Simon Willison’s Weblog

40 items tagged “openstreetmap”

Statistical NLP on OpenStreetMap. libpostal is ferociously clever: it’s a library for parsing and understanding worldwide addresses, built on top of a machine learning model trained on millions of addresses from OpenStreetMap. Al Barrentine describes how it works in this fascinating and detailed essay. # 8th January 2018, 7:33 pm

Building a location to time zone API with SpatiaLite, OpenStreetMap and Datasette

Given a latitude and longitude, how can we tell what time zone that point lies within? Here’s how I built a simple JSON API to answer that question, using a combination of data from OpenStreetMap, the SpatiaLite extension for SQLite and my Datasette API tool.

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simonepri/geo-maps. Neat project which publishes GeoJSON maps of the world automatically derived from OpenStreetMap. Three variants are available: country political maritime boundaries, country political coastline boundaries and a general outline of the world’s land territories. # 21st November 2017, 4:06 pm

We Need to Stop Google’s Exploitation of Open Communities. Mikel Maron from OpenStreetMap is justifiably angry about Google MapMaker, which copies OpenStreetMap’s model of crowdsourcing geographic data (even copying the OSM idea of Mapping Parties) but keeps the data under a much more restrictive license, and uses the Google brand to market itself to African governments. # 22nd April 2011, 10 am

MapOSMatic. Clever service built on top of OpenStreetMap, which renders double sided city maps with a map and grid on one size and an A-Z street name index on the other. Runs on top of Mapnik, PostGIS and Cairo, with a few thousand additional lines of Python and Django. # 11th July 2010, 12:15 pm commit dae961a... I’ve finally added an OpenStreetMap tab to—here’s the diff, it turns out adding a custom OpenStreetMap layer to an existing Google Maps application only takes a few lines of boilerplate code. # 10th July 2010, 12:22 pm

Why Google MapMaker is not Open. Non-commercial use only, strict attribution requirements and you aren’t allowed to use the data for services that might compete with Google. This is why I’m disappointed every time I see Google encouraging people to contribute to Map Make, especially in the developing world—if those people contributed to OpenStreetMap instead they would be building something far more valuable for their community. # 16th March 2010, 10:41 am

On walking into a disaster zone. Schuyler Erle: “The World Bank was looking for technical GIS professionals, ideally French-speaking, to go and advise the government [...] I can sort of speak French. Sure, why not?” # 10th February 2010, 3:45 pm

OSM the default map in Haiti. A search and rescue team member in Haiti sends word that digital maps constructed by the OpenStreetMap community are spreading by word of mouth and being loaded on to GPS units on the ground. # 25th January 2010, 9:26 pm

The View from Above. Andy Allan’s notes on three different projects that aerial imagery with OpenStreetMap. Andy and friends hired a small plane and took their own aerial photographs of Stratford-upon-Avon as a demo for a GIS conference. Aid agencies in the Philippines benefitted from OSM and a donation of high quality satellite imagery. Rural Georgia now has hiqh quality images from 2007 thanks to the Department of Agriculture. # 11th December 2009, 9:32 am

A set of geodata, or a map, is libre only if somebody can give you a cake with that map on top, as a present.

Ivan Sanchez # 12th November 2009, 10:52 am

Temporary Mapping: Solar Decathlon. The OpenStreetMap default renderer supports start_date and end_date tags, meaning you can map temporary installations (in this case the 2009 Solar Decathlon on the DC National Mall) and have them automatically appear and disappear at the correct times. # 13th October 2009, 3:18 pm

OSM static map api. A very welcome addition to the OpenStreetMap world (with plenty of options for overlaying points, polygons etc) slightly marred by the size and relative ugliness of the OpenStreetMap watermark. # 12th October 2009, 1:37 pm

OpenStreetMap Rendering Database. Amazon have added an OpenStreetMap snapshot as a public data set, thanks to some smart prompting by Jeremy Dunck. # 10th October 2009, 1:05 pm

openstreetmap genuine advantage. The OpenStreetMap data model (points, ways and relations, all allowing arbitrary key/value tags) is a real thing of beauty—simple to understand but almost infinitely extensible. Mike Migurski’s latest project adds PGP signing to OpenStreetMap, allowing organisations (such as local government) to add a signature to a way (a sequence of points) and a subset of its tags, then write that signature in to a new tag on the object. # 29th September 2009, 9:49 am

“That’s maybe a bit too dorky, even for us.”. Astonishingly exciting: Flickr now have machine tag support for OpenStreetMap—tag a photo with osm:way=WAY_ID and Flickr will figure out what OSM feature you are talking about and link to it with a human readable description. # 28th September 2009, 10:39 pm

OpenStreetMap: QuadTiles. Fascinating explanation of a proposal for replacing lat, lon pairs in the OpenStreetMap database with a QuadTile-based addressing system. # 10th September 2009, 3:54 pm

Tile Drawer (via) The most inspired use of EC2 I’ve seen yet: center a map on an area, pick a Cascadenik stylesheet URL (or write and link to your own) and Tile Drawer gives you an Amazon EC2 AMI and a short JSON snippet. Launch the AMI with the JSON as the “user data” parameter and you get your own OpenStreetMap tile rendering server, which self-configures on startup and starts rendering and serving tiles using your custom design. # 26th August 2009, 9:32 am

Best of OpenStreetMap (via) I keep on telling people OpenStreetMap is this year’s Wikipedia—at its best, it beats commercially available maps. This “best of” site highlights the areas where OSM really shines (the yellow stars)—the German mapping community in particular have produced some outstanding cartography. # 13th August 2009, 12:30 pm

Hack Day tools for non-developers

We’re about to run our second internal hack day at the Guardian. The first was an enormous amount of fun and the second one looks set to be even more productive.

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Augmenting photos—with OSM! “You climbed up a mountain and took a photo ... but it’s 2009! Why doesn’t it have all kind of magic over the top of it.”—Marmota matches your landscape photos to height field data, then overlays data from OpenStreetMap mapped to the contours of the photograph. # 9th June 2009, 11:34 am

walking papers lives. Round trip mapping: print out a map from OpenStreetMap, walk around annotating it with a pen, then scan the result back in (a QR code ensures the area and orientation is recognised) . Specifically targeted at eye-level stuff which can’t be collected using GPS or aerial imagery alone. When I grow up, I want to be Mike Migurski. # 7th June 2009, 1:47 pm

Map Maker for Developers. Tiles from Google’s Map Maker crowdsourcing effort are now available in the JS and static maps APIs on an opt-in basis. Maybe I’m misunderstanding something here, but Google Map Maker seems like a big step backwards for open geographic data. People donate their mapping efforts to Google, who keep them—unlike OpenStreetMap, where the donated efforts are made available under a Creative Commons license. # 21st February 2009, 9:05 am

CloudMade: A Summary of the Future of Mapping. CloudMade are now offering commercially supported APIs on top of OpenStreetMap, including geocoding, routing and tile access libraries in Python/Ruby/Java and a very neat theming tool that lets you design your own map styles. This is really going to kick innovation around OpenStreetMap up a notch. # 17th February 2009, 11:25 am

OSM needs new servers. OpenStreetMap need to raise £10,000 to buy a new API database server. # 5th February 2009, 7:27 pm

OpenStreetMap is growing rapidly across all of Africa. Mapping is spreading through local mappers, mappers on vacation, foreign nationals, and remote mapping using satellite imagery. A recent comparison judged that OSM had the most comprehensive coverage of Africa among web mapping services, especially in cities.

Mikel Maron # 23rd January 2009, 5:13 pm

Gaza OpenStreetMap Update. “We’re looking into purchasing satellite imagery for the north or the entirety of Gaza. There’s actually B/W imagery available from yesterday!” # 7th January 2009, 11:10 pm

OSM 2008: A Year of Edits (via) Stunningly beautiful visualisation of the year in OpenStreetMap. # 2nd January 2009, 10:34 am

Oakland crime maps XI: how close, and how bad? Michal Migurski’s experiments with heat maps for Oakland Crimespotting, using OpenStreetMap data as that allows him to position his heat map layer underneath the street labels, keeping them legible. # 30th December 2008, 10:16 am

cascadenik: cascading sheets of style for mapnik. Great idea. Mapnik (the open source tile rendering system used by OpenStreetMap and others) has a complex style configuration based on XML. Michal Migurski has build a CSS-style equivalent which compiles down to XML, hopefully making it much quicker and easier to get started with Mapnik customisation. # 30th August 2008, 10:04 am