the love for OSM from proprietary software vendors as well.

I wonder if either Daniel, or Michael would care to confirm a rumour
regarding the motivation to add this writer to FME? or should I just
start that rumour here?

Thank you, gentlemen.

P.S. The author denies the suggestion that existing OSM editing tools
are anything less than perfect.

The Dangers of Bespoke Open Data Licenses


Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver have joined the municipal open data
movement. They show vision in recognizing that providing detailed
information about their cities is good for their citizens, the
environment and the local economy. They should be feted for their
leadership. Thank you, Canadian cities, for believing in Open Data.

But there are risks in the waters of open data, and new swimmers
always swallow a few mouthfuls of water. In this article we analyze
the terms and conditions used by “Edmontorcouver” and find that their
data license is currently unsuitable for OpenStreetMap. And most
likely unusable everywhere else as well.

Lighthouse photo ccby DaveBleasdale on Flikr

State Of The Map 2010 » Ericsson sponsor of SotM10

Ericsson sponsor of SotM10

EricssonWe are proud to announce the first sponsor of the State of the Map 2010 in Girona: Ericsson.

Ericsson Labs, provided by Ericsson, is a portal on the web that contains beta enablers and applications, and provides an open environment for sharing information with application developers, technology partners and consumers. Ericsson Labs provides several map APIs that support OpenStreetMap for both mobile and web platforms.

Ericsson is a world-leading provider of telecommunications equipment and related services to mobile and fixed network operators globally. Over 1,000 networks in more than 175 countries utilize our network equipment and 40 percent of all mobile calls are made through our systems. We are one of the few companies worldwide that can offer end-to-end solutions for all major mobile communication standards.

Also interested in sponsoring the State of the Map 2010? Contact the organising team for more information and to receive our sponsorship brochure at

Project of the week of March 14, 2010 — Sport Facilities

The project of the week is a fun way to get out and map something that
you might not map otherwise.

World Cup 2010 facilities in South Africa

Taking inspiration from the suggestion page we’re going to add more
sports facilities to the map. Ideally, you’ll live near the venues for
World Cup 2010 and be able to add the stadiums, surrounding roads and
points of interest. You’ll find starting points linked in the full

In your area

But you don’t have to live in South Africa to contribute sports
facilities to OSM. Add a local baseball field, hockey rink, curling
rink or football pitch to the map. Hey, why not add a dozen of them?

More details here:

Curling practice photo cc-by brianholsclaw

A better approach to municipal open data


Every municipality that is releasing open data is “doing the right
thing”, but some are doing a better job of it than others.
Municipalities are new to open data, so these teething pains should be
no surprise. The wider open data community is obliged to point out
where municipalities are falling down but we are also obliged to point
out who is opening their data more effectively.

See how well Washington DC measures up in this article.

“Thinker” statue photo CCBY by Brian Hillegas on Flickr