Category Archives: Uncategorized

OpenGeoData is moving, might lose content, update your RSS & bookmarks

OpenGeoData is moving to posterous and so your feeds will move. The blog URL itself will remain static –

Now that the feeds are with feedburner, they should remain static (they haven’t moved in 4 years so far anyway).

WordPress has become too much of a PITA to manage for many reasons and posterous is just a pleasure to use. Unfortunately the wordpress to posterous import is not complete yet though. The basic problem is that in lots of posts here on opengeodata, we link to content (like podcasts and pictures) which reside here on opengeodata. Posterous isn’t clever enough yet to grab all of those things and host them… so if I did the import and then changed the domain over, we’d lose all of that media. I have unsuccessfully asked for help fixing this with a script and using the posterous and wordpress APIs or something.

Thus unless anyone wants to help, this entire blog is going to move to and will be mothballed. A new blog will appear at powered by posterous. Anyone with existing accounts who wants to post to the new blog should get in touch, it’s all pretty easy. The good news is that we can at any point in the future import the old content, or at least I hope so anyway.

So long, and thanks for all the maps!

Avencia Adds Support for OpenStreetMap to its DecisionTree Software

“We are excited to be adding support for OSM to the DecisionTree product. I am a big fan of the OpenStreetMap project. The effort has proven enormously successful at developing and maintaining a global map that can be shared and used for a wide range of purposes,” said Avencia CEO Robert Cheetham. “We’re thrilled that we have been able to extend the ArcGIS Flex API to add support for OpenStreetMap.”

Link to the press release.

While we’re at it, there’s a neat recent ESRI blog post on using OSM in ESRI products here.

OSM the default map in Haiti

Check this out:

[..] I am currently in Port Au Prince with the Fairfax County Urban Search & Rescue Team (USA-1) out of Fairfax, VA, USA. I wish there was a way that I can express to you properly how important your OSM files were to us. Most of our team members own their own Garmin Rino and 60CSx units on top of the units we already have in the cache. Having these detailed maps on our GPS units is a big deal. Shortly after discovering your work I quickly spread the word and transferred the street level maps onto as many Garmin units as we could before sending the American rescue teams on the streets. The team members are thrilled to have this resource you have created. I wish you could see their faces ‘light up’ when I take their GPS unit and tell them that I’m going to give them street level detail maps. They have been working VERY hard and anything that can help them in every aspect of their mission here is greatly appreciated. I am spreading the word about this work to all rescue and humanitarian teams on the ground here in Haiti. Please be assured that we are using your data – I just wish we knew about this earlier. THANK YOU!

Check out the wiki for more.

Fixing Megabridges in TIGER

For some reason … for whatever reason … the TIGER data has some entire ways marked as being bridges.  When examined, only a small portion of them is a bridge. I’ve been fixing them as I happen to notice them, but today I felt like seeking them out. I thought about writing a fancy program to parse the New York State section (as found on <a href=””>Cloudmade downloads</a>) to look for bridges.

I was reminded, instead, that the XAPI can do its own cut of OSM data. It’s fairly straightforward to do. The full XAPI documentation is in the wiki. All I did was fire up JOSM, and make a few bounding boxes around New York State. I did three: one for the southern tier, one for the adirondacks, and one for the NYC metro area. The first one’s URL looks like this:[bridge=yes][bbox=-79.6289,41.9677,-73.3667,43.3731]
I fetched it with wget -O southern.osm ‘URL’.  It’s only five megabytes and loads into JOSM easily.

Once loaded into JOSM, you can see the very long bridges. They stick out like a sore thumb. I pick one, zoom in to fill the screen with it. I have the Terraserver Ortho WMS layer turned on, so I can see where the bridge really should be. Two selects of nodes, split the way, and delete the bridge=yes tag. I’ll have New York State fixed up in about an hour’s worth of editing (not counting the time to write this blog entry).

Haiti OpenStreetMap Response

The have been at least 400 OpenStreetMap editing sessions in Haiti since the quake hit. Mostly tracing Yahoo imagery, and gleaning information from old CIA maps. We also just received permission to use GeoEye imagery acquired post-event … that will allow us to tag collapsed buildings. Many relief groups are deploying now, many checking in with the CrisisMappers list (the main locus of the wider humanitarian tech community), and they are making inquiries into OSM data and requests for particular features. Dozens of mappers and developers are lending a hand, coordinating on the OSM Haiti WikiProject and IRC and the OSM talk list … standing up services, including 5 minute extracts in Shapefile and Garmin formats, and maps with hill-shading. Just the start to relief and reconstruction effort we hope to contribute to.

Two images to show how we’ve progressed … the first OSM Port au Prince just now, the second OSM before the earthquake.



I’ll be on twitter with updates … though I’m due to fly tonight to Ireland.

OSM article in today’s infoworld

Nice article here:

A volunteer-led project to create an open-source map of the entire earth, calledOpenStreetMap, has amassed over 200,000 contributors since its inception, the founder announced in a blog entry.

The project has attracted over 100,000 users since last March alone, noted founder Steve Coast. He predicts that, given this rate of growth, the contributor base will reach a million by this August.