[OSM-dev] helping #switch2osm

Roger Weeks roger at tethr.org
Fri Jan 13 04:33:17 GMT 2012


I'm the person Mikel was helping (thanks Mikel!) and I joined the list to
give my thoughts to this discussion. I think you have a couple of different
types of people you may want to think about here.

1. IT/devops

I fall into this category. The project I'm working on will require us to
have our own tile server that takes planet_osm, processes it and produces
updates to our client devices. Other people that fall into this category
will be anyone who wants to build their own GIS database from planet_osm,
for whatever reason. They'll also want to generate and serve tiles.

My major problem all through this process has been the vast amounts of
helpful and conflicting information. You'll note that the process I was
following to get a working PostGIS database populated with planet_osm, was
compiled by someone else and was not hosted at OSM. That process also is
flawed and needed a bunch of other things to make it work.

My suggestion for either a chef recipe, a juju charm, a puppet script, or
<insert your configuration tool of choice here> was meant to fix this
situation. If someone wants to set up a PostGIS OSM database, it should be
a repeatable process that is easy to do and scalable across multiple *nix
platforms. (I won't address Windows here as that's a whole other can of

Taking that idea a step further, if we were to provide a canned VM in KVM
or Xen formats that provides not just the host OS, but preconfigured
Postgres, PostGIS, an imported planet_osm, and then perhaps a choice of
mapnik, mod_tile, tilestache, or any of the other plethora of tile
generation and serving options, that would be an IDEAL way to summon
IT/devops folks who want to build their own map server infrastructure.

The last thing this needs is some really good documentation and
recommendations for WHAT to do. There are enough options out there
especially for tile generation and serving, that there needs to be a good
discussion of what you would want to use and why.

2. Maps developers and users

I'm not as familiar with the needs here but I think you are going to want
to do things like what MapBox is doing with Tilemill and what Cloudmade is
doing. The same comments I made above about recommendations of what you
want to use and why need to be easily accessible.

Happy to continue this discussion. I would be interested in participating
in development of both recipes and VMs.

Roger Weeks

On Jan 13, 2012 3:37 AM, "Mikel Maron" <mikel_maron at yahoo.com> wrote:

> > Hi
> >
> > Over the past couple days, I gave some assistance to someone setting up
> their own tile infrastructure. They mostly got along on their own,
> following http://weait.com/content/build-your-own-openstreetmap-server,
> and picking through the wiki, but they definitely could've had an easier
> time.
> >
> > And we should expect more of this soon, and we want this! Nestoria and
> StreetEasy switching, the Wired article. Just the beginning.
> Yes. The time when people are recognising the power of OSM is here. We
> should welcome everyone.
> > How do we help folks get their tile servers up and running even easier.
> Here's some suggestions we discussed...
> >
> > 1) Clear instructions, at an easily findable address (outside the wiki,
> which is hard to follow) (anyone register switch2osm.com? or tryosm.org).
> Should include some description of the different options, with links for
> getting into the details ... but at least a clear guide through the well
> worn path of setting up a tile server.
> >
> > 2) A packaged solution, like a chef recipe, to install everything needed.
> >
> > 3) A VM image for an open source virtualization package, that has
> everything installed. May not necessarily be for production, but at least
> make it easy to try things out.
> >
> > 4) ....
> >
> Might be an overkilling idea, why not some quick screen casts? I guess
> videos will be more easier to grasp than guides.
> > Would the EWG be the place to get this together?
> >
> > Cheers
> > Mikel
> >
> >
> > == Mikel Maron ==
> > +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron
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