Category Archives: Uncategorized

Weighted Car

This is a pic of Nick Hill’s car after being loaded with servers, rack cabinets and stuff. It took hours of work, and Nick drilled out some rivets to take the cabinet apart. Currently we’re waiting on the official green light on hosting, at which point all this stuff will get installed.

Old Maps, Aerial Photographs and Experimental Derives

Richard picks out a great Guy Debord quote in his review of Simon Sadler’s The Situationist City. I’ve found a longer version of the quote which I’ll reproduce for posterity here:

“With the aid of old maps, aerial photographs and experimental derives, one can draw up hitherto lacking maps of influence, maps whose inevitable imprecision at this early stage is not worse than that of the first navigational charts; the only difference is that it is a matter no longer of precisely delineating stable continents, but of changing architecture and urbanism.”

Fantastically resonant, that.


Our first spam

Openstreetmap had its first spam yesterday from someone uploading a html file (a web page) as a GPX file (a GPS trace file). Being XML (similar format), it got parsed and uploaded with spam-like tags linking to the individuals business. The point being that google etc would crawl the pages and increase his page rank. It exposes the soft underbelly of openstreetmap’s policy of crossing bridges when we get to them – we’ve only had good bridges so far!

OpenStreetMap updates

Lots of updates went through today like the API now supports things like streets, tags (keys and values) are a more realistically handled. This brings the API to version 0.3

I spent the rest of the day fixing up the gps trace pane so you can add descriptions to your traces, tag them, and make them available for public download. Still some work to do, pending input from the mailing list.

freethepostcode updates

Lots of people seem to want updates to freethepostcode like different countries supported, different coordinate systems. I’ve created a pledge which reads

“I will upgrade to allow postcodes from other countries, allow other coordinate systems (like National Grid) and write a europe-wide geocoder based on this Free data but only if 15 other people will enter 40 postcodes over the next year OR do the translations OR give 10 pounds.”

— Steve Coast, agitator

This is basically to ensure I’m not wasting my time doing the work.

The melting computer

Most of OSM’s computers are hosted at UCL, including dev the devloper machine. The other night Mikel noticed that dev was down. I called to make sure nobody had touched it and then called network operations to see if it was blocked for some reason. Neither was the case.

I asked someone to power cycle it but they said it was hot to the touch and smelt of burning plastic. I told them to leave it unplugged.

Went to the machine today, took the case off and found that the PSU fan had died. Took the PSU to various electronics shops but it turned out to be some strange mini atx PSU and nobody stocked them. So had to buy new case, PSU and a backing fan.

Then transplanted the machine from the old to new case (which took a while) and now the dev machine is back, alive and well.