[OSM-talk] SketchMaps - artsy mashups

OJW streetmap at blibbleblobble.co.uk
Tue Jul 17 20:26:11 BST 2007

At SotM conference, I demonstrated what appears to be a new type of mapping 


It allows you to get a map of any location as a static image hosted on my 
server (from the tiles at home layer, at the moment)

You can then draw on the map (directly, on the website) using the 
"finger-painting" tool.  That's kind of like the "shared whiteboard" idea, 
and if multiple people are drawing on the same map simultaneously they'll see 
each others' changes (hit refresh to reveal them).  

(Currently you all need to be logged in as the same account to share a drawing 

This allows you to do several neat things:

(*) Give directions to your business, home, or event.  Don't settle for just a 
push-pin, but actually sketch the good and bad routes onto the map, add notes 
about public transport, photos of road signs, or anything else

(*) Create specialised maps.  Make a canal map by blanking-out any roads that 
aren't relevant, and add POI labels or photos instead.

(*) Plan your mapping party.  Sketch the "cake" regions onto the map

(*) Improve the map.  Ships and dragons in the blank area.  Illustrated maps 
using real data underneath.

(*) Let your friends tell you about errors in the OSM map.  They can circle 
the error and write notes on it, without having to know any JOSM

(*) uhh, entertain your kids with it.  They seem fascinated by this drawing 

The best bit is that the overlay is stored separately to the original map.  So 
when the roads in your area get updated, the map underneath your sketch 

You're not limited to just the finger-painting, you can make changes in your 
favourite graphics program.  Use white to fill on any areas that you want to 
be transparent and show the map underneath.

(that's even easier if your graphics program supports layers, but it's easy 
enough to do in paintbrush or whatever.  I even managed to get inkscape to 
produce a decent overlay image, from a vector drawing)

This is still in development, so treat it gently, and please don't create an 
infinte number of images until I've had a chance to add limits ;)



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