OpenStreetMap and OpenAerialMap News


OpenStreetMap (OSM) has completed the bulk import of comprehensive street and highway data for the United States, months ahead of the project’s original estimates. The massive data set originated with the US Census Bureau’s public domain map database, and importing it required a dedicated upload process running around the clock since August 2007. The imported data will still require human editing and error-correction, but the completed task is a major milestone for the OSM project.

OpenStreetMap had predicted this process would take until ~June 2008, but finished way ahead of schedule due to some indexing genius.

OpenStreetMap “is a free editable map of the whole world.” It started out as a project in reaction to crazy data restrictions and costs (in the UK I think), and now it has data covering most of the planet. Anybody can view, edit, and use the data. So if the Tiger data isn’t quite right in your area, you can fix it yourself. It’s a collaborative spatial data set.

If you are an OpenLayers user, you can find an example of sticking OSM in your map here.

While OSM has been going on for a while, OpenAerialMap (OAM) is relatively new. Its goals are similar in scope - OAM is committed to building a free, bird’s-eye photographic map of the world. It’s a new project, but it is already making a lot of progress. OAM project participants can load their data, and OAM can also import data directly from other Web Map Service (WMS) providers. Their main page has an OpenLayers map showing imagery collected to date, as well as a page with instructions on how to connect to the aerial database via a number of applications, including WMS, here.

It’s a really cool project and it’s just getting started. If your area doesn’t have high-res images, you can upload your data for the whole world to see.

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