[OSM-talk] What can we offer local government?

joost schouppe joost.schouppe at gmail.com
Wed Mar 15 10:31:42 UTC 2017

Hi John,

The page Clifford shared is of course an excellent resource (I started the
article :)
But your remarks are not very government-specific, so you probably won't
find an answer there.

> Both locations use more than one language.  Both seemed unaware that the
>> map can be in languages other than English.  Apparently politically this
>> can be very important.
There's many projects working on that problem. In Belgium we have a
famously complicated situation. Especially Brussels is interesting, where
both French and Dutch are used in the name=* field, split by " - " and with
language in more or less random order. We're working on mono-lingual tiles
to help with that:

>> Using R R.org apparently we can count things in the map.  Why anyone
>> would want to do this is a mystery to me but apparently statistians make
>> money from it so it must be useful to someone. Possibly local governments?
There are many ways to count thing on a map :)
Just a random example: you might want to make a classification of different
kinds of neighborhoods (sleeper village, city center, agricultural area,
holiday area). You can do that completely automated for a whole country
using OSM data (if it is complete enough)

The contact from Ottawa was aware that the city paid for the maps it used
>> on some of their web sites but wasn't sure about using OSM instead, the
>> idea of not having a contract would be difficult to get across.
Well yes, and there is no such thing as a free lunch. There are limits to
the use of OSM.org tiles. Running your own tile server is often deemed too
complicated by local governments. For bigger websites, they will often look
at the likes of Mapbox.

> Anyone any examples of how local government is using OSM?
What Clifford said :)

> I understand part of the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Hydro does use OSM on its
>> web site by the way.  Something my contact was unaware of.
Typically, one branch of government has no clue what another branch is

Joost Schouppe
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