Posts tagged as "openstreetmap"

I Am Not At State Of The Map 2013 But There Is A Viral Map

Today is the 7th. of Maptember 2013 and that means I should be in Birmingham for the OpenStreetMap State Of The Map conference. But I'm not; I'm still at home in the suburbs of South West London. But I will still be appearing at SOTM. Virtually.

Due to the age old cliche of circumstances beyond my control, I can't be in Birmingham this weekend, despite submitting How To Make A Map Go Viral (In 8 Easy Steps) as a talk for the SOTM conference. But thanks to the wonders of modern digital technology, in other words, a screencast, my talk is still on the conference schedule, even if I'm not.

The talk is an update to one of the same title that I gave at London's GeoMob back in April of this year and was submitted to the SOTM committee with this abstract ...

In February of 2013 I mashed up a geocoded list of global place names and made a map of them using nothing more than Stamen's OSM based Toner tile-set and the Leaflet maps API. I then promptly forgot about it. But Twitter had other ideas and the Vaguely Rude Place Names map went viral resulting in a month's worth of media madness. This is the story of how the map came to be and what happened when traditional media met social media ... on a map. It's also the story of how the combination of rude names, innuendo and maps briefly appealed to people the world over.

When I learned that I wouldn't be able to go to Birmingham, the conference organisers kindly suggested that maybe I might want to pre-record my talk instead. Which is just what I've done. You'll see it embedded below.

Making PostgreSQL, PostGIS And A Mac Play Nicely Together

Most things in life are a journey and the destination of this particular journey was to try and create a custom map style that represented the unique features and challenges of Tandale.

Which meant I needed to download and install TileMill, an interactive map design tool.

Which meant I needed to learn Carto, the CSS-like language for map styling.

Which meant I looked for a template project so I didn't have to start from scratch.

Which meant I found OSM Bright.

Which meant I needed to start small and find a map extract of Tanzania to work with.

Which meant I needed to install and configure PostgreSQL and PostGIS on my Mac.

Which brings me to the starting point of the journey and the reason for this post in the first place.

Making Maps Underground

Warning. This post contains a sweeping generalisation. Yes, I know that Places are not just part of today's digital maps; see the James Fee and Tyler Bell hangout The One Where Tyler Bell Defines Big Data as a proof point. But for the sake of this post, just assume that Places and maps are synonymous.

It's never been easier to make a map. Correction. It's never been easier to contribute to a map. Today we seem to be makingcontributing to maps everywhere, even underground, or should I say Underground?

To makecontribute to a map, you used to have to be a professional map maker, with easy access to an arsenal of surveying or an industrial grade GPS.

Foursquare Checkins, Maps And WordPress; Now With MOAR Maps

If you're an avid Foursquare user you can already display your last checkin, visualised on a map, in the sidebar of your WordPress powered site with the WP Quadratum plugin. Foursquare, checkins and maps ... what more could you ask for? Maybe the answer is more maps.

Version 1.1 of the WP Quadratum plugin, which went live this morning, now has added maps. The previous versions of the plugin used Nokia's maps, because I work for Nokia's Location & Commerce group and I wanted to use the maps that I work on. But if Nokia's maps aren't the maps for you then how about Google's, or maybe CloudMade's OpenStreetMap maps or perhaps OpenLayers' OpenStreetMap maps.

You Are Here; Map Wallpaper For Your Laptop

I've recently been guilty of using the term map wallpaper as a mild form of pejorative; meaning maps that are great for showing geographical context but which don't really show anything else. I'm also guilty of overusing the phrase eye candy; something which is eye catching but ultimately superficial.

Then along comes an eye candy map wallpaper app for my MacBook Pro and all pejoratives are instantly replaced with superlatives. Yes, this is eye candy. Yes, this is map wallpaper. But in this case the geographical context is spot on and it's definitely eye catching without being superficial in any way.

A Bipolar Attitude To Aerial And Satellite Imagery Plus Maps Fear, Uncertainty And Doubt

Maps and map imagery seem to be back in the news. Google's recent map update and immense speculation about Apple's "will they, won't they" replacement for the current Google Maps app on iOS seems to be spilling over from the usual tech media into mainstream news.

Firstly, the UK's Daily Telegraph, a "quality broadsheet" seems to have just discovered that today's digital maps also have satellite imagery. It's not entirely clear how this is news, let alone current news. Navteq has had satellite imagery as part of its' maps since the mid 1980's and Google has also included satellite imagery in Google Maps since the mid 2000's. But linked to Apple's recent acquisition of 3D imagery specialists C3, we're told to anticipate a "private fleet of aeroplanes equipped with military standard cameras to produce 3D maps so accurate they could film people in their homes through skylights". The middle market tabloid Daily Mail has also picked up on this story, running with the headline "Spies in the sky that no one will regulate".

Is This Apple's New Map? (It Doesn't Look Like Google's)

Updated 8/3/12 at 12.20 GMT

Judging by comments to this blog post, on Twitter and on Google Plus, the consensus seems to be that yes, Apple is using OSM data from 2010 outside of the US; inside of the US it's (probably) TIGER data and no, there doesn't seem to be attribution and Apple may well be getting a communiqué from OSM to that effect. Other sources of information on this include * The iPhoto for iOS Not Using Google Maps thread on the OSM-Talk mailing list * Iván Sánchez Ortega has put up a nice map comparison between OSM and iPhoto's map tiles. * There's also another comparison between Apple's, OSM's and Google's map tiles. * Jonas. K has put up a blog post which comes right out and says that iPhoto is using OSM and other public domain mapping sources. * Finally, as a nice touch, this post seems to have made it into OSM Community Blogs.

Foursquare Goes With OpenStreetMap; On The Web

In web and location circles, much has been made of Foursquare's recent "little announcement" of the location based, check-in, company's decision to oust Google Maps and instead to go with OpenStreetMap data, by way of MapBox.

From reading a lot of the coverage you'd be forgiven for thinking that Foursquare has completely severed ties with Google's mapping APIs, but this isn't quite the story. As ReadWriteWeb notes in the last paragraph of its coverage, "Foursquare's iPhone and Android apps won't be affected" as the move is for Foursquare's home on the web,, only.

The Missing Manual For OpenStreetMap?

The first computer I used at work was powerful for its day (though pitifully underpowered compared to the phone that's sitting in my pocket at the moment) but was somewhat unfriendly by today's standards. You sat down at a terminal (not a PC, they hadn't been invented) and were presented with a command line prompt that said "Username:", pass that barrier to entry and it said "Password:". Armed with the right combination of username and password you would be rewarded with a flashing cursor preceded by a dollar sign as a prompt ... $. If you wanted help you couldn't browse the web (it hadn't been invented) nor ask in a mailing list (the Internet was in its early days and you probably didn't have access). Instead you consulted the big, heavy, ring bound, bright orange documentation set; these were the heady days of DEC and VAX/VMS.

The computer I'm writing this on still needs a username and password but is easy to use, graphical, intuitive and comes with multiple web sites, discussion and documentation sites and mailing lists to ask questions in. But to get the most of today's computers you still need a book sometimes, which is why David Pogue's Mac OS X: The Missing Manual is still one of the most well thumbed books I have, 8 years and multiple editions later. There's a version for Windows too.

So what does this have to do with OpenStreetMap? Bear with me ... there are parallels to be drawn.

Crowd Sourcing The London Underground Tube Strike

From as early as 9.00 PM tonight, the London Underground network will be hit by a strike called by the RMT and TSSA unions. Again.

For Londoners this will probably come as no surprise, but this time around, the BBC are crowd-sourcing a map of station closures, services affected and the knock on impact to other forms of London public transport, using publicly submitted reports and media in addition to reporters on the street. It seems natural enough that this will be visualised on a map and in tonight's BBC London News, it was plainly evident that the BBC are using OpenStreetMap as the underlying map tiles for the visualisation.

You can see a snapshot of how the map looks, taken a few minutes ago; head over to the London Tube Strike Map for more updates as the strike starts to affect London.