[OSM-talk] Alteranate implementation of OSM

Darryl Shpak darryl at shpak.ca
Wed Aug 8 21:42:08 BST 2007

Joe Hildreth wrote:
> 1) Can OSM (or its technology) be used to record land boundary lines. 
> (My instincts tell me that it can handle that and so much more.)
Yup, though depending on how you tag the ways, you may need to customize 
the rendering rules to get them to render.
> 2) Can OSM (or its technology) be set up in an autonomous environment. 
> What I mean by that is can I or a group of people set up a server to 
> house a local database that can have controlled access to enter and 
> mark property lines) and have a separate mechanism to provide the 
> community with a viewable 'slippy' map?
Yup. I've done most of it. It needed a little patience, and a little 
research, but no magic.
> Land records where I live are public record, but it would be nice to 
> be able to record them and make them viewable.
> 3) If the above can be done, what would I need to make it happen. 
> Obviously a web server, database server and the parts that handle the 
> map data and generation of map tiles.
If you don't have too much traffic, you don't need much hardware. You 
need a server that has:
- MySQL (for the OSM database)
- Apache (for hosting the slippy map and serving tiles)
- Ruby, Rails, and a couple related items (for running the OSM software)
- Postgres with PostGIS (if you want to run Mapnik)
- Other things (if you want to do other things)

The point is, the project is in several pieces, so you can set them up 
one by one, and they're fairly independent. You can build it up one 
piece at a time, only adding on what you need. The above list is not 
exhaustive...but basically, one machine running any of the popular 
varieties of Linux should be able to run the entire thing relatively 
easily, as long as you're not dealing with huge databases and huge 
amounts of traffic. Everything you need is either in svn, or free 
software available elsewhere (Apache, MySQL, OpenLayers).
> 4) Does this breach what OSM is all about? Can it be done without 
> stepping on peoples toes? Obviously, this level of information is not 
> useful to the OSM users in general, but as a specific implementation, 
> I think it would be both helpful and a real cost saver to a poor 
> community.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I wouldn't have a problem with it. 
This is what open projects are all about. If you were setting up some 
sort of "competitor" to OSM ("Add roads to my map, not theirs!") I'm 
sure you'd irritate people, but if you're just leveraging the platform 
to serve some niche, I don't see a problem.

- Darryl

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