Category Archives: Uncategorized

Locatum: Outing the OS “policy options” ‘consultation’

In the intervening months you may have observed (as I have not been ‘anon’) various comments I have made to various posts and other blogs (I can’t remember them all now so no links!) correcting factual errors and establishing a soap box of sorts from which to contrast and/or challenge in a “you can’t prove that your emperor has any clothes” kind of way some of the statements, demands and assumptions of the ‘georati’ (?).

Now of course you may argue that I, on behalf of emapsite, have an agenda of my own, what with being an OS Premium Partner (that’s value adding reseller) and all. You may be right and I am not going to be sharing corporate information here so you’ll just have to speculate but on the whole you won’t find me hiding behind some smoke-screen of nobility and social good. Actually, on the one hand I am 100% behind the release of data sets under some kind of OS Free in support of these kind of activities, mashups etc, unhindered by the derived data nonsense. On the other hand I give short shrift to a number of things:

– that data (in this context OS data) is ‘expensive’
– that large scale geographic data has a high price elasticity of demand
– that there are businesses going out of business or not come into business because data is so ‘expensive’

Interesting rant

OSMers crash Google MapMaker ‘mapping party’

What do you do if you find out Google is having a mapping party in Minsk? You turn up and tell everyone about OpenStreetMAp and the lay in to MapMaker’s “Batty moderation system”

No mention of Evil-doing though.

Project of the week of March 21, 2010 — Retail therapy

Retail shops and services on Main Street

Few things demonstrate the character of a small town like the shops on
the main street. Even as smaller towns suffer from urban sprawl,
big-boxification and online shopping, some Main Streets survive and
even thrive. Let’s make sure that those Mom ‘n Pop operations, the
general stores and the barber shops that serve as the cultural hub of
their community have the benefit of being on the map. The project of
the week for Mar 21, 2010 is to map a block or more of retail shops.

Retail therapy

Map the shops and services on your favorite Main Street. Substitute a
shopping plaza or mall should you not have a Main Street at your
disposal. We’re looking here for places that hang a sign with their
operating hours and who expect folks to come walking in the door with
a head full of dreams and a pocketful of money, and walk back out with
a product. (Okay, services too.)

Add the cafe, the burger joint, the barbershop, the lawyer, the
library, bank, general store, movie theatre and post office, … all
those places on Main, between Pine and Maple.

Find more details on the Project of the Week page:

Photo credit, ccby kevindooley on Flickr

OSM accepted as mentoring organization for GSoC’10.

Rajan writes on the OSM list:
Congratulations OSM Community, OSM got accepted as mentoring organization for the third time in 2010. Thanks to Graham for his much appreciated efforts and Ian for his valuable comments/suggestions. Now, this means, that OSM will get student programmers to work on some much needed project implementations, and Google will sponsor them. Few mentioned here -> , please feel free to add/edit the same.If you are a student, consider participating the same by submitting your proposal. To begin with, explore Project ideas page, and/or create draft of your proposal here -> . 

Maps on Radio 4

With thanks to those who put this text together on the mailing list:

Starting on Monday, 3.45pm for 15 miniutes every day for 2 weeks(?) …

‘On the map’, presented by ‘Map addict’ author, Mike Parker

Full list of programmes is (with key words), 3-45 to 4pm Radio 4 each day:

Mon 22nd – Map makers – OS
Tue 23rd – Mapping the metropolis – Manchester and A-Z London
Wed 24th – Motoring maps – road atlases and satnavs
Thu 25th – Social mapping – mashups and crowdsourcing
Fri 26th – The lie of the land – borders, stats, politics
Mon 29th – World View – territories, travel
Tu 30th – Off the map – military
Wed 31st – Whose map is it anyway – future of OS
Thu 1 Apr – Digital maps – OpenStreetMap and the future
Fri 2 Apr – Maps of the Mind – Archers, mental maps

GSoC 2010 mentoring organizations announced

The GSoC mentoring organizations for 2010 have been announced and
you’ll recognize some of them.

OpenStreetMap will mentor students for GSoC for the third year in a row.
Mapnik – a rendering toolkit frequently used with OSM is on the list
for the first time.
OSGeo – is on the list as well.

Of course, all of the mentoring orgs are our friends. GSoC is a great
project to nurture young coders. Go have a look.

FME loves OSM


Michael Weisman writes on the FME Blog:

It’s true. Getting data into OpenStreetMap can, at times, be difficult.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some great applications out there
for pulling data off your GPS, or tracing Yahoo imagery or adding your
favourite coffee shop as a POI from your iPhone. But, what if your
organization has building footprints in Darwin Glacier Lambert
Conformal 2000 for an entire city in Oracle Spatial and you want to
put that data into OSM?

I have written in the past about using data from OpenStreetMap in your
FME workspaces as a data source, and so I was happy when we recently
added a very early stage writer to compliment the reader. So what does
this new OSM writer mean? Well, if you’ve got some data you would like
to share with the OSM community, you can write it to OSM XML just like
you could with any other format supported by FME. If you want to load
your city’s public data into OSM you can use FME to create OSM XML
from that data. (Note, make sure the license of data you don’t own
allows this, just because it’s public doesn’t mean it can legally be
loaded into OSM. Read and understand the terms and conditions)

To use this writer you will need to be running an FME 2011 beta. It is
still in a somewhat early stage of development, but will improve as
time goes on, and become easier to use.

So if you use OSM data, and you have something to share, why not give
back to the community by loading it into OSM? Download an FME 2011
beta and let us know what you think. If you’re not a current FME
customer, feel free to sign up for our evaluation program for a 14 day
trial. Once you get your trial license, you can download the beta and
be up and running with our OSM writer. We’re always open to comments
and suggestions!

Now a little birdie pointed us to this blog from the talk-ca list. A
tip of the hat to Daniel Bégin for bringing this good news to our

It’s nice to feel the love for OSM from proprietary software vendors as well.

I wonder if either Daniel, or Michael would care to confirm a rumour
regarding the motivation to add this writer to FME? or should I just
start that rumour here?

Thank you, gentlemen.

P.S. The author denies the suggestion that existing OSM editing tools
are anything less than perfect.