Every frequent Slashgeo reader knows about OpenStreetMap, and now, the project reached another important milestone: 1 million OpenStreetMappers.
From the blog entry: "OpenStreetMap has just passed 1 million users! That's a million people who have signed up on openstreetmap.org to join in with creating a free map of the world. At first glance you may think that OpenStreetMap is a map. Those who know more will tell you that it's actually a database; a flexible editable repository of free geospatial data. But above all OpenStreetMap is a community. A massive community in which people like you and me come together collaborate and help build this thing... and now there's a million of us!"
To ease contributions even more, they also introduced the alpha version of the new OpenStreetMap editor, codenamed iD (screenshot below). And for its beauty, see the short animation on OpenStreetMap: A Year of Edits 2012.
Bloggage update: As a fitting end to the Medieval Fenlands Mashup, UK Ordnance Survey will update their Parish shape files that had errors in East Anglia. These were found by running Socium's Online Validation on data downloaded for the purposes of mapping economic wealth in the region since Domesday 1067 survey. HC Darby and Julie Bowring data were simply added to the shapefiles by hand, so that a validation procedure seemed prudent. That is when we noted 25 spikes and kickbacks among 1900 poylgons, pretty good by digitizing standards at 1.3%. It was then a matter of alerting Ordnance Survey in one of their OpenData meet-ups, and presto! we looped the Volunteer Geographic Information loop by feeding back suggestions for the agency to correct. This is one of the benefits of the UK Government opening survey data to the public, who can help improve it in a new twist on crowd-sourcing.
ANDREW ZOLNAI BLOG "turning stats into maps" update: I ran across these interesting web-mapping innovations:
- incredible detail helsp contrast cross-Europe travel taday vs, Roman times
- web data creation are contrasted for citizen weather stations and celestial measurements
(as well as contrasting celestial measurements across 250 years time span)
- with Jubilee events in England a beautiful map of one of the many events under way
Bloggage update: Continuing the ongoing (re)discovery of cools maps for the rest of us, here are two I found on Facebook from my friends Christophe Staff in Belgium and Aidos Malybayev in Kazakhstan. They show a map I helped with to post Templar sites on an embedded Google Map, and a localised derivative of same for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. As I said before, this blog is dedicated to the weird and wonderful ways we find to display information from work through current affairs to the personal, quickly and easily on web maps... and not unlikely after hours!
Bloggage update: online spatial data validation (OVS).
Having transposed historic economic geographic data on shape files from the UK Ordnance Survey in my Medieval Fenlands project a couple of years ago, I can now test through socium.co.uk:
1) how good are vector data in East Anglia, as part of coi.guv.uk data feedback?
2) how well did I transpose attributes from Darby's map plates into shape files?
Using sets of rules on shape files, OVS is as simple as 1-2-3: 1) upload, 2) select the rules to test vector data integrity, 3a) view the report for free on line, or 3b) download it for one credit to get another shape file with "data busts" as points with descriptive attributes.
Having been in the geodata business for decades, I cannot see how data validation can be made any easier, while maintaining - indeed increasing - data integrity. This OVS highlights two of the "holy grails" in matters geospatial:
1) GIS depict complex data in a simple yet effective way, by placing them in their local context
2) web services offer two more opportunities:
a) to post geo-processes on-line that are easy to reach
b) to offer a flexible pricing plan that helps one and all
Guns & Roses, or: 3D GIS anyone? behind the colorful history of Teapot Dome in Wyoming, US and its current incarnation that released a comprehensive 3D petroleum dataset, lies this challenge: how is GIS approaching comprehensive 3D treatment (truly with overhangs and multi-Z's per XY, not 2.5D extrusion however useful that may be), with the increasing availability of robust 3D tools some for free (recent slashgeo post). To help with that I posted said dataset on arcgis.com and started revamping my geoscience classes also coming soon to a screen near you.
My latest blog post addresses:
The GRASS Community is pleased to announce the results of the first GRASS Community Sprint, that took place at the Faculty of Civil Engineering - Czech Technical University in Prague, from 20 to 25 May, 2011.
The Community Sprint has been a successful event, thanks to both the perfect organization by the hosting structure, which provided location and technical supervision, and the sponsors, which kindly financed the greater part of the developer's needs during the event.
In particular, Martin Landa and professor Aleš Čepek are gratefully acknowledged for the organization, and the sponsors GFOSS.it (Associazione Italiana per l'Informazione Geografica Libera, Italy), R3 GIS (Merano, Italy), FOSSGIS e.V. (German-language OSGeo local chapter), and Sylla-consult (Frankfurt, Germany) for their sponsoring of the event.
The participants came from Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United States, including several long-term core developers, new developers, students, researchers, and even newcomers.
The work has been focused on wxGUI improvements, GRASS7 internals (improved vector topology engine, library access from other programs), translations, implementation of new modules (r.threshold, v.pack, v.unpack) and bugfixing. Developers also had discussions on broad topics like GRASS GIS usage in cloud and cluster computing, Web processing services, toolboxes, integration of time dimension to make GRASS a true temporal GIS, and the design of a comprehensive test suite.
Among the participants there were three of the four Google Summer of Code students, two mentors, several co-mentors and the OSGeo GSoC administrator. Students started working on their projects, and received live guidance from their mentors and from the attending experienced developers. The sprint welcomed also the integration with other software, like QGIS and JGrass, thanks to the presence of some main developers of these respective programs who showed interest in the "integration" topic. For more information, please visit these pages:
About GRASS GIS
The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to as GRASS, is an Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) providing powerful raster, vector, and geospatial processing engines in a single integrated software suite. GRASS includes tools for spatial modeling, visualization of raster and vector data, management and analysis of geospatial data, and the processing of satellite and aerial imagery. It also provides the capability to produce sophisticated presentation graphics and hardcopy maps. GRASS has now been translated into twenty languages and supports a huge array of data formats. It is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).
As much important as the job we do, is with whom we do it. Our work environment matters. What also matters to most of us is feeling part of a larger community, in that case, the geospatial community. Yesterday, I felt part of it again for a few hours. It was the welcoming event of this week's OSGeo Montreal Code Sprint 2011. I am not contributing to the code sprint itself, but it's always nice to chat with fellow geospatial professionals that we haven't seen for a while and meet new people. It's surprising to notice how small the world is. We were even lucky to be honored by the presence of three Sol Katz Award recipients at the event. Clearly, it felt good to participate to such a 'get together', even if it's just for a few hours. It helps us wait for the next geospatial conference! ;-)
In Fall 2006 I shared some thoughts on what is the geospatial community, and later in Summer 2007, there was a few entries over the geoblogs on the state of the geospatial community (apologies, we haven't migrated the user comments of our old stories after our move to Drupal in Summer 2010, causing user comments not showing up on those stories). When we launched Slashgeo.org in 2005 under the umbrella of a non-profit organization, we hoped it would draw the community to share even more on this virtual space. Fast forward to 2011, judging by the low frequency of user comments on the site, it's obvious that we failed that part of the dream. But with our relatively significant readership (over 5,000 subscribers just in Google Reader, a number anyone can easily validate), I guess the geonews aggregation services we provide are not entirely useless. And hey, maybe someday community participation on the site will take off and reach orbit? It doesn't matter that much to me now, sometimes the voyage is more important than the destination! And in this voyage, when we look around, we are not alone, we are a spatial community after all.
We have the honour to announce the official constitution of the gvSIG Russian Community.
The main community's goal is to organize themselves as a group, identifying persons, companies and Russian institutions interested on the gvSIG project by means of its software products and its business model. The first community's stage will focus on inviting Russian users and developers from differents parts of the country to foster that community group.
More information about the gvSIG Russian goals and coordinators can be found at: https://gvsig.org/web/community/comm_groups/comm_gvsig_ru/view?set_language=en