Two days ago the new open source iD editor we mentioned a few times has been officially launched, here's the official announcement OpenStreetMap launches all-new easy map editor and announces funding appeal.
From the announcement: "The new editor, codenamed ‘iD’, boasts an intuitive interface and clear walk-throughs that make editing much easier for new mappers. By lowering the barrier to contributions, we believe that more people can contribute their local knowledge to the map – the crucial factor that sets OSM apart from closed-source commercial maps. [...] The new iD editor is a pure HTML5 experience, using the cutting-edge D3 visualisation library. Behind the clear design and intuitive interface is a sophisticated back-end that automatically recommends the most popular ‘tagging’ conventions used by the OSM community."
Numerous sources discussed the new iD editor, you'll find more technical details on iD on the MapBox blog, MapBox built iD, including multiple links to media coverage. Slashdot also discussed two stories, OpenStreetMap Launches a New Easy To Use HTML5 Editor and OpenStreetMap Adds Easier Reporting of Map Problems.
I'd like to introduce a new location-based game: Kort.
This web app motivates users to help improving OpenStreetMap (OSM) data. Game-like elements are used like credit points and badges in a mission to resolve missing spatial data. Kort combines the concept of gamification with volunteered geographic information and is targeted to non-specialists. Within three weeks more than 1,000 users registered and it has been translated into 11 languages!
After having signed in with OSM or Google account, credit points (so called 'Koins') are collected by the players on a mission task. Examples are POIs without a name, where users have to enter the missing label. All proposals for solutions are then validated by other players. If a proposal has passed validations (around 3 depending on error type), it is considered complete.
Data errors are downloaded every night from a project called KeepRight. The data covers many parts of the world except for parts of North America and others. The final task of integrating the passed proposals into OpenStreetMap has not been realized yet. It can be done manually, though. This an other enhancements like moderating campaigns are planned in the near future.
The project has been implemented by two computer science students during their bachelor thesis at the Geometa Lab of the University of Applied Sciences, Rapperswil (Switzerland). It's based on HTML5, free (open source) and it runs on iPhone and Android, and in Chrome.
For more information visit http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/KortGame
I came across the Sound Around You website which asks users to contribute sound-bites of the everyday world around them to create a "sound map". The website explains it better than I do...
"The Audio and Acoustic Engineering Research Centre at the University of Salford is building a sound map of the world to investigate how sounds in our everyday environment make us feel.
We’re calling people across the world to use their iphone (or any other audio recorder) to record clips of around 30 seconds in length from different sound environments, or ‘soundscapes’ from a family car journey to a busy shopping centre, and to upload them to our virtual map, along with their opinions of them and why they chose to record it."
The project aims to raise awareness of the soundscape around us and its influence - the project indicates that it may have implications for groups such as home buyers and planners. I could see something like this being quite useful when doing an initial search for a house. Streetview may give you a visual impression of a location but not the whole picture?
Modelling our world in 3D gets more and more important within the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project. There are several people in the community trying to push forward this development. A major problem is that OSM was not really designed for complex 3D modelling. The node/way/relation + tags based data model does not allow for complicated 3D modelling. Therefore, the community agreed to make use of external repositories containing more complex data which can be linked to OSM.
OpenBuildingModels is such a repository for complex architectural 3D building models. It is free-to-use and aims to improve crowdsourced 3D city models. Anyone can up- or download the models. They can be referenced in OSM and appear on the OSM-3D globe. A first beta version of the web platform is now online and models can be uploaded.
From their about: "OpenWeatherMap.org is a crowdsourcing project to collect information about the weather worldwide. Everybody owning a weather station is free to contribute and the results are licensed under Creative Commons By-Attribution Share-Alike 2.0"
In what looks like "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win", Slashdot discusses TomTom's fight against OpenStreetMap and open source maps.
The Slashdot summary: "TomTom Navigation has a recently launched article on what they call the 'negative aspects' of open data projects such as OpenStreetMap. As there are no hard facts and details to the studies they refer, the OSM community identified this release as classical 'Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt'."
That second link on FUD is pretty informative. Related, last January we mentioned an article comparing TomTom and OpenStreetMap data in Germany.
It's Slashdot that discussed the bad news about Canada Post Files Copyright Lawsuit Over Crowd-sourced Postal Code Database.
Their summary: "Canada Post has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Geolytica, which operates GeoCoder.ca, a website that provides several geocoding services including free access to a crowd-sourced, compiled database of Canadian postal codes. Canada Post argues that it is the exclusive copyright holder of all Canadian postal codes and claims that GeoCoder appropriated the database and made unauthorized reproductions. GeoCoder compiled the postal code database by using crowdsourcing techniques, without any reliance on Canada Post's database, and argues that there can be no copyright on postal codes and thus no infringement (PDF)."
It's not the first time we discuss postal codes data. In 2006, we mentioned the PAGC open source project that geocodes postal addresses. And since 2005 we heard of the global postal codes product from NACGeo, but to my knowledge, it was never really used by anyone (I am wrong?). In 2009 there was news of the U.K. opening up their postal code database.
The AGISRS list made me aware of Geo-Wiki.org, a crowdsourcing effort aimed at validating global land cover.
From their main page: "The Geo-Wiki Project is a global network of volunteers who wish to help improve the quality of global land cover maps. Since large differences occur between existing global land cover maps, current ecosystem and land-use science lacks crucial accurate data (e.g. to determine the potential of additional agricultural land available to grow crops in Africa). Volunteers are asked to review hotspot maps of global land cover disagreement and determine, based on what they actually see in Google Earth and their local knowledge, if the land cover maps are correct or incorrect. Their input is recorded in a database, along with uploaded photos, to be used in the future for the creation of a new and improved global land cover map."
Okay, there is much more geonews that were waiting for me than I expected. Please give me some time to catch up everything. Anything worthy, I'll aggregate and share with our users.
There has been several interesting articles and entries posted in the past two weeks about OpenStreetMap. Here they are!
From the Nokia announcement: "We’ve just launched Nokia Map Creator, a fun tool on maps.nokia.com that literally lets YOU map out your local neighbourhood! You can also use Map Creator to make small edits and additions to existing maps. The tool is super simple to use. The best thing about it is that your work will be visible to all maps.nokia.com users—immediately! Your Map Creator content will also be shared via regular map-data updates for Nokia Maps on mobile and web, after NAVTEQ validation checks. [...] Map Creator already lets you draw streets and footpaths. You can also name new streets and add key information such as driving directions, vehicle type characteristics or paving type. But that’s just the start! You will soon also be able to add even more types of map content such as parks, forests, lakes and rivers. In short, all the types of content you are familiar with seeing in Nokia Maps!"
We mentioned Nokia quite several times in the past, especially since they bought NAVTEQ a few years ago. This Nokia announcement is reminiscent of TomTom MapShare announced in 2007 and of Google Map Maker that appeared in 2008. Like many others have adviced, if you want to have full access to the street data you contribute, there's really only one OpenStreetMap.org.