[OSM-talk] Things People Say
pdorange at mac.com
Fri Dec 30 14:18:22 GMT 2011
Ben Johnson <tangararama at gmail.com> wrote:
First apology for me "poor english" (french speaking).
> For what it's worth I also think it's very important to have a prominent
> map on the front page and I believe this whole debate just highlights the
> fact that OSM is not ready for mainstream and remains a geeky subculture.
> There seems to be a duality of identity here. On one hand, some are saying
> lets make it more accessible and friendly to "ordinary people". On the
> other hand, some appear embarrassed by the prominence of maps to represent
> what our community is all about, and they want to retain a geeky "we are
> not a map, we are a database" ideology.
OSM is a geographic database., it's not an ideology, it's a fact.
> The two goals are completely incompatible because "ordinary people" expect
> OSM to be all about maps. In fact, I was drawn into the project on the
> premise that OSM is "the Wikipedia of maps", and I found it an exciting
> prospect to contribute to such a great idea.
One can build a map around OSM data, that's what do Mapnik project (the
map you see on OSM front page) and many other renderer : openmapquest,
cloudmade ans so on.
> Well... you go over to Wikipedia and the first thing you see is the front
> page of an encyclopedia, ready to be searched and used as such.
Of course, Wikipedia is an enclyclopedia.
What was difficult with OSM (and a bit geeky as you said above) is the
difference between a map and map data. This difference is important, but
not easy to understand.
You build a map (a representation) with data (OSM).
But not everyone need the same map, the same representation. Some want
emphazing on roads (use openmapquest), some prefer emphasing on footway
or bicycle or anything you want.
OSM has around lot of other project that build map (mapnik was one) and
> You don't hear Wikipedia trumpeting "we are not an encyclopedia, we are a
> database of information." No... they scream from the mountain tops "we are
> the world's encyclopedia", and absolutely relish in it.
The comparaison is not correct, wikipedia is in fact an enclyclopedia.
OSM is not a map project it's more.
> Why can't OSM be also scream from a nearby mountain top, "we are the
> world's map"...
Because there not one good map, it's impossible. Map(s) is(are) a
different things that an enclyclopedia.
A single map could not represent everything, is you put too much
information on a single map, it will because useless and go to trash.
For example mapnik rendering ("default" OSM map) do not represent many
objects. For me representing foot crossing and handicap accessibility is
important (it's an example) but mapnik do not represent those items...
For example, i way a clear easy to read map for travel, i dont want to
see every shop on the map... mapnik is not the map i need.
> I mean, what's so embarrassing about providing a good,
> comprehensive, accessible map? It's an accomplishment of which we should
> all be proud, not hide away.
Yes, and some prpject to this job nicely. These are side project, not
OSM main project.
Perhaps OSM would add to it's goal a realize a "good" map (the problem
would be to define what is a good map) but its not OSM goals.
> Again, what is embarrassing about a map?
> I really do hope OSM finds its way through this quagmire of identity and
> eventually becomes the world's map, widely used, integrated, and quoted in
> all kinds of spheres.
> That's my vision.
Perhaps would you have to participate to mapnik project (those who
define OSM "default" map).
OSM experiences : <http://www.leretourdelautruche.com/map/>
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