The Latin America OpenStreetMap community was created recently and we decided to organize collective projects on subjects that are common to many countries of our continent. Our first project is Mapazonia.
The Amazon rainforest includes territory belonging to nine different nations and there are a lot of environmental institutions and governments that need better geospatial data to do their work in that region. Furthermore it’s always good to have quality data in case of a natural disaster or other humanitarian issues. In Brazil there aren’t many editors in this northern region, so there are a lot of towns without any data and some roads to trace.
The Amazon is huge, it has 5 million and a half square kilometres. So initially we are defining some prioritary areas to map in Tasking Manager. There is already one activity in Brazil and another in Bolivia. The main aim is to improve the tracing of the rivers and the road coverage.
Soon we will have more areas in others countries. If you want, you can work in others areas of the Amazon. Put the hashtag #mapazonia in your changeset comments, so we can see your edits in this map.
Visit the site: http://mapazonia.org, follow the twitter account @mapazonia and enjoy mapping the Amazon!
Happy Christmas from OpenStreetMap to all of our contributors.
This sentence doesn’t actually make sense when I think about it. It’s a familiar kind of sentence you might see on a company website, but OpenStreetMap is a project. A collaboration. A map, a database and a community. It’s not a company. I sometimes describe it as a “nebulous internet collective”. OpenStreetMap is all of our contributors. So when we say a Happy Christmas from OpenStreetMap, we are all wishing ourselves a Happy Christmas. Maybe it does make sense. I think I can speak for all OpenStreetMappers in wishing each other a Happy Christmas.
We’re all working together on this project to create an open licensed map of the world, and whether you’ve met other mappers or not, whether you’ve engaged in community discussions or not, you have added your contributions and slotted your piece into the jigsaw of this mighty collaborative endeavour. Please turn to the OpenStreetMapper on your left and wish them Happy Christmas! (Or seasons greetings, happy holidays, happy winter festival… whatever fits)
And a Happy Christmas to all those who are using OpenStreetMap. All those who have seen maps embedded on a website, downloaded maps to their mobile apps, or printed maps out on paper. We hope you enjoyed OpenStreetMap, and of course there’s an easy way to give us a Christmas present in return: Get involved!
JOSM developers have been running a logo design contest these past few months, and a few days ago they announced a winner. Here’s the brand new logo for JOSM:
Congratulations to Diamond00744 on a great design!
What is JOSM?
JOSM is the “Java OpenStreetMap Editor”. It’s one of several software options you can choose to make edits to OpenStreetMap. The other popular choice is to edit by simply clicking the “edit” button on the website. This is the “iD” editor. By contrast JOSM must be downloaded. It will run as a separate application on your desktop.
Here is Tordanik’s summary of “the benefits of working with JOSM“:
- Efficiency: edit faster with well thought-out keyboard shortcuts, a powerful search function, filters to hide data you don’t want to edit, and the largest available selection of editing tools of all editors
- Validation: make sure your data is clean before you upload by using the built-in validator
- Offline editing: save your partially completed work locally, work with your private GPS tracks or photographs without having to upload them
- Customization: customize keyboard shortcuts, pick from high-quality plugins for specialized tasks, enable UI dialogs for experimental features, change how the editor’s map rendering looks
- Cutting-edge mapping: get tool support for emerging mapping topics like lane mapping or 3D mapping
There’s disadvantages too of course. Your choice of editor may come down to personal preference. In general iD is designed as a beginner friendly easier experience for our new users on the website, while JOSM is more feature-rich and popular among experienced mappers. This is reflected in the stats which Oli Wan has been maintaining on the ‘Editor usage stats’ wiki page . He observes that JOSM users are responsible for doing the most editing, despite “iD” reaching the largest number of users.
So if you’ve only tried the “iD” editor, and those advantages sound interesting then maybe you should give JOSM a try. There are various guides and tutorials to help you learn, including the JOSM Guide on the wiki and LearnOSM.org , but firstly download JOSM from josm.openstreetmap.de (It’s lovely new logo is now part of the download as of version 7777) The JOSM website also has the issue tracker and code repository.
A couple of weeks ago we mentioned a brand new feature on the OpenStreetMap.org homepage. On the right hand side we have a new “?” button which lets you query the map.
- On openstreetmap.org, zoom in somewhere
- Click the “?” button to enter query mode
- Click the map on something you are interested in
- Hover over the results, and choose one to find out more
When you query a spot on the map, this new tool will retrieve nearby points of interest from the OpenStreetMap database, and let you quickly drill down to all of the detailed tagging information we have in that database.
More than a map
This new tool helps highlight a crucial point about OpenStreetMap. It’s so much more than just a visual map. OpenStreetMap is a rich database of geo-located information, only some of which is visible on the “standard” view of the map. Other information is visible via different layers (such as cycle routes presented on the cycling layer) and all of the data can be viewed by enabling the “map data” layer (also on the layer picker panel) but this query tool offers a new window into the OpenStreetMap data, and a new way to discover all the details our contributors are adding to the database.
For developers this data opens up a world of possibilities. All the data is available to download for free.