Tuesday morning kicked off with Schuyler Erle, Metacarta and author of O’reilly books, Mapping hacks and Google Map Hacks. He went on describing the Maximum City of Mumbai, India (see here – Amazon). Looking at the problems plaguing the area and the many issues to be addressed. But… mapping is hard, or at least it was hard. People need access to data and tools to create and share their maps. We have Census data, NASA,USGS and access to terabytes of data, however, the data is tough to get, full of holes and inaccuracies, and tough to use. Contrast this with Europe where there’s tons of accurate data but people are required to pay for access to the data (think Ordnance Survey – similar to Canada). He suggests we look at publicgeodata.org. So… here in the US why is the situation such an embarrassment and accessing free, accurate data so difficult asks Shuyler? He recounts a story in Mumbai where there were an immense amount of mapping data for the city, however, these data were not tied to any projection or coordinate system – there was no ground control! The data were in AutoCAD format and then OSGeo came to the rescue – enter Mumbai freemap. See osgeo.org, Mumbai.freemap.in and the efforts of Open StreetMap – http://www.openstreetmap.org.