maps

State of the Map is alive and well

Puneet Kishor, June 11th, 2013

sotmus_mikel

Mikel Maron talking about social functions in OSM. Photo by Puneet Kishor, released under CC0 PD Dedication

About 400 map makers, coders, cartographers, designers, business services providers and data mungers of chiefly spatial persuasion gathered in San Francisco to “talk OpenStreetMap, learn from each other, and move the project forward.” These conference attendees are a tip of an iceberg composed of 1.1 million registered users who have collectively gathered 3.2 billion GPS points around the world since OpenStreetMap was launched in 2004 as a free, editable map of the whole world. Unlike proprietary datasets, OpenStreetMap allows free access to the full map dataset. About 28 GB of data representing the entire planet can be downloaded in full, but also is available in immediately-useful forms like maps and commercial services. OpenStreetMap is open data licensed under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL) with the cartography in its tiles and its documentation licensed under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

SOTMUS Program

SOTMUS Program. Photo by Puneet Kishor, released under CC0 PD Dedication

The program ranged from building and nurturing OSM communities, to technical wizardry, to improving infrastructure. Martijn van Exel provided an insight into the OSM community in the United States (see table below). Big countries and large areas pose challenges already in the queue to be tackled.

population 310 million
land area 3.7 million sq miles
mappers 27,000
casual (< 100 edits) 71.0%
active (>100 edits, active in last 3M) 6.8%
power (>1000 edits, active in last 3M, active for >1Y 2.6%
total edits, all time 723,000,000
edits by top 10 mappers (incl bots and import accounts) 69.8%
edits by power mappers (excl most bots and import accounts) 57.3%

SOTMUS badge As a spatial data munger and environmental scientist, I am proud to be a part of this community. As a believer in the power of open, collaborative science and geospatial, I am inspired by it.

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Bing Maps Streetside Photos

Jane Park, February 12th, 2010

Yesterday, Bing Maps pointed out a new application—Streetside Photos—that it added to its spatial search. Streetside Photos pulls CC licensed images from Flickr to use them in a transformative way—as part of mapping tools that help you navigate the world on different visual levels. Chris at Bing Maps says it best,

“So, you have all these killer photos of different cities around the world just sitting on some hard drive or server and the best you can do with them is send them to friends as is, right? Isn’t it funny that the photos you tend to zip through are the ones with no people in them, but when you were there man it was a cool shot that you just HAD to capture? Well, we’re giving those photos some love (and context) with our latest mash-in to the Bing Maps Application Gallery. We’ve just rolled out a new application that is currently in a tech preview phase that pulls photos from Flickr®, associates them with Bing Maps Streetside photos and then overlays them by stretching the photo to form fit where in the world it belongs. The new application called Streetside Photos is currently available in Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver (Canada) – (hello, Olympics!!) to view your Flickr photos in a whole new way.”

Bing Maps is a great example of leveraging what CC licenses enable—in this case the ability to reuse and repurpose photos in creative ways that also serve a functional purpose, to better inform people about the cultural landscape of a place. Who doesn’t want to see the awesome orange skeleton from a past Carnaval in SF?

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