[HOT] Portable OSM

Dale Kunce dale.kunce at gmail.com
Sun Dec 20 15:13:52 UTC 2015

The American Red Cross GIS Team is constantly looking for new ways to
improve our workflows and learn from the OpenStreetMap and FOSS4G
communities. I'm proud to say that 95% of the GIS analysis and map making
we do is done using FOSS4G tools.

A couple of years ago we realized that to be effective consumers of OSM
data and FOSS4G software we would need to start contributing and developing

In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan we identified
<http://americanredcross.github.io/OSM-Assessment/> a need for a better OSM
field data collection
<http://americanredcross.github.io/OSM-Assessment/#recommendations> tool
that could work with structured surveys. Eventually we created OpenMapKit
with initial seed money from USAID Global Development Lab. We have used
OpenMapKit <https://github.com/AmericanRedCross/openmapkit> in several Missing
Maps <http://missingmaps.org/> field mapping missions last year in Zimbabwe,
Rwanda, Tanzania, and Bangladesh
<http://osmstories.org/articles/Missing-Maps-community-mapping/>. During
these field trials we noticed that we were continually in need of an OMK
compatible server that did not rely on connected cloud services. Due to the
remoteness of our mapping locations we also needed to have better ways to
interact and edit OSM in a disconnected way for days and potentially weeks
at a time.

This fall, thanks to the Page Family Foundation, we began work on our
largest and most ambitious mapping project to date. Over the next year we
will map 15km on either side of the Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia
borders <https://arcmaps.s3.amazonaws.com/share/west_africa_mapping-01.png>
PNG). This area was well mapped extensively by remote mappers during the
Ebola crisis but lacks ground truthed data such as identifying hospitals,
schools, churches, and other POIs. As part of this project we will
establish a mapping hub in Guéckédou and develop the software and hardware
tools that we need.

[image: mapping hub]

A couple weeks ago I joined the awesome folks from SpatialDev
<http://spatialdev.com/> and Stamen <http://stamen.com/> in Seattle for a
week of brainstorming and hacking. During the week we outlined and
architected Portable OSM (POSM) <https://github.com/AmericanRedCross/posm>.
As part of the project we are helping make several improvements to Field
Papers <https://github.com/fieldpapers/fieldpapers/labels/POSM> and
<https://github.com/AmericanRedCross/OpenMapKitAndroid/labels/POSM> as well
as introducing a new lightweight OMK Server
<https://github.com/AmericanRedCross/OpenMapKitServer> based on SimpleODK
<https://github.com/digidem/simple-odk>. POSM will hopefully be a very
affordable (sub $300) solution to many problems for us including offline
OSM API, OMK Server, and Offline Field Papers.

The project is being developed in the open on github and we are open to
feedback and help.

Dale Kunce
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