[OSM-talk] Using OpenStreetMap on a daily basis

Lester Caine lester at lsces.co.uk
Tue Jul 9 07:54:57 UTC 2013

Guillaume Pratte wrote:
> I really like the OpenStreetMap project, and I dream to be able to use it as a primary map instead of Google Maps. I feel resolving these issues would bring me many steps closer to making that dream come true.
> What do you all think? Do you also have showstoppers that prevent you to use OpenStreetMap as your primary and daily map?

Rather than answering each point individually I'll give a general reply of the 
way *I* think things want to move forward.

Openstreetmap has provided a base on which to build applications, and 'routing' 
is an area where there are some good routing engines available on-line using the 
'common' database. We are now looking to address the missing 'historic' data via 
openhistoricalmap with local groups looking to process material they have into a 
more common format that can be shared. That is the key here, sharing material.

Personally I have my own build of OSRM routing running locally so I can then 
look at adding my own local materiel since personally I do not like a few of the 
important directions currently generated by all of the current engines. And I 
can DO that which is the major difference between OSM and google/bing mapping!

The in thing at the moment is 'the cloud', but once again commercial enterprise 
has hijacked what should be another cooperation tool? While providing backup of 
our important data elsewhere on the system is a good use of the system, the bulk 
of unused processing power is based in our own computers, which with the 
increasing 'unlimited' bandwidths available could be used to perhaps render 
higher resolution tiles over night somewhere in the world? More practical here 
is the use of our local machines to run much as stand alone sat nav's do 
nowadays. We simply download a view of the local area along with routing data 
from another source on 'the cloud' and then don't need an internet connection to 
use that data. Important around here since current navigation has many blank 
areas as I loose mobile broadband completely. What is the point of our having to 
pay even for 3G when most of the time you can't even get a connection, and can't 
get at your 'centrally stored' data ;) And 4G is another joke, when it's only 
available were wireless hotspots provide a better cover?

I hope people are seeing where this is going? Do we want to replace google/bing 
... probably not ... even for world wide cover? Do we want to provide a much 
better service 'locally', yes, something that the likes of google/bing can't 
easily address? I'm running 'locus' on my tablet and phone. It's not prefect, 
but I can select a map source and a routing engine and even go off-line. All the 
tools are in place to do most of what we want, so the target now should be to 
improve 'distribution' so that we can pick up locally enhanced feeds easier and 
reduce the load on the 'main' map? My next problem is simply addressing the 
holes in my one use of OSM which is another discussion.

Lester Caine - G8HFL
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