Author Archives: Steve Coast

Thanks to Clark Asay

Clark Asay

Clark Asay helps the Foundation with many issues around the license transition and couldn’t be at the State of the Map conference in Amsterdam last month for all the fun in-person discussions around it. So we thought we’d print a map and have the attendees sign it as a note of thanks. And here we are, so thanks Clark!

What do people edit with?

OSM Editors

Check out the map above that RichardF highlighted in this post some time ago. It shows OSM data coloured by the editor software. Blue is potlatch, red is josm, green is merkaartor and grey is anything (say, JOSM or imports) since not all editors declare themselves there is an ‘everything else’ category. And of course it was built by the eponymous Matt.

OSM on the front page of Wired

Check it out!

Last month, when Zack Ajmal was planning a vacation to Italy, he set out to find the first thing that a traveler would need in a foreign land: a map. But digital maps of Rome and Venice for his Garmin GPS device cost almost $100. So instead, Ajmal turned to OpenStreetMap, a community-driven maps database.

“It worked out pretty well,” the Atlanta-based engineer says. “I found Open MTB, which had outdoor hiking and cycling maps with not just roads information, but also trails, short cuts and little known routes.”

MetaPlaces in San Jose

Check out the MetaPlaces conference in San Jose in September. Good crowd of speakers including yours truly.

As Tyler Bell of Yahoo! is quoted on the website:

“I’m delighted to see this focus on an holistic location aware experience and business. The future of geo technologies has very much outgrown its origins in the traditional automotive sector.”

Now you’re 5…

When you’re 5 years old you get asked questions like “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Well, OpenStreetMap is 5 years old and there are a few answers to that question. But maybe a good first answer would be “banned on Google Enterprise maps”. You must of made an impact by then, huh? And yes, it’s true!

[…] You agree not to, and not to allow third parties or Your End Users, to use the Services or Content: […] to use or display Tele Atlas’ US Address Points obtained from the Services on a base map comprised of map data or content provided by International Publishers NV, NavNGo Kft., NAVTEQ Corporation, OpenStreetMap Foundation, or Zenrin Co., Ltd. […]

Check it out on the Google Maps API Premier Acceptable Use Policy.

OpenStreetMap server upgrades

Last weekend the OSM servers received a major reorganisation, tidy and new machines including beasts like the new tile server yevaud which has ‘only’ 24Gb of RAM and a few terabytes of storage. You can read more about what was done on the wiki page.

Here you can see the internet’s Matt Amos opening the new boxes:

Matt Amos opening server boxes

And here the interwebs Andy Allan of OpenCycleMap fame in an action shot:

Andy Allan

Two days of hard work led to some super professional server cabinets all neatly stashed and humming away:

OSM servers!

As well as Matt and Andy, Grant Slater (see more below), Cragg Nilson, Kai, Frederik Ramm and Dave Stubbs all helped out so big thanks to them!

Whilst at the OSM 5th Anniversary Party I had the chance to chat with a number of people and put together some videos using the awesome Flip HD camera (Amazon UK, Amazon US). The first of which is below where I talk to Grant. You can watch it online on youtube or watch it on your iPod here. Remember you can catch all these media things with the podcast link at the top right of the site.

Pocket Lint OSM article

I did an interview at the excellent Fire Station Pub in London last week, you can check it out here

The brilliant part about crowd sourcing mapping data is that, unlike Wikipedia articles, there’s less of a chance of bias. There’s no opinion involved. Either a road is there or it isn’t. The only issues have been over road naming in the disputed area of Northern Cyprus and the odd bit of accidental map graffiti.

Map of OSM mailing list posts

Super genius Matt Amos built this map of OSM mailing list activity:

Map of OSM mailing list activity

It shows first where we have mailing lists and second the level of activity in terms of number of posts per month.


And this one shows the posts per capita measured in posts per million people.

So the clear disparities are there, but we can fix them and begin to build communities across all those grey areas.

OSMF Elections & 5th anniversary party

The OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF) has it’s annual elections coming up this weekend. Here’s the fun facts:

  • London (Cloudmade Ltd, Suite 1.06 Enterprise House, 1/2 Hatfields, London, SE1 9PG, UK) (map)
  • Saturday 22nd August 2009 at 14.30 BST

Check out the AGM wiki page and especially the crucial election of board members. The entire OSMF board is up for election as well as some new faces. Each has a manifesto, lists their affiliations, race and pet cat ownership. Who you vote for ultimately helps set the direction of parts of the project and continues to support almost all aspects of it, from the SOTM conference to running the servers.

4th Anniversary OSM Meetup

Then afterward, we have the 5th anniversary OSM meetup with much food, drink and merryment!

  • Venue: The Porterhouse (map), same venue as the 2nd anniversary party
  • 5pm ’till late

Please do come, and note down yourself on the wiki page because it’s going to be at least 23% more awesome than any other OSM event you’ve been to!

But this is an international effort so be sure to check out the Toronto party and run your own near you if you can’t make it!