[OSM-talk] Student project ideas?

Corey Burger corey.burger at gmail.com
Tue Jul 31 02:14:33 BST 2007

On 7/30/07, Matthew Newton <matthew-osm at newtoncomputing.co.uk> wrote:
> Hi,
> A lecturer I know (Computer Science) is wondering if there are any
> things in OSM that could be used as the basis for student final
> year projects. The projects run from about October to April, so it's
> not a quick fix for anything, but maybe something like investigating
> routing might be one? Any ideas I can pass on? Can't guarantee anything
> good will come out of them, of course, but it might be useful.
> Things (not necessarily good things!) I can think of quickly:
>   Map routing (Dijkstra, etc) that gives useful driving directions
>   Convert the database and JOSM to use nodes and paths
>   Distributed database for OSM that offers speed and resilience
>   Distributed web system for hosting tiles such that servers can
>     go away without browsers noticing (peer-to-peer maybe?)
>   JOSM plugin to automatically map areas based on the Yahoo imagery
>     (some sort of image processing to detect roads)
>   Software and algorithms for automatically creating optimal maps
>     from GPS data (i.e. using "just the right number" of nodes) and
>     auto merging with existing data.
>   Automatic real-time mapping application (laptop in car, passenger
>     just has to type in street names when prompted? Speech recognition?!)
>   OCR of street signs when pictures loaded into JOSM? (maybe not! ;-) )
> They need to be projects, so "fix trac bugs m to n" is probably not
> good unless bug X is a particularly big one ;). A selection of issues with
> a common theme might be OK. Open-ended stuff can be good so the student
> can choose the way they will work at the problem, hopefully with
> reference to the wider community too, of course.
> Any ideas or refinements of the above?

This is a good idea. One idea that always baffles new users is the
"how do I get my latest changes rendered". There are a couple of ways
to solve it:

1. Automatic re-rendering of an area upon upload
2. A button on osm.org to say "re-render viewed area"
(both of these require OSMArender)
3. Making mapnik update more than once per week.
* There are a number of ways to solve this, one way is to make mapnik
render from the db directly. Part of this project would be
explorations of the various ways and figuring out which makes the most


More information about the talk mailing list