Nancy Scola on Tech President: “Every time something happens in the world these days, somebody makes a map about it. […] But the growth of the digital mapping space makes it worth considering things from the perspective of the people who devote their time to making these maps. Why do they bother building maps? What are they hoping to do? What aspects of mapping do they worry about? In short, what do they think about when they’re mapping?” Interviews with eight people covering everything from citizen cartography and open mapping to map mashups. Via OpenStreetMap.
Google announced today that Map Maker is now available for the United States; the tool that allows users to add contributions to Google Maps had, I thought, been targeted at countries where Google lacked map data, but it appears that user contributions are welcome in countries with existing data — once they’ve been reviewed.
So it looks like a Map Maker vs. OpenStreetMap conflict is shaping up. Last week, Mikel Maron accused Map Maker of copying OpenStreetMap’s model and exploiting freely made contributions in a way that benefits Google, in that the resulting data is not freely available; moreover, he says,
Corporations should not be the stewards of a public resource, and a potentially controversial public resource. Compare Gaza in OpenStreetMap and Gaza in Google for just one example of why this is a bad idea. We’re approaching a situation where a corporation is becoming the decision maker on international borders. Wait, did you think the UN or other international forum was supposed to have some role in these kind of things? Nope, Google is getting UN data too.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that there are two OpenStreetMap manuals out there — the one by Frederik Ramm, Jochen Topf and Steve Chilton, the other by Jonathan Bennett — each of which, confusingly, is titled OpenStreetMap. Muki Haklay reviews them both in incredible detail (the review is more than 2,700 words long). In the end, which does he prefer?
Although there are areas where the two books are complementary, in most cases Ramm et al. provides a better understanding of the matters discussed, using a broader and more extensive view. It addresses a wide range of readers, from those unfamiliar with OSM to the advanced programmers who want to utilise it elsewhere, and is written with a progressive build-up of knowledge, which helps in the learning process. It also benefits from the dedicated website where updates are provided. Bennett’s book, on the other hand, would be comparably more difficult to read for someone who has not heard of OSM, as well as for those in need of using it but who are not programming experts. There is a hidden assumption that the reader is fairly technically literate. It suffers somewhat from not being introductory enough, while at the same time not being in-depth and detailed.
His boldface. Via @steev8.
Previously: OpenStreetMap Book Now Available in English; Another OpenStreetMap Book; Bennett’s OpenStreetMap Book Reviewed; Two Book Reviews; OpenStreetMap Manual Reviewed; Another OpenStreetMap Book Review; Still Another OpenStreetMap Book Review.
While I continue to procrastinate my own review of the book, here’s another review, by Dan Karran, of OpenStreetMap: Using and Enhancing the Free Map of the World by Frederik Ramm, Jochen Topf and Steve Chilton. Dan calls it… • Continue reading this entry.
GOOD has a piece on Grassroots Mapping, an initiative that started by using balloons and kites to get aerial imagery of the Gulf oil spill in areas that were otherwise off-limits and that has since evolved into the Public Laboratory… • Continue reading this entry.
Oliver O’Brien reviews OpenStreetMap: Using and Enhancing the Free Map of the World by Frederik Ramm, Jochen Topf and Steve Chilton. “The book succeeds in simultaneously being OpenStreetMap for Dummies, OpenStreetMap: The Missing Manual and the O’Reilly OpenStreetMap book… • Continue reading this entry.
The news earlier this month that MapQuest had added Canada (among other countries) to its suite of Open MapQuest sites — was something I’d been dreading for some time. I’ve been making contributions to OpenStreetMap’s Canadian maps for a year,… • Continue reading this entry.
PSFK has a piece on the New York Public Library’s Map Rectifier, ” a tool for digitally aligning (‘rectifying’) historical maps from the NYPL’s collections to match today’s precise maps.” There’s a how-to video…. • Continue reading this entry.
Another review of the English edition of the OpenStreetMap manual by Frederik Ramm, Jochen Topf and Steve Chilton — OpenStreetMap: Using and Enhancing the Free Map of the World — by Directions Magazine’s Adena Schutzberg. Previously: Two Book Reviews…. • Continue reading this entry.
Last month, it was announced that OpenStreetMap would be getting its hands on Microsoft’s aerial imagery. (One way to make maps in OSM is to draw on top of aerial imagery. Yahoo’s imagery has been made available for that purpose,… • Continue reading this entry.
The Wall Street Journal takes a look at why OpenStreetMap has been getting attention (and resources) from two large, and very commercial, mapping providers: Bing (Microsoft) and MapQuest (AOL). “For Microsoft and AOL’s MapQuest unit, OpenStreetMap presents an opportunity to… • Continue reading this entry.
On GIS Lounge, Caitlin has a review of Jonathan Bennett’s OpenStreetMap: Be Your Own Cartographer, which she calls “an excellent reference volume for anyone wanting to become involved with this wiki-style geographic data collection project.” Previously: Another OpenStreetMap Book…. • Continue reading this entry.
I’m hard on OpenStreetMap sometimes, but that’s mainly in the context of the North American coverage not living up to the rather Eurocentric hype. Because Europe is definitely where it’s at with OSM, as this video chronicling the growth… • Continue reading this entry.
You may recall that our friend Frank Taylor of Google Earth Blog has been sailing around the world. Recently he made headlines because his kite aerial photography of Manihi atoll in French Polynesia, taken last May, has been added to… • Continue reading this entry.
Justin O’Bierne’s critiques of OpenStreetMap’s base map of North America — essentially, the first thing first-time visitors to OSM would encounter: the Mapnik layer — has apparently been stirring up a bit of controversy in the OSM community. Part one… • Continue reading this entry.
If you’ve been messing around with OpenStreetMap, like I have, you’re probably familiar with Potlatch, its web-based map editor. There’s now a new version, called Potlatch 2, that’s currently under development. If you’re brave enough, you can play with the… • Continue reading this entry.
MapQuest Open — the variant of MapQuest launched in July that uses OpenStreetMap data — has expanded to four more countries: France, Germany, Italy and Spain. I hope that reflects a certain level of quality of the OSM maps in… • Continue reading this entry.
Oh look: another forthcoming book about OpenStreetMap. Like the other one, it’s also called OpenStreetMap, which won’t be confusing at all, but the subtitle this time is Be Your Own Cartographer. It’s by Jonathan Bennett and it’s apparently scheduled… • Continue reading this entry.
OpenGeoData reports that Frederik Ramm, Jochen Topf and Steve Chilton’s OpenStreetMap: Using and Enhancing the Free Map of the World, a book that was first published in German (of course) in 2008 and has since gone through three (German)… • Continue reading this entry.
Here’s GlobalPost on efforts by a U.S.-funded non-governmental organization, Open Maps Caucasus, to map the country of Georgia — one of the emptier spaces on online maps. Their maps use the same mapping engine as OpenStreetMap, but OSM’s maps of… • Continue reading this entry.
In an interesting development, MapQuest has launched a site that combines OpenStreetMap mapping data with its user interface and routing directions. MapQuest Open is limited to the U.K. for the time being (a wise decision considering the state of OSM… • Continue reading this entry.
Another article about OpenStreetMap, this time in the Los Angeles Times, which counterpoints it with Google’s crowdsourcing efforts (via OpenGeoData). Articles like these make the point — correctly, I think — that engaged local users can produce a map that… • Continue reading this entry.
OpenStreetMap gets a writeup on Ars Technica that serves as a pretty good summary for the project. Via OpenGeoData. Previously: Washington Post on OpenStreetMap…. • Continue reading this entry.
Oliver has produced OpenOrienteeringMap, an orienteering map based on OpenStreetMap data, in two formats: The Street-O map contains the level of detail equivalent to the Street-O maps used for informal orienteering races around the streets of London and other urban… • Continue reading this entry.