Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

Maposmatic updated

Maposmatic – the site which lets you make OSM maps with grids and indexes – has been updated with a bunch of new features:

* Support for the whole world. Any location in the world can now be
rendered on

* OpenStreetMap database updated daily. Until now, the database had
never been updated since the service was started in September
2009. Now, the geographic database used to render the maps is
updated daily, providing maps with the latest contributions to
OpenStreetMap. Each map contains the date at which it was

* Better city search engine. Thanks to Nominatim, we now provide a
search engine that allows to find cities in a much more usable way:
cities with the same name can be distinguished and the search works
even when the city name is not completely correct.

* Support for other languages. A few parts of the map rendering
process is language-dependent and we now have the infrastructure to
use language-dependent code. For the moment, we support English,
French and Italian, but we are waiting for your contributions to
support other languages. The website has also been translated to
German and Italian.

* Amenities in the index. In addition to the streets, we have added
important amenities to the index: schools, town hall, post offices,
places of worship, etc.

Meteor Mapping


Metero Crater is the well-named meteor crater in Arizona created by a “nickel-iron meteorite about 50 meters (54 yards) across, which impacted the plain at a speed of several kilometers per second. The speed of the impact has been a subject of some debate. Modelling initially suggested that the meteorite struck at a speed of up to 20 kilometers per second (45,000 mph), but more recent research suggests the impact was substantially slower, at 12.8 kilometers per second (28,600 mph). It is believed that about half of the impactor’s 300,000 tonnes (330,000 short tons) bulk was vaporized during its descent, before it hit the ground.[7]”

I drove the 3 hours there, then 3 hours back to visit it from Phoenix, Arizona yesterday and took some pics:

And of course I mapped it. There are a bunch of footpaths, a subway fast food restaurant, lookout points and so on. Of course someone had already mapped the crater rim and the car park. Check out the map here.

Map Editors Comparison

Matt has an interesting post comparing Map Editors:

I’ve been playing with the changeset data for OpenStreetMap and looking to see what patterns I can find in the usage of various editors since changesets were introduced in the API 0.6 migration. We can start off just looking at the major editors by distinct users, i.e: everyone’s favourite popularity contest.


Mikel parachuted in to Kibera last month – a holiday destination known as the “second largest urban slum in Africa” – to make sure it’s all mapped. The results have been impressive:


It includes a website, map data of course and social media including twitter and interviews:

The press release is worth a read:

Kibera remains a blank spot on the Kenyan map, though it holds as many as one million inhabitants according to UN-HABITAT. Its limited health and water resources, traffic patterns, and housing layouts remain largely invisible to the outside world and to residents themselves. Though many organizations have collected data on Kibera, the information is not yet shared as a resource for all to use. Map Kibera will fill in this gap by producing free, open-source digital map data using the techniques of OpenStreetMap, a user-edited map of the world. The resulting information will be freely available to residents, NGOs, private companies, and others interested in working with and for Kibera.