OpenStreetMap News and State of the Map 2011 Roundup

With State of the Map 2011 now behind, here's what I found on the geoblogs that we haven't mentioned yet. Thanks to Slashgeo editor Nicolas Gignac, we were able to provide on-site coverage this year.

Geonews CatchUp: QGIS vs gvSIG, Landsat 8 Milestone, Shaderlight 2, osmdroid, and too much more

That's probably our biggest "geonews in batch mode" issue ever. That's the price I have to pay for three weeks of holidays! ;-) I tried to keep only the most pertinent geonews. After reading this unusually long entry, you and I are back to being up to date in terms of geonews.

On the Google front:

On the ESRI front:

On the open source front:

In GPS news:

In Apple news:

In Microsoft news:

In transportation news:

In remote sensing news:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

FOSS4G 2011: starts your mapping engine

While the FOSS4G 2011 just began Monday, it looks that the number of attendees for the overall conference would beat the best ever in Spain last year. The first two days of the Conference started with one of the moment always appreciated by the community: the workshops. This year in USA around half of the audience of the workshops were newbies in geospatial open source community (mainly from the Colorado area) and the other half were developers, users and experts of the FOSS world.

I have attend two workshops on Monday, the first one was: Introduction to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. This organisation has been involved manly since the Earthquake in Haiti by sharing mapping resources with the affected people when needed. I found particularly interesting at the workshop is the “Walking papers” application. This idea is a way to “round trip” map data through paper, to make it easier to perform the kinds of eyes-on-the-street edits that OSM needs now the most, as well as distributing the load by making it possible for legible, easy notes to be shared and turned into real geographical data.

Walking Papers is a website and a service designed to close this final loop by providing OpenStreetMap print maps that can be marked up with a pen, scanned back into the computer with a cellphone, georeferenced automatically by the service and traced using OSM’s regular web-based editor, such as Potlatch or JOSM.

The second workshop I went to on Monday was: FOSS4G routing with pgRouting tools, OpenStreetMap road data and GeoExt. This workshops has been given in previous edition, but this time in Denver new improvement have been made. One of the topics discussed in the workshops was that pgRouting functions is an effective way to trace in one or two seconds a shortest path based on more than 500000 features by using the wrapper with bounding box. Even if pgRouting was quite effective for the OpenStreetMap data of Denver during the workshop, it does not mean that all parts of the world are well covered with topological streetsline. The osm2pgrouting is a great tool to prepare OSM datasets to routing and show if the datasets needs be cleaned and snapped. At the same time, Daniel Kastl from Georepublic, as one of the trainer at the workshops, said that pgRouting was made first for geospatial analysis and will never be as effective as the one implement in Google Maps, because the Google routing engine is precalculated and can be effective for entire continent. This pgRouting has not published a new releases since 2010 and any developer involvement or corporate supports is welcome. The entire workshops can be found at this address:

I have made a pause and I went to see the Monday Night football at the Mile High Stadium in Denver were fans were predominantly in orange jerseys to support their home Team! It was great game, in a very nice Stadium that has quite a lovely view of the City by night.

On Tuesday, An Introduction to Geospatial Open Source was the last workshops have been to before the formal presentation part of the conference starting on Wednesday. This workshops is given an overall tour of FOSS4G world and its business model and main open source projects.

State of the Map 2011: Mapping with OSM for humanitarian goals

Since the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, volunteers around the world have been involved right from the start in the force task when a major event is seeking help from mappers. Over the years, OSM and its Humanitarian OSM Team (HOT) has been playing a key role in collaboration with emergency managers (e.g. MapAction, UN-OCHA, USAID, local government) and has demonstrated its usefulness. The HOT was involved in many crisis management situations, such as the Earthquake in Haiti in 2010 ( &, the Revolution of the people in Tunisia and Libya, the Ketsana Typhoon in Philippines, the Tsunami in Japan, the flooding of Richelieu River in Canada, etc.

In Denver, the delegation of Japanese was well represented with two subjects at the State of the Map and one at the FOSS4G: In some other countries, such as Tunisia and Libya, OSM has been demonstrated to be an empowerment tool such as Facebook and Twitter during a crisis when information was at stake. Contribution of volunteers from Japan and other parts of the world (e.g. Haiti) has been done mostly in collaboration with NGO’s, public organisation, UN offices and private contributors. Finally, in the disaster risk panel, chaired by Kate Chapman from HOT, at the State of the Map conference on Sunday, a project utilizing OSM and Open Source Software for Disaster Risk reduction in Indonesia was presented and general discussion was made on what is so challenging for mapping Team in such exercise (e.g. using commercial imagery, government trust and licensing problems).

State of the Map 2011: How to map the world and have fun doing it!

While the first day of the State of the Map 2011 in Denver was a bang on Business day and Mapping Party, the second part of the Conference has been schedule as the Weekend – Community. During these three beautiful sunny days in the Colorado Capital City, technical development, ethics, grassroots mobilizing effect, quality control, humanitarian mission, symbology enhancement were some of the subject presented and discussed.

The total number of registered persons was estimated around 255 (as one of the biggest ever) and more than 15 sponsors supported the Conference. This Denver edition marked a step forward maturity for the OSM Foundation and its related OSM projects (OpenCycleMap, OpenTrailView, OpenStreetMap-3D, etc.) as well as its presence in North-America (will see after the event). With more than 400 000 members, OSM is one of the biggest open source project in the world in terms of members participating within the same environment. This edition of 2011 marked a point where the community has a vibrant presence in many continents and looks more diverse than ever (Africa: Tunisia, Middle-East: Israel, Australia, Americas, Europe and Asia: Philippines and India). State of the Map Conference is very different than usual or formal IT/GIS Conference, it just lets sense of humour, Humanity and Engagement been expressed and playing a role in all contribution and activists presentation. The fun-filled atmosphere lets the community to learn unique story of OSM mapping projects (e.g. blind mapper in the Philippines, live balloon photography to document the size of protests in Chile, Address Hunter multi-player game), their positive changes all over the world (e.g. Mapping for Changes) and at the same time what is yet to be develop for the upcoming years (e.g. Road Sheilds, OpenTrailView, Local Chapter).

While there is still new private partners involved recently with OSM, such as ESRI (e.g. ArcGIS Editor for OSM), this “Do It Yourself” (DIY) type of mapping project looks now as a datasource that cannot be ignored by public (e.g. USGS, Ordnance Survey) and private (e.g. MapQuest, Bing, Yahoo! and Google) geospatial data provider in their business model.

OpenStreetMap annual event finished Sunday night with its General Meeting with new board members, but the presence of OSM at FOSS4G 2011 during the week ahead will still be active in Denver in workshops ( and, presentations and discussion on Open Data.

The week ahead in Denver: sharing ideas on a Free and Open Geo World!

The upcoming week is looking to be very interesting for the industry of geospatial in the USA as well as the "open source / open data" world. As lucky as I am, I will be the on-site Slashgeo editor representative (Slashgeo is also the media partner for both Conferences) in both events in Denver, Colorado: State of the Map 2011 (Annual conference about the progress of OpenStreetMap and free geo-data in general) and FOSS4G 2011 (global conference focused on Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial, organized by OSGeo).

State of the Map 2011 is almost sold out in terms of registration and as the first FOSS4G in the USA, it might be the biggest FOSS4G conference ever in terms of number of attendees. Denver will be THE place to be for sharing new ideas on a Free and Open world which sharing geospatial information and tools is needed from everyone, everywhere and everyday.

First, my planning at the State of the Map weekend event is to look at what is next for OpenStreetMap in terms of quality, real applications, its role when dealing with major disaster event, ESRI/Microsoft contribution to OSM, crowd sourcing with OSM for public organisation such as USGS, etc.

Secondly, the FOSS4G 2011 might be a good gathering for social networking in the open source high tech world, but also to see the new trends coming from the industry, such as WPS, cloud map and tiling services. My planning for the FOSS4G is to attend presentation or workshop related to: geocache, WFS Transactional, WPS project, GIS in the Cloud, mobile applications, PgRouting, PostGIS, Open Data with Open Source, Web Mapping Performance, etc. I will keep you posted with some quick impression and nice pictures of the main geospatial open source and open data social and technical events. Denver is looking open, global and free for the entire week!

Nicolas Gignac, on-site Slashgeo editor representative at the FOSS4G and State of the Map 2011

4 maps is an interesting web site offering the ability to view four maps in synchronised mode.

It is possible to swicth between different maps or to display only two maps side by side. The javascript code can be easily downloaded and modified to add other map sources.

Nice to compare maps or to see your destination from multiple angles.

Saturday Geonews: TileMill 0.4.1, Esri FileGeodatabase API 1.1, GIS with Google Earth, Layar Vision App, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. Yes, on a Saturday! I'll be away for the next three weeks and dare delay my family's departure to feed you with these.

From the open source front:

From the Esri front:

From the Google front:

On the Microsoft front:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

Slashgeo Now Media Partner of the State of the Map 2011 Conference

I'm glad to announce will be a media partner with the State of the Map 2011 conference.

"The State of the Map is the world’s leading OpenStreetMap community event. Join participants from all around the world in Denver, Colorado, USA from September 9th – 11th to hear talks, participate in workshops and hang out with OpenStreetMappers from around the world. If you are involved with any aspect of OpenStreetMap from mapping to coding to campaigning, or if you want to hear more from the global mapping movement that is changing the way maps are made and used, the State of the Map is for you!"

Today's importance of OpenStreetMap has been demonstrated numerous times, to the extent that MapQuest is using OpenStreetMap and Microsoft too, they even hired OpenStreetMap's founder. Only Google resists for the time being, probably because they favor Google Map Maker. Slashgeo mentioned OpenStreetMap hundreds of times in the past 6 years.

The State of the Map 2011 conference takes place just before FOSS4G 2011, where Slashgeo will also have an editor on the site.

Thursday Geonews: Bing Maps Map Style Updated, London Transit in Google Maps, Timezones Shapefile, Backseat Driver, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode covering the last two weeks. It's a bit longer than usual.

On the open source front:

On the Google front (well, new since yesterday):

On the Microsoft front:

In the miscellaneous category:

Discussed over Slashdot:

In the maps category:

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