Category Archives: Fun

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.

Help me make your map better

I’m trying an experiment with walking-papers. Get all my non-mapping friends to print out a map of their area, write on the print out the errors, house numbers etc and then I will do the rest. I’ve tweeted here:

“Help me make your map better – what you think?”

You can too. Get your friends, family… even enemies involved. Re-tweet or facebook status update with that, or ask them to send you the paper yourself.

This is a great way to get lots more people involved, and spread your mapping efforts. For bonus points, next time you see your Aunt Ethel print it out for her, or get all your workmates to fix their home areas. Buy a pint for the person with the best map updates.

Discounts available for OpenStreetMappers to attend Where 2.0

The title says it all. The guys at O’Reilly have given a generous 20% off the ticket price for this year’s Where 2.0 conference to anyone involved in OpenStreetMap.

OpenStreetMappers always make a prominent appearance at Where 2.0 and this year is no exception. To get your discount, use the code “whr09osm”.

Fun at Where 2.0

If you’re in the Bay Area for Where 2.0, make sure you come along to WhereCamp, the unconference for geo-hackers, mappers and location people. You can find out more about WhereCamp here.

Map the Caribbean

Gervase Markham has set up a pledge:

“I will spend an hour OpenStreetMapping features on Caribbean islands from Yahoo! aerial imagery and will also donate £10 to the OpenStreetMap Foundation but only if 60 other people will do the same.”

The money will then be used to fly someone out to finish the map!

London to Brighton

A bike, yesterday

Everyone has their own reasons for enjoying OpenStreetMap, but for me, cycling is the “killer app” – in that OSM gives you the best cycling maps in the world (on the web and on your GPS), and mapping is also a great excuse to get out there and cycle.

This weekend, four intrepid OSMers are taking it a stage further by entering an OpenStreetMap team in the famous London to Brighton Bike Ride. Andy “Blackadder” Robinson, Etienne Cherdlu, Simon “Welshie” Hewison and Graham Seaman together form the OSM team. Another intrepid OSMer and keen cyclist, Gregory Williams, is also doing the ride though not officially as part of the team.

It’s a great fundraising event for the British Heart Foundation, and our riders are also seeking a little extra sponsorship to fund the printing of flyers explaining OSM – which can then be given out to other cyclists on the route. And with 27,000 other cyclists taking part, there’s plenty of opportunity for publicity.

Of course, the main route is already mapped… but rumour has it that our riders might be tempted to detour “off piste” to two unmapped villages, Crawley Down and Ditchling, if enough sponsorship comes in.

Find out more about the ride, and pledge your support, on the wiki page.

If ever there was a time

There has been a significant and welcome downward trend in the price of some handheld GPS units in the last couple of months.
For instance, you can now pick up a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx, which has the newer high sensitivity receiver chip and can display OpenStreetMap mapping (using mkgmap), for £139 in the UK, €185 in Germany and $197 in the US (prices compared at Amazon). What’s more you can include a 2GB micro SD card for a little over an extra £1 in the UK.
Garmin eTrex Legend HCx
These prices might still be twice those of a basic non-map logging setup and you may still be able to get cheaper prices outside your country, or by bidding for instance for non European models on ebay, but it’s still a big change in the market since Christmas.

If you were ever thinking of dipping your toe in the OSM mapping game then it’s probably never been a better time to do so.

State of the Map 2008 site and cfp

The State of the Map 2008 international OpenStreetMap conference website and blog is now live and the call for participation/papers has gone out. Speaker slots are limited and like last year are bound to fill up quickly, so send us your abstracts!
The conference is being held at the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel in Limerick, Republic of Ireland on 12th and 13th July 2008.