[OSM-talk] Crowdfunding for OpenStreetMap in Bénin : 275km² high resolution satellite imagery for Cotonou by 1-May 2016!

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Thu Apr 28 11:44:13 UTC 2016

On Thursday 28 April 2016, Greg Morgan wrote:
> The problem I have with both Christoph and Frederick statements from
> Germany are that the comments have a feeling of not invented here and
> more imperialism.

I think you are barking up the wrong tree here.  

Most of my mapping in OSM is in areas much more severely 
underrepresented in usual image sources than Benin.  So i am well aware 
of the problem of cultural and economic bias in remote mapping sources 
and i have also discussed this several years ago already [1].

But you do not solve this problem by buying satellite imagery for the 
areas you find underrepresented.  Satellite operators like 
Airbus-DS/CNES and DigitalGlobe are not any more neutral than companies 
like Mapbox, they likewise 'serve priority markets' and you are not 
going to change these priorities with a few thousand bucks of crowd 
sourced money.  To really overcome these problems you'd need to create 
the means to locally produce comparable data sources through aerial 

But to do something productive instead of just talking i set up some 
open imagery for the area in question [2].  This is of course not in 
any way comparable to what is envisioned by the Benin community but it 
is way better than what in the crowd funding campain is shown as the 
currently available level.  You won't be able to trace buildings or 
smaller urban streets from it but there is still a lot of map-worthy 
stuff that can be derived from this data (even more if you also use 
infrared data which i left out for the purpose of ease of use) and it 
is recent, from December last year.  Also this should show that there 
are truly open image sources that are frequently better in either 
actuality or resolution than what Bing and Mapbox offer.

[1] http://blog.imagico.de/new-franz-josef-land-map/

Christoph Hormann

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