Author Archives: Steve Coast

OS Shows Off Open Spaces

That’s three OSs, count ’em. OS OS is their gmaps-like API. It’s in beta, non-commercial and is OSGB projected. Slippy map, markers, bubbles… it’s all there. Someone in the audience pointed out the data quality in the countryside is much better than what’s available now (eg, google). No link as yet.

First commercial OSM usage!

Mikel and I are at the OS in Southampton for a mashup event. Thanks to a lot of work from Mikel and Etienne in producing the tiles nestoria are now using openstreetmap data rendered by osmarender as a google maps layer! This means that when browsing properties you can choose to overlay our map data rather than googles. It’s not perfect but it is an awsome first step and a farsighted decision by nestoria. Check it out here and hit ‘OSM’ in the map type above the map.

This Isle of Wight data used stretches back to the mapping party we held there where 30 or 40 OSMers decended on the Isle to map it in a weekend. A large vote of thanks goes to those people and in particular David Groom for annotating all that data.

At the same time, we can announce mapstraction support for OSM. There’s a demo over here which consists of the same Isle of Wight data. As our data gets broader and in more areas more tiles will be available. Right now, is uses google with some hacks to make it go. The API will remain the same but google will probably be replaced with openlayers at some point. Mikel also got on the fly API switching going, check it out.

Mapstraction progress

Mapstraction has been making good progress with integration from geopress (awsome plugin for embedding maps in wordpress) to Nestoria (awsome map for finding somewhere to live) (Other sites can be found here). One of the more interesting things to note from mapstraction’s evolution is the clear but unnoticed disparity in APIs. Microsoft Virtual Earth has by far the best aerial imagery of the UK, they have complete high resolution coverage! See an example here. But the API is perhaps the worst thing on the planet. Little documentation and many ‘basic’ features missing. The good thing for you, of course, is that mapstraction abstracts this all away and you need not worry because we’re spending the time to make it work. A hidden feature of Yahoo Maps is their high res data (see here) for lots of cities. It’s not obvious as they don’t hide good imagery behind brown goo of death.

Month of OSM

The progress of the month of OSM pledge is phenomenal, having reached almost 80% in under a week. This is really good news and suggests that at least some full-time development of OSM can happen, which benefits everybody. I can’t wait to get started! 🙂

Podcast: BCS

I spoke at the BCS a few weeks ago about OSM and open data. Ian made the good point afterward that you can get around the database directive by requiring your license contractually in order to access the data in the first place. More investigation needed. Anyway, here’s the pdf and mp3. The questions at the end are hard to heard, if you have time to process it and make them audible then I’ll happily update the mp3. Update: links fixed.