Free Hogg

11.13.06

Open-Source World Map: OpenStreetMap

Filed under: Open Source — Hogg @ 11:30 pm

This is an open-source project that makes you remember that there still are good people out there in the world. It is also one of the best open-source projects I’ve ever heard of. It’s called OpenStreetMap (OSM).

OSM’s aim is to do what Google Maps has done, but freely and through open-source. Here’s the jist: volunteers collect GPS data as they go around wherever they are going. They then upload it and people can edit the map info (street names, etc.) wiki-style.

There are more than 3,600 contributors doing around 50 uploads a day. OSM also throws regular “mapping parties” where people descend on a particular area to map it over a weekend.

OSM asserts it will have the U.K. mapped by the middle of 2008, “if not sooner,” and it is also making inroads into Europe where parts of cities such as Copenhagen have been mapped.

“The idea is to do the whole planet,” Coast said. “There will be a free map of the planet available. It’s going to happen.”

CNET News.com

What an awesome idea to harness the power of the community to create a worldwide project. I don’t, but if you have a GPS unit, you should think about mapping out the area around where you live for OSM.

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