Category Archives: Uncategorized

MapQuest adds four more Open countries and an OSMer.


MapQuest announced a beta open map using OSM data and tools from the
OSM stack during State of the Map in July 2010. The initial
announcement was only for England, but you could still see that they
had the full OSM planet available at the

Now they have announced the domains for Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

In July MapQuest also announced that they were earmarking $1 Million
for investments that will improve OSM data in USA. They have now
hired somebody to manage that investment fund, and it is OSM
contributor Hurricane Coast.

See the details in the press release and coverage on TechCrunch Europe.

Measuring the OpenStreetMap Economy

When I see announcements flying around like MapQuests $1M commitment to OSM, or CloudMades $12M VC round it begs the question of how big is the OSM economy?

Purely as an academic exercise it’s interesting to think of OSM as an ecosystem around which people find work and provide goods and services. But also perhaps it would be a nice exponential graph to show as a slide along with user growth.

We have some limit cases. In 2004 when founded, the economy was approximately zero. Or was it? Do we measure volunteer hours? How about the power and bandwidth the servers are burning? Or is that negligible compared to the other large numbers thrown around?

Today I would estimate we have about 5 people freelancing on OSM work worldwide. Perhaps 50 that do OSM work as part of their job, say writing a plugin or using the data. Full-time employees working explicitly on OSM? Perhaps 50 again. These are all guesses with some rough education behind them. These numbers would probably follow the kind of growth curves that various projects around linux did, rather than wikipedia I’m guessing. Because wikipedia was much more about the destruction of value around britannica and others, and the secondary service and otherwise market around wikipedia is pretty small (I think?). Unless you count MediaWiki itself.

Once you have the criteria of what goes in to the measuring pot of the “OSM economy” you further have large error bars on the data for each thing. For example, are those freelancers going to tell you what kind of money they’re making?

Still, an interesting thought exercise.

Project of the Week: Meet a Mapper


Contributing to OpenStreetMap is a collaborative activity. We each
submit data knowing that our personal data becomes our collective
data. At times we hope that our contributions will be seen as
acceptable and good enough. At other times we hope that other mappers
will help us refine and improve our contributions. As much as
OpenStreetMap is a group project, often we each make our contributions
in isolation.

This isn’t always the case. We have Mapping Parties and Stammtisch and
meetups and various social tools to contact and connect with other

The Project of the Week is to meet another mapper in some way.

Some of us prefer to meet virtually. Others like to meet face to face.
Still others like to organize and facilitate. Participate in a way
that you feel comfortable. When meeting people in person for the first
time, take reasonable precautions.

You’ll find suggestions for meeting other mappers on the Project of
the Week wiki page:

This is your Project of the Week. Make suggestions. Inspire other
mappers. What is it about contributing to OpenStreetMap that
interests you? Postboxes? Bowing alleys? Share your OpenStreetMap
obession by contributing a Project of the Week.

Hey!? What’s going on? Is it the weekend already?

No, it isn’t the weekend already. Project of the Week has moved to
mid-week based on user feedback. Stay tuned also for the first
Project of the Month. It will be announced next Wednesday.

Mapping party photo by Russ Nelson

Project of the Week: What are you watching?

What are you watching? Cinemas and theatres can provide diversion and
entertainment. Some places have thriving tourism economies based on
theatre. Other places have numerous jobs for people creating films to
ship around the world.

Add your local cinemas and theatres to OpenStreetMap as part of this
Project of the Week and let the world know more about your
neighbourhood. Find tagging suggestions and more details on the
project page.

Project of the Week is moving to Wednesday! On 22 September 2010 PotW
will move to announcements on Wednesdays. On 29 September 2010 the
first Project of the Month will be announced and the working title for
that project is Stay a while.

This is your Project of the Week. Make suggestions for projects of
the week or month. Inspire other mappers. What is it about
contributing to OpenStreetMap that interests you? Postboxes? Bowling
alleys? Contribute a Project of the Week and share your interests
with other mappers.

Other Projects of the Week / Humanitarian Mapping Humanitarian
emergencies continue. If you can provide some additional remote
mapping time please consider helping.

Watching the Stage photo by woodleywonderworks
is licensed cc-by

Another new English OSM book!


The English language OpenStreetMap books are starting to flow, fast
and furious now. A second new OSM book is now announced and is
available for pre-order.

OpenStreetMap contributor Jonathan Bennett has sent his final version
to the publisher and expects books to ship this month or early next.
An ebook is also available using the link above.

Mac OS X killed my Garmin 60CSx

OSMer scruss has been doing cool things with OSM, but his GPS receiver
started having problems. Turns out it is the fault of Mac OS X.

So watch out and have a look at his full report for more details.

One of the cool things that scruss has been doing is adding wind farm
towers to OSM.


Screenshot from OSM mapnik layer
is CC-By-SA

See this contribution in the following changeset