Tag Archives: open knowledge

Happy 10th birthday, OpenStreetMap!

20 Aug

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a open data project focused on mapping our entire physical world. Just a few days ago, the project turned ten.

The wiki introduces the project as follows:

Welcome to OpenStreetMap, the project that creates and distributes free geographic data for the world. We started it because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways.

The Wikipedia article describes the project as “a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world.”  It adds that “two major driving forces behind the establishment and growth of OSM have been restrictions on use or availability of map information across much of the world and the advent of inexpensive portable satellite navigation devices.”

OSM started on the 1st of July 2004. I started helping out as a simple local contributor almost three years ago, and I have closed more than 200 changesets. It isn’t much, but I feel like I am doing my bit for an amazing project. I sort of moved from Wikipedia to OSM as the open knowledge project I contribute the most to, although I never really stopped editing Wikipedia. I might even focus on it again later on, who knows!

For the tenth birthday of this project I really love, here are a few random examples of the great thing that the freely available data OSM offers lets people do and create, just in the two last years. Another example would be OpenBeerMap, a project I wrote about recently. I gathered them (with their captions) from the great selection of images offered by the Featured Images page on the wiki. Click on the pictures for more details.

3D-printed models

File:Gorbals 3d.jpg

3D printed model of the Gorbals, Glasgow, location of the Commonwealth games 2014. Created using osm2world to convert from .osm to 3D and SRTM elevation data. Printed using a Ultimaker 2.

Some information from Gary Martin:

“Duncan Bain documented the data extract process nicely in his blog post http://duncanbain.com/research/blog/state-of-the-map-scotland-2013/ I followed the same process, but also added elevation data from SRTM when using OSM2World; Blender was for the 3d clean-up work; Cura for slicing the 3d model to gcode; and an Ultimaker 2 for the final 7 hour PLA print.”

HOT is a humanitarian mapping project

File:HOT changesets west africa 2014-04-05.png

HOT (Humanitarian OSM Team) is coordinating mapping efforts for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The map shows all changesets with #HOT in and around Guinea. The tool visualises changesets of the last seven days with a certain comment.

HOT coordinates humanitarian mapping projects depending on what happens around the world, and often helps others do a better job at delivering aid on site after major natural disasters of health issues.

File:Three large poster maps of Tacloban, Guiuan and Ormoc.jpg

Large OSM-based poster maps of Tacloban, Guiuan and Ormoc printed and delivered by International Organization on Migration in DSWD Operations Center in Tacloban Airport. The maps will be used to coordinate the relief and rescue efforts for the victims/survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

User-friendly open-source mapping tools

File:Nfgusedautoparts gps 1000x664.jpg

A car dashboard kitted out with gadgets. This is just one of a wide variety of mapping techniques. Visible here (left to right): A smartphone running OsmAnd (information and map display) and a tablet computer set up with OSMtracker (POI recording).

Interdisciplinary workshops

File:2014 Cochabamba workshop.jpg

1st “OpenStreetMap Workshop from scratch” – a free and open event that brought together artists, cartographers, marketing companies and territorial planning/computer science students as part of the activities of the HackLabCocha in Cochabamba, Bolivia. View the full set of photos.

GIS integration

File:QGIS tram lines black.png

Viewing OpenStreetMap buildings and tram data within the open source QGIS software.

Rendering data for events

File:Sochi Olympics Krasnaya Polyana Mountain Cluster.png

The 2014 Olympics ski venues in the Krasnaya Polyana (Sochi) mountain cluster. This spontaneous mashup using Leaflet shows OpenSnowMap’s ski pistes and lifts on OpenTopoMap as baselayer on a slippy map.

Base for displaying meteorological information

File:OpenWeatherMap for Leaflet 2013-10-28 15-03-01.jpg

Wind speeds and directions of storm Christian at 28th October 2013 in Northwest Germany overlaid on an OSM base map. The leaflet-openweathermap JavaScript library shows free OpenWeatherMap data in a slippy map.

Cool-looking things

File:Lille toile.jpg

A colourful artistic map of Lille (France) with its characteristic star-shaped citadel, made using OpenStreetMap data and QGIS as described in the tutorial here.

File:20130223 DSC1072 Looking at Buildings.jpg

OSM contributor Hawkeye admiring his laser-etched acrylic map (bounding box at OSM.org) of OpenStreetMap buildings in central Glasgow, made at the MAKLab in The Lighthouse, Glasgow.

File:Softcities map leggings.jpg

OpenStreetMap leggings. A prototype on show at State Of The Map U.S. 2012 of a new product from softcities.net.

 

File:IMG 20120428 164740.jpg

Maps copied onto shoes (by tracing over a projector image).

Crowd-sourced mapping activity visualisation

File:OSM-node-density-map-HD-crop-2013.png

No volcanic eruptions, no wildfires, but burning passion of OpenStreetMap volunteers – represented by a map showing the colourised node density of OpenStreetMap data. Alternative views: full world as slippy map, full world as single image (67 Mpx, 1 MiB); full world scaled down, more info how this was created.

Empower websites

File:LeMondeMapBox.png

Le Monde, one of the largest French newspapers, relaunched their online paid edition with interactive French maps powered by OpenStreetMap. Read more on the MapBox blog.

File:School-phys-sci.png

The University of Cambridge’s new online map was made live at http://map.cam.ac.uk in late September 2012 (and also linked from the University’s home page). This prestigious, year-long project has contributed lots of data to OSM and uses OSM data for its street index and custom renderings.

Video games

File:STK Rostock compare.jpg

Supertuxkart is a free, open-source racing game. Using 3D data from OpenStreetMap we can race around real-world street layouts, such as this suburb of Rostock.

Fun data visualisation

File:Taginfo-tag-cloud.png

Taginfo shows what tags are used in the OSM database. Here, the size is correlated to the number of times the tags are use.

File:Data tiles with 32MB of OpenStreetMap data.png

This curious map of the world, shows the result of dividing the OpenStreetMap dataset into quarters until each of these vector tiles is less than 32MB in size. An experiment by Eric Fischer (details).

Decision-making in urbanism

File:Glasgow park access network.png

Map showing distance from parks in Glasgow, using openstreetmap data and GRASS/QGIS network analysis. Dark red means further away from a park.

File:Surging seas climate change New York 10ft.png

The “Surging Seas” map blends OpenStreetMap and aerial imagery to interactively simulate sea level rise due to climate change. Here we see New York after a 10ft rise, the maximum setting. The storm surge of Hurricane Sandy brought a rise of up to 13ft.

Education

File:HermeskeilOSMTraining.jpg

Students from Azores Islands, Portugal, visiting Germany on a training course in JOSM and QA Editor as part of the Life Long Learning Mapping Project.

File:T garmin.jpg

“Life Long Learning Mapping Project : Şeyma, Kader, Neslihan,(teachers: Manfred, Miray) Simge, Özge, Our project aims to tackle the issue of gender-stereotyping. Students from Karacabey, Turkey, learning how to use a tracking device (Garmin) to improve OSM in Turkey.”

File:UCAD team Dakar.JPG

Team from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop after a five day training course in AUF Dakar. 23 students and researchers focussed on mapping the Medina municipality of Dakar, Senegal. See the HOT blog write-up by Augustin Doury.

File:Cubbon Park OSM Map.png

Pedestrian Map for Cubbon park, Bangalore, created as part of a class project at NID. Students developed a system of navigation and wayfinding for visitors to the park. Data was collected using Walking Papers, added to OpenStreetMap, and then exported and processed in Adobe Illustrator for the final output.

File:BBSSaarburg.jpg

Students and teachers from five countries meet in Saarburg, Germany to learn how to gather data, use mapping devices, feed in and maintain the OSM data. Meetings in Portugal, Slovenia, Romania and Turkey will follow as part of this two year EU funded Comenius project.

Routing

File:Android-osmand-routing.png

One of the many apps available for navigation purposes, this is a screenshot of OSMAnd on an Android phone.

Want to help?

Obviously, there are many more great things to be said about this project and the data’s many uses. If you want to help make this this great project grow, feel free to have a look at the beginner’s guide on the wiki and navigate the rest of the pages to learn more. You can also ask questions on OSM help. (With more than 7000 questions, it is likely yours is already answered!) But you can also go straight to the main website, create an account and click “edit” to contribute your local knowledge to you area’s map!

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Wikipédia en Français atteint 1,5 million d’articles !

29 Apr

Félicitations à la Wikipédia francophone, qui a atteint le 28 avril 2014 le très respectable million et demi d’articles !

La page dédiée aux statistiques concernant la Wikipédia francophone nous apprend aussi qu’au 29 avril 2014, plus de 100 millions de modifications ont été faites, plus de 6,4 millions de pages existent (articles et méta), et plus de 1,8 million de comptes utilisateurs ont été créés depuis que cette variante linguistique de Wikipédia a débuté sa carrière, en mars 2001.

Du haut de son million et demi d’articles et de ses 13 ans d’âge, la Wikipédia en français se classe en cinquième position derrière, en ordre, les langues anglaise, néerlandaise, allemande et suédoise. Il n’y a pas si longtemps, c’était seulement l’anglais et l’allemand qui la devançaient, mais reste que si c’est aux nombre total de pages, de modifications ou d’utilisateurs que l’on se réfère, elle arrive respectivement en seconde, troisième et quatrième places. Pas de quoi rougir, en vérité, surtout quand on sait qu’il existe 287 éditions de Wikipédia, totalisant plus de 31 millions d’articles – il n’importe pas tellement de la comparer à d’autres si on se rend compte qu’elle fait partie d’une œuvre internationale tout à fait unique.

Si toutefois vous vous intéressez à l’histoire de la Wikipédia en français, cette page retrace l’historique du nombre d’articles.

Et… je peux toujours aider ?

Si vous ne l’avais jamais fait, c’est le moment parfait de se lancer dans l’édition de ce monument de l’Internet libre, d’autant plus que depuis juillet 2013, l’encyclopédie collaborative en langue française s’est dotée d’un nouvel éditeur simplifiant grandement la tâche aux nouveaux venus : l’éditeur visuel, qui permet d’éditer un article sans avoir à apprendre la syntaxe wiki (bien qu’il soit toujours possible d’utiliser ce simple code, qui permet notamment de faire des éditions plus techniques).

Le nouvel éditeur visuel sur Wikipédia offre une expérience bien plus intuitive.

Le nouvel éditeur visuel sur Wikipédia offre une expérience bien plus intuitive.

Pour plus d’information ou un peu d’aide avant de se lancer, n’hésitez pas à visiter l’accueil de la communauté, la page d’aide pour débuter et la présentation en français du projet. Même si c’est juste pour une petite coquille repérée durant vos lectures, ou pour rajouter une information manquante, toute aide et toujours très appréciée pour faire de ce projet une source d’information toujours gratuite, évolutive, grandissante, réutilisable et respectable. Une des règles d’or de Wikipédia est : « N’hésitez pas ! »

Et si vous pensez que l’écriture d’articles encyclopédiques n’est pas votre fort, il existe au moins 10 autres projets de contenu hébergés par la fondation Wikimedia qui n’attendent que votre aide et vos talents ! Que ce soit les voyages, l’actualité, les photos, les espèces du vivant ou les dictionnaires, il y a sûrement quelque-chose qui vous attirera.