[Talk-cat] Entrevista per a OpenCageData

Jaume Figueras i Jové jaume.figueras at upc.edu
Tue May 12 15:37:40 UTC 2015

He fet uns petits canvis i alguna correcció ortogràfica i d'estil.


1. Who are you and what do you do? What got you into OpenStreetMap?

We are the OpenStreetMap's Catalan speaking community. We found a common 
goal that mixed geospatial information and the promotion of the Catalan 
language (an Occitano-Romance language spoken by more than 11 million 
people community across several states). OSM is the answer to our goal. 
It provides an open data base which allows us to add local information 
and in Catalan, freely.
The Google effort to translate into Spanish all the street and way names 
written in Catalan (both legal names and used names), ended in a huge 
mess and a sum of protests that continue nowadays when somebody tries to 
find a certain location. This fact helped to promote and be seen as an 
open alternative, OpenStreetMap.

2. What would you say is the current state of OSM and the OSM community 
in Catalunya?

Nowadays, the way data have good quality thanks to the hard work made in 
the past. There's also good data sets involving paths and mountain 
hiking routes. The map is currently growing and with a high level of 
detail in some areas. But there's a lot of work to do in the urban areas.
We had the pleasure to be part of the SotM 2010 which took place in 
Girona five years ago. Last year, we organized our first meeting as a 
OSM community in Sarrià de Ter. Since this first meeting, we started to 
build and shape our community. We organized several workshops and 
conferences like “OpenStreetMap for the Forest Defence Association”. A 
workshop which focused on tagging forest elements, like tracks and fire 
hydrants and the use of mobile applications.
We have a long path to increase our mappers count and improve 
communication between us.

3. What are the unique challenges and pleasures of OpenStreetMap in 
Catalunya? What aspects of the projects should the rest of the world be 
aware of?

We focused our work in some specific areas like Montujïc's cemetery, the 
Barcelona's Zoo or Port Aventura amusement park. We are working with 
Wikipedia community to link OSM data with Wikidata and viceversa. We 
finished in 2 weeks of restless work the addition of the wikidata tag to 
all the cities, towns, provinces and regions of Catalunya.
We also started to recover the Catalan names in Perpinyà (Northern 
Catalonia, southern France). There is also pending work tagging Occitan 
names in Val d'Aran. We are glad to count with apps like OsmAnd that 
allow the usage of Catalan language but we miss yet a TTS in Catalan.
Some mappers of our OSM community started to focus on 3D tagging and 
urban elements as bus routes, fire hydrants or opening hours. The 
knowledge and the focus on local areas let us improve the data and 
introduce OSM as a rich and reliable source of data.
One of our goals is to involve governments and show them the benefits of 
open data. We are currently importing information from the cadastre in 
some areas like Girona, a work started and coordinated by the Spanish 
OSM community. A task that would be easier with the implication of the 
Spanish government. We also hope that the information from the ICGC 
(Catalonia's Cartographic and Geological Institute) will be added into 
OSM in a near future thanks to a new transparency law.

4. What steps could the global OpenStreetMap community take to help 
support OSM in the Catalunya specifically?

OSM helped us by letting create a non-state community. Maybe, we expect 
to increase the strength of the communication and feedback with the rest 
of the OSM communities.

5. Last year OSM celebrated its 10th birthday, where do you think the 
project will be in 10 years time, both globally and Catalunya?

In 10 years time, the detail of information will be awesome. We hope 
there will be an increase of mappers and interest in open data in our 
influence area. We will be experimenting a process similar as Wikipedia. 
It will become, hopefully, an essential resource that with better 
information will compete with commercial alternatives.
We hope more governments and administrations will discontinue the use of 
commercial maps and payment data, increasing support to open data 
initiatives. Some of our city councils start to join OSM by using their 
maps or by opening their data bases to OSM mappers. A fact that will 
continue growing because open data is also a way to optimize and save 
money and resources and to promote the creation of companies linked to 
the use of open data.

More information about the Talk-cat mailing list