Category Archives: OpenStreetMap

Then you win: Ordnance Survey to open data

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Gandhi.

See story here.

The Prime Minister and Communities Secretary John Denham will today announce that the public will have more access to Ordnance Survey maps from next year, as part of a Government drive to open up data to improve transparency.

Speaking at a seminar on Smarter Government in Downing Street later today, attended by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt, the Prime Minister will set out how the Government and Ordnance Survey, Great Britain’s national mapping agency, will open up its data relating to electoral and local authority boundaries, postcode areas and mid scale mapping information.

Ericsson Labs OSM library

Ericsson labs have released an OSM library:

A couple of months ago we released support for OpenStreetMap maps for our Web Maps API and the Java ME version of the Mobile Maps API. We are now happy to release it for the Android version of our Mobile Maps API. Mobile Maps for Android with OpenStreetMap allows any developer to integrate the maps from the OpenStreetMap project into any Android application and have them rendered in the fast and dynamic Mobile Maps engine.

Scientific American on OSM

Check out this article over at SciAM:

It seems there’s an online community or social network for every facet of life these days. One area where this makes a lot of sense is in map-making, given how well locals know their own territory. This might explain why OpenStreetMap—a map of the world that can be edited by anyone with Web access—has expanded from 100,000 contributors in June to more than 180,000 (and claims to be adding 300 new mappers daily).

State of the Map 2010

I wanted to keep the community up to date on happenings with the SOTM committee meetings. Everyone, yes, everyone is welcome to join! Today we had a great meeting with fellow OSMers Ivan Sanchez Ortega, Will King of Geodata Solutions, Emilie Laffray, Richard Weiat just to name a few.

SOTM 2010

We talked about the current bids for 2010: both Spain and Italy are really excited to host the conference! It’s really awesome to see their enthusiasm.

As a committee we’re creating some criteria for the proposed host city. It’s not meant to limit the choices, but more help decide the best location. This makes everything very transparent and also lets unsuccessful bids figure out how to do better next time. It also lets SOTM organizers (and the OSM-F Board, if they want) to vote on the bids.

Some criteria could be:

* Easy access by public transport (plane, train, bus) with a maximum of 1.5 hour travel from major airport

* Availability of accommodation close to the venue

* Venue facilities (conference rooms, AV, WiFI, break out areas, right size)

* Venue catering

* Interestingness of the city

* How well the organizing committee will cope with the organization

* Outreach & marketing activities planned by the organizers

* Does the venue make SOTM accessible to a new group of OSMers (as opposed to the same people as last time)

With this in mind, the SOTM committee is extending the bid deadline another two weeks to December 1, 2009 and we will have a decision (drumroll please!) On December 7th.

We’re asking everyone to reach out in your circle of OSM friends to create new proposals. Twitter, FaceBook and the talk lists are just a few examples.

For information on how to write your proposal visit the the OSM wiki site here.

Open Data from Toronto

Mark Kuznicki hosted the Toronto Open Data Lab at the Toronto Innovations Showcase this week.  This was the official launch of dataTO.org, Toronto.ca/open and the release of several open data sets.

I was pleased to meet so many folks working at the city of Toronto and at the province of Ontario who showed so much interest in Open Data.  There were many great conversations going on, from the exhibition floor at the city hall rotunda to the mixer at a local pub later.  All of these are great signs of a new open-awareness at the city and I see it as overwhelmingly positive.

Being new to the world of Open, the city wanted some feedback regarding for what applications people would use this newly available data.  As Toronto Transit Commission data, addressing data and road centrelines were all released I thought immediately of the travel planner for London from mySociety.

I had that chance to talk to many folks about OpenStreetMap through the course of the day and I was pleased to share my enthusiasm for a travel planner like this using the Toronto data.

Travel planner using Toronto Open Data

The data we have now is imperfect but rather than critiquing the quality of the dance steps of this bear, let’s marvel that Toronto released open data at all.  Most of the data sets grew up in separate silos in Toronto departments.  The folks at the city are as new to these data sets from other departments as we are.  They’ll get used to working with each other in an open environment and that will move them to more of the open tools, standards and practices that we take for granted.  I’m sure we’ll see a bug tracker soon.  We’ll see increased use of open formats rather than proprietary lowest-common-denominators.

Bravo, Mayor Miller, for recognizing the benefits of Open.  Bravo, Mark Surman for challenging Toronto to become a city that thinks like the web,  This is an important step along that way.

Toronto City Hall Photo is licensed cc-by-nc-sa by Vlastula on Flickr

London Travel time map is licensed cc-by-sa by Tom Carden.

Summary of LUG Radio Live ’09

There’s a good summary of LUG Radio Live 2009 over here including OSM happenings with a talk by Andy Robinson:

Andy Robinson, also known as “Blackadder”, is an active contributor to the OpenStreetMap (OSM) Project and is the current secretary of the OSM Foundation. OpenStreetMap is an open source project run by the OpenStreetMap Foundation, that is building free online maps, not based on any copyright or licensed map data. The OpenStreetMap maps are released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0 license.