On the fourth day at FOSS4G 2011, the first plenary sessions involved the presentation by the national mapping agency in UK Ordnance Survey, which really exposed the challenge this kind of organisation such as making data free as much as possible, but at the same time supporting data collection, integration, delivering and proper communication with the user community. His message was in clear to all managers in public mapping agency: be brave and progressive in your way of thinking as well as try to optimize the location of the line to draw between free open data and premium paid datasets.
On the presentation session, many new projects arising from the industry were demonstrated. First, OpenLayers version 2.11 supporting new improved features for mobile technology was presented. In previous edition, OpenLayers had poor navigation and interaction in mobile phones. Since the Lausanne OpenLayers Code Sprint in 2011, touch events across the library, such as pan, zoom, draw/edition, selection and geolocation position has been developed. The library has been reduced to increase performance. The demo version can be try here : http://openlayers.org/dev/examples/mobile.html. At the same time, when the best OpenLayers developers are experiencing hard challenges in mobile development (e.g. no standard across mobile devices), it might be because that it is really a challenge for most geospatial developers.
A presentation on the status of OpenAerialMap by Schuyler Erle has exposed the need of imagery for OpenStreetMappers especially during humanitarian crisis, which users really need access to imagery to do their work properly. The example of Haiti is one of the best one and when images were donated to the Humanitarian OSM, it really serves the need of supporting emergency responders. Mapserver and Tilecache have been used by Chrisopher Smith to give imagery access to organisations in the field. Schuyler also exposes the architecture of the OAM in 3 main server components : 1) a central index servers for metadata cataloging imagery, 2) an images server to store the raw imagery data as archives and 3) a web server to publish tiles for mappers around the world in a GIS cloud computing type of environment. What’s now? The project is having problems finding volunteers to contributes, as well as corporate support and the lack of partnership with source imagery is lacking. As this project is valuable as OpenStreetMap, but as an infrastructure driven project, the OAM needs contributions from potential users, imagery providers, public organisation and university. Who is interested?