[OSM-talk] Exposure for OSM
S.L.Chilton at mdx.ac.uk
Sun Sep 10 20:21:12 BST 2006
This past week has seen considerable exposure for OSM. I have been at the Society of Cartographers Summer School at Keele University all week. On Wednesday Stephen Isaacs gave a presentation on OSM, and Nick Whitelegg one on Freemap/OSM. We (Stephen, Nick and I) followed this with two workshops (2 due to popular demand) explaining the project in greater detail. The point of this note is that this was exposing the project in depth in front of practising cartographers. Some of the feedback was quite instructional. The audience were all people who make maps for a living - either at commercial companies (usually small rather than governmental), at universities or as freelancers. The thing that stood out in the discussions we had were that people think the data is potentially very usable and that the means of accessing the data - rather than maps made with the data - needs to be made as easy as possible. The wish list was for a process that made it easy to select a particular geographical area, and the "layers" of data required, and then to export simply in a format suitable for standard mapping software - perhaps shapefile (ESRI and others) or .dxf (Autocad and others). The scenario envisaged is for a freelance cartographer wanting data for a limited area for a project (say a map of a company location, a web map or whatever, where they don't want to pay OS licence fees). They could draw the basic data from OSM - roads, rivers, coast, etc and enhance with whatever extra data the client required. The ability to achieve this would considerably enhance the credibility of the project. I know there be those that say that these users would be taking but not giving, but to me that is the ethos of the whole project - freely available maps and data. There would have to be some decisions about how the CC or other licence was used in these situations but I am convinced it is something that will move the project forward bigtime. Does anyone have the skills to write a data filter with shapefile or dxf output? The other point made by a couple of people was about inputting from out-of-copyright maps. As far as I can see there isn't an easy way to do that at present as GPX input is the standard. Have I missed something or else how does anyone do this? I would like to input things like rivers/streams in the area I am mapping but don't feel happy with the Landsat as source for this, although I use that through the applet for parks and reservoirs. Anyone any suggestions? I have ability to scan maps or use existing scanes as backdrops to trace from in CorelDraw or Inkscape or something but don't know how to get resulting linework into OSM.
Finally, Andy Robinson also gave a presentation on OSM at the British Cartographic Society at the University of Manchester on Friday. I attended the Saturday sessions there as a delegate and heard good things said about his presentation by some fellow delegates. Perhaps he would like to give any feedback that he had, bearing in mind that his audience will have included many more corporate types, including from Ordnance Survey - who incidentally gave a very ill-prepared presentation on their GIS/Map Zone website.
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