Open Street Map


I haven’t been making time to keep up the blog this week. I’ve been busy with the new job and with a new geeky project.

Something that’s always bothered me is that there is no Open Source equivalent of TopoUSA. This means I have to keep a windows machine handy because I like to play around with maps and figure out different routes to go on bike rides.

It appears the reason that there is no open source equivalent, is because the map data itself is locked up by copyright holders, who demand tribute from software developers. (Google pays tribute to NAVTEQ for gmaps, for instance.)

What we really need is for someone to release mapping data under a Create Commons license. I’m not holding my breath. In the meanwhile, a dedicated group of GIS geeks are running all over the place with thier hand held GPS devices, and creating a totally free version of gmaps, and releasing the data under a Create Commons license.

The project is called Open Street Map, and it rocks the proverbial bollock.

So, I picked up a handlebar mount for my GPS, and I took a quick ride into a housing development that was recently built near my house. The development I mapped was carved out of an apple orchard. It was a very interesting experience riding through the snow, with the smell of apples everywhere.

My GPS log
Click for big

The dark black line is my contribution to the project.
Now comes the hard part. I have to convert a bunch of gps coordinates into a connected system of streets. I almost have my neighborhood completed.

My Neighborhood
The interface

Today: 5.5 miles
This week: 8.5 miles
January: 51.5
2007: 51.5 miles
I need to get my butt out there more. There is a lot more road to map.

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