[OSM-dev] indoor wifi geopositionning - openstreetmap precision, collaborators?

Jonathan-David SCHRODER jonathan.schroder at gmail.com
Wed Dec 16 09:50:01 GMT 2009

thanks again for all the links and pointers (openstreetmap wiki pages,
skyhook, openbmap)...

Hello again !

I'm cc-ing for info : Richard Atterer (one of your articles is linked
below), Lulu-Ann (your project and name mentionned), Andy Allan (1 question
for you at the email's bottom).

Note : when I write we/us/our... below, I mean my team and that team is so
open to collaboration (thanks again for your past replies !).

I'd have two more questions regarding Wiki project page creation and Some
server setup.

Wiki project pages : request for comments  |
I'm looking for collaboration on read/writing of indoor objects on maps in
an _open way_.
I want to create a page for indoor-scale and buildings mapping.
>From what I see in http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Main_Page > Portals
square ;
we could have :
1) a project page like
and for a nickname OSM FIAOHUSO => reverse&remix => HouseFeetFit (HFF)
2) some Proposed features/attributes page linked from 1)'s wiki page.
@Lulu-Ann and of course we'd put a link to the
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_for_the_blind page and vice-versa !

What are your opinions these ideas.

Just for the sake of trying to prove that I'm would not be overlapping too
much on other projects.
Wiki project pages : motivations for creating a new project   |
I've looked into http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Other_maps and
I did not find something related to indoor stuff there.
The only close thing to it would be openstreetbrowser.org...
...with 2 additional requirements to implement :
1) more precision,
2) use of "map features" for indoor & buildings
and 3) addition of wifi spots positions - not rendered on map but fetchable
over some API (eg. the v0.6 one implemented in Rails)

More than a full enhanced-"openstreetbrowser.org"-like project, I'd like to
let anyone download software for free and build his/her own
"openstreet-indoor-maps" appliance for his/her own building/place (eg.
supermarket, hospital...) in order to restrict access to the place's indoor
features only to people having some login&password. (this is not
closed-mindedness, for example in hospitals, only certain POIs should be
viewable by certain people, such as some patients locations & health details
viewable only by personnel in charge of them).

Outside of openstreetmap's site, we have found several people mentioning the
topic of indoor geopositioning :
- Richard Atterer here : http://atterer.net/leadme ;
- this post : http://forum.openstreetmap.org/viewtopic.php?pid=49850 , but
the person is taking a different orientation from ours
- B2. Interactive Maps / University of Salford :
- there's ~indoor building attributes proposals here, but that seems more
for detailing a building from the outside:
      - and
- this discussion thread of course !

Servers setup for compositing : help needed   |
@Andy Allan and others.
I want to do something similar to what opencyclemap does ; which is :
(functional requirements)
1) have bits/specific areas (eg. 5th district of Paris, France) from the osm
2) have additional self-hosted .osm data composited* on 1) map.
3) have "some appliance" (2) or other) be able to send :
       a) tiles over HTTP API (for mobiles, web slippy&potlach maps...)
       b) POIs, nodes, waypoints along with their tagging over HTTP API (for
mobiles & web browser object filtering, routing and graphical display or
background calculations - wifi triangulation).

*=>we need fully-baked compositing so that mobiles don't to download to do
layers overlaying themselves

(in terms of implementation requirements)
... what setup would we have ? What about something like this (never tested,
please comment) :
1) "untouched" osm.org server (if buildings or "macro" outdoor objects are
not drawn, we draw their bounds onto that server though)
2) some dedicated computer/cloud instance with an openstreetmap server
(postgres, PostGIS, mapnik...)
=> with
  I. initting:
          a) 2) downloads a recent .bz2 file and note down its
version/changeset number (indirectly coming from 1)'s database)
          b) 2) runs an osmosis --bbox'ed import into database
          c) 2) runs mapnik to make the tiles with a greater precision (z)
than the usual osm.org settings
  II. updating from 1) (happens everytime new changesets > last downloaded
version is out)
           a) 2) downloads latest changesets's .bz2 file
           b) 2) runs an osmosis --apply-change to apply bz2 file's
changeset to database
           ?C?) how do we ensure that our indoor data remains unaffected by
the changeset ?
           d) 2) runs mapnik to remake tiles

3) server side:
    - rails web stack for web maps & HTTP apis is installed on 2) or on
another server with ports & login access to 2)'s database & tiles
     - the web stack's API is already precise enough (thanks Lars Francke
for your searching again !) for indoor-precision API HTTP bbox-delimited
queries to work.
client side :
     - on mobile phones : use of Nutiteq's j2me maps library, or other
android piece of open source software for example (osmdroid, opensatnav).
Some code around those apps allows for more zoom levels & for
threaded-background gathering of wifi beacons positions (stored in 2)'s
database) so as to make triangulation calculation and to allow end-user
searching of objects to display on top of map (what do you propose for this
overlaying ? Can the Web API reply to the queries with a KML group of
features ?... we want to have features's URLs known and usable on the mobile

Thank you sooo much for your replies in advance !!
I am eager to collaborate openly with anyone on that indoor/human-size
objects on openstreetmap project which is shaping up slowly and take on to
implementation in the beginning of January 2010.

Jonathan-David Schröder

On Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 5:50 PM, Emilie Laffray <emilie.laffray at gmail.com>wrote:

> 2009/11/30 John Smith <deltafoxtrot256 at gmail.com>
>> There is also Skyhook Wireless, but it isn't free software either, but
>> is free to use in free software.
>> They send trucks around and do fairly precise signal mapping, they
>> care more about how the signal propagates than where the AP is.
> Also, Skyhook doesn't do indoors per se. If you happen to receive data
> while you are at home, it will help, but by definition, it won't be very
> precise.
> In addition, you might be interested in the www.openbmap.org project.
> Emilie Laffray
> _______________________________________________
> dev mailing list
> dev at openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/dev
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