Looks like Geogeeks will be converging on San Fran this June for another SOTMUSA – State of the map USA. The organizing committee, via their blog, have invited geeks to plan to connect with other mappers, skill up on mapping, learn how to work with OpenStreetMap data, hack on the latest OpenStreetMap improvement from June 8-9, 2013. Taking place over the week-end so work commitments won’t interfere, the main conference will feature a series of community-led sessions on OpenStreetMap case studies, related technology, mapping parties, ideas and tools to help us improve the map, and much more. Check out last year’s schedule for an idea of what’s in store. Follow the event on Twitter @sotmus
There’s no question that we are all data collectors, many of us data hoarders but what to do with all that awesome data? Well, naturally the geographer in me wants to create a map. Indeed there’s plenty of choices out there when it comes to map authoring tools including ArcGIS online, Geocommons, Google maps and many many more. One simple yet powerful tool that I’m sure you’ve herd about is Mapbox. In addition to their popular APIs and developer tools, Mapbox also has a sweet map design environment where anyone can create awesome maps, host them in the cloud, and share with the world.
Publishing with Mapbox is simple, just create a free account (or purchase a plan) and create a new map. You can then easily add markers (POIs) along with awesome cartographic enhancements like a nice marker set. Users can also upload their own data layers or enhanced basemap data and also select from a number of pre-defined basemap layers and display parameters. Set a title, description, save and then share – it really is that easy! Create your own maps at Mapbox.com – I’ve shared my own map below showing some of the places I’ve been and also a quick test map showing some photos in my area…
Some interesting news here as Six media innovation ventures that make it easier to access and use information on local communities, air quality, elections, demographics and more received a total of $2.22 million today as winners of the Knight News Challenge: Data. From the project… “OpenStreetMap, a media innovation venture that collects open, street-level mapping data, is among the six winners announced today as part of the Knight News Challenge on Data. OpenStreetMap is launching tools that make it easier for communities to contribute to OpenStreetMap.”
About the winners:
- Safecast: Creating a community of citizen and professional scientists to measure and share data on air quality in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities. The air quality effort is inspired by Safecast’s success in providing radiation data following Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster.
- LocalData: Providing a set of tools that communities can use to collect data on paper or via a smartphone app, then export or visualize the data via an easy-to-use dashboard. The city of Detroit has used the tools, created by Code for America fellows, to track urban blight.
In an effort to keep the public informed and make data available to them during the recent wildfires near Colorado Springs, CO the company turned to open source as a solution.
Their blog goes into details of how they luckily, had already been working on a system designed for rapid web publishing and thus managed to roll out a solution built almost entirely on Open Source, with the exception of the ArcGIS Server component (apparently an option exists to migrate to the Open Source Geoserver in the future).
To see the results for yourself check out the web map and imagery at https://services.sanborn.com/maps/60
Ok, this one is simply too cool not to share! Imagine a complete, open source solution for developing, deploying, and managing an urban tree inventory/management system – enter the OpenTreeMap open Source Solution. Designed with institutions, government, and public agencies in mind (although the public at large is more than welcome to take part) OpenTreeMap provides the platform to deploy an fully collaborative, dynamic, interactive map-based inventory system to manage your assets.
Now, this isn’t for the light at heart as there’s a substantial list of system, technical, and knowledge requirements, however, everything you need is provided, complete with a fantastic web resource designed to help you along. OpenTreeMap does warn you that specific technical skills are required (Python, PostGIS, GeoServer etc…) and there are also options for a variety of hsoting solutions suggested including Amazon, Azavea and RackSpace.
Once up and running the users will be able to do the following (and more):
- search tress by species, location, and other characteristics
- add trees to the DB
- editor information and attributes
- upload photos
- export as KML or CSV
- calculate ecosystem benefits (modeling)
- monitor user accounts
See details of OpenTreeMap on Github at http://opentreemap.github.com
Yep, that’s correct, foursquare is now touting OSM as the basemap of choice! Announced today on the official foursquare blog (reserved usually for only BIG news) foursquare seems to think that the OSM maps are pretty and thus will be treating users to the sweet OSM maps that are maintained and updated by the legion of faithful OSM mappers and partners. Apparently the decision goes back a few months to a foursquare hackathon where OSM seemed to get the company’s attention thanks to some clever mashups that were created during the event.
This from Foursquare… Starting today, we’re embracing the OpenStreetMap movement, so all the maps you see when you go to foursquare.com will look a tiny bit different (we think the new ones are really pretty). Other than slightly different colors and buttons, though, foursquare is still the same site you know and love.
According to the post, foursquare reached out to MapBox for some help in generating what they call “pretty maps” which were made using OSM data. It seems a partnership was struck and now the MapBox Streets product is now what’s respondible for all the foursquare maps. via MApBox… MapBox Streets is a beautiful alternative to Google Maps powered by high-quality open data from OpenStreetMap, available now from MapBox.
Note, just this week MapBox Streets was announced on their blog – see details in this post
OSM basemap displayed on a venue map via foursquare.com
You have to expect that perhaps down the road foursquare will be offering special rewards, badges etc… for OSM mappers who help update the maps via foursquare… seems like a good fit to me and a great way to grow the crowd. See more details in this blog post on the foursquare blog
Here’s details of a webinar that should appeal to many. The focus of the event is hot topics such as free tools, and open source software, with a focus on the small business owner. Some details… GIS professionals thinking about taking their careers to the next level and starting their own business need to tune in to a free webinar given by Lee Mitchell, owner of G.A.I.A. Professionals, a successful GIS technology firm and Dr. Devon Cancilla, dean, business and technology at American Sentinel University as they discuss ‘Starting a Geospatial Business’ on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 1pm EST. Mitchell and Dr. Cancilla will detail the necessary education, skills, resources and experience needed to start a geospatial business and profile open-source software and other free GIS tools that are absolutely necessary in running a small GIS business.
The event will touch on such popular tools as:
- ArcGIS Explorer Online
- ArcGIS Explorer Desktop
- Quantum GIS
- MapWindow GIS
- JUMP GIS/OpenJUMP
Register for the ‘Starting a Geospatial Business’ webinar at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/110429248.
See complete details – Learn How Open Source Software Benefits a Successful GIS Business
The very busy and growing OpenGeo team has just this week announced details of the release of OpenGeo Suite 2.4.4 – recall the OpenGeo Suite is 100% Open Source and now the entire source code library has been migrated to GitHub. Some more details from the OpenGeo blog as updates include:
- GeoServer: Added Basic HTTP authentication with cascaded WMS servers
- GeoServer: Support for loading “non-advertised” layers
- GeoServer: Web Processing Service (WPS) now included
- GeoServer: Better INSPIRE View Service compliance
- GeoWebCache: Significantly improved UI for configuration of GeoWebCache
See also http://opengeo.org/products/suite/
I haven’t Kick-started a project yet, but when I do I’ll definitely be turning to Kick Starter for help with the launch! Case in point, check out this Balloon Mapping Kit project – An Open Hardware project in Portland, OR by Mathew Lippincot – gaining traction and community funding via the popular social funding platform. Now with over $10K in capital raised, the Balloon Mapping Project is building a Global community of community mappers who are taking to the sky with the Balloon Mapping kits to capture imagery, stitch it together into a seamless coverage – what an awesome grassroots mapping effort! See details and check out details of their $85 Mapping Kit HERE – FYI you can also connect with the developer HERE on FB
I managed to free up a Saturday and spent it at a local HackDay event here in Victoria. I’ve provided a run down of what we did, what hackday was all about, what we worked on, and shared loads of resource and weblinks useful to others planning a hack of their own including opengov links, opendata resources, open source tools, API tips and more.
Ever been to a hackday? Ever planned one? I highly suggest it for anyone, particularly those that are Geo savvy as you’ll be very welcomed! Check out details here – So You Want to Hack – OpenHackDay #odhd Recap and Tips for developers and new hacks