[OSM-talk] OSM as Map Publishers (was Re: TomTom acqures TeleAltas)

Chris Fleming me at chrisfleming.org
Mon Jul 23 16:12:47 BST 2007

80n wrote:
> I've been pondering for some time whether OSM should be hosting our 
> own slippy maps or whether our role should be to *only* provide raw 
> data.  Leaving it to others to render and publish slippy maps etc.
> A couple of relevant but unrelated threads today have prompted me to 
> throw this topic up for discussion.
> On the one hand, we don't have hundreds of servers that can be used 
> for delivering maps to the world, but on the other hand, if we don't 
> do this, then how will ordinary users be able to provide the feedback 
> to us that will help keep the maps up to date.
> Clearly TomTom have realised that by owning TeleAtlas they can use the 
> MapShare feedback to update the source data that TeleAtlas has.
> On a separate thread over on the dev mailing list, Sebastian just 
> asked what should be the relative priorities for services running on 
> the dev/tah server.  Should tiles at home processing displace web-hosting 
> for SotM, etc?  Part of the answer to this question depends on whether 
> OSM sees its role as publishers of rendered map tiles, or just 
> publishers of the raw data.
> So, should OSM's responsibility stop at providing a real time API and 
> weekly copies of planet.osm or should we also be hosting slippy maps 
> (and if so how many different flavours?)
I think that OSM's should be hosting maps, if for know other reason than 
it's the maps that get people hooked into the project, being able to 
showcase what wer produce is a really fundamental way to get people 

Do these maps need to be neccessarly hosted on OSM owned and hosted 
hardware, then  I guess not, but if it's the maps that people see when 
they visit www.openstreetmap.org (and I think most agree that this is 
right) then this I think should be directly under OSM's control.

In my view the core things that we need to be able to do are (in order):

1. Displaying a map so people can see what we do.
2. Provide a stable API for editing (and tools) so that people can 
upload data and make changes.
3. Provide a copy of the data so that people can take it and "do their" 
own thing.

1 and 2 are especially important, as these are the things that help us 
to get and keep new users. (Seasoned users will be much happier to wait 
for a problem to be reolved, but if things don't work on your first 
visit then you may not be back...)

Both layers have a place to serve tiles at home especially as it provides 
(when everyting is working) quick feedback to Editors for the changes 
they've made, again lowering the barriers for entry; it's no longer 
neccessary to download osmarender from svn install xml stuff, inkscape etc.

Question is do we keep adding new layers, such as cycle as a great way 
of showcasing things that we do better or would this kind of thing be an 
ideal use of donated server hardware from elsewhere?

Presumably additional things like web hosting of SotM is not causing a 
heavy addition load?


> On 7/23/07, *Mikel Maron* < mikel_maron at yahoo.com 
> <mailto:mikel_maron at yahoo.com>> wrote:
>     Interesting development, considering that TomTom also recently
>     launched MapShare, which allows TomTom users to report problems
>     with map data.
>     At SotM, Ed Parsons had a slide on MapShare, and there was some
>     discussion over what they'd do with that data .. now I think we know.
>     http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/3126-TomTom-Auquires-Tele-Atlas.html
>     http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/2949-TomTom-MapShare-allows-drivers-to-edit-maps.html
>     <http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/2949-TomTom-MapShare-allows-drivers-to-edit-maps.html>
>     _______________________________________________
>     talk mailing list
>     talk at openstreetmap.org <mailto:talk at openstreetmap.org>
>     http://lists.openstreetmap.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/talk
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk at openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/talk

More information about the talk mailing list