Workshop on 14/01/2020: Introduction to OpenStreetMap

So this workshop was to cover the basics of what the OpenStreetMap project is all about, how the data is gathered (and is licensed) and it’s aims. Also covered during the workshop was…

  • How OSM covers the entire world, stats were given for the number of contributors worldwide.
  • History of the project, how it came to be and the previous challenges around proprietary mapping systems.
  • What ‘trap streets’ were, fictitious streets on proprietary mapping systems used to catch out copyright violators.
  • The humanitarian benefits of OSM in events such as the Haiti Earthquakes in 2010, where there was no adequate map information in existence already.
  • Detail around the data formats, nodes, ways, areas and relations.
  • The possibilities for custom tagging, layering, representing multiple storeys etc…
  • Briefly talked about how the OSM engine could be used to represent fictitious places (e.g. Mordor, J. R. R. Tolkien’s fictional world of Middle-earth)
  • Talked about the features Google has (history, timeline, 3D buildings etc…) that would be good to implement into OSM.
  • Discussed the pros and cons of the various mapping tools with the conclusion that OSM has the biggest advantage of being co-operative and has “many eyes” looking to spot mistakes and inconsistencies.
  • Lastly a demo of how to edit, and discussed the different editors available to use.

Here’s a gallery showing off some of the things looked at during the presentation…

In terms of the main presentation, this was HTML based slides which you can find in the ZIP file below. Just extract the ‘osm_presentation_webpages’ directory from the ZIP and then open ‘index.html’. Your default web browser should take care of the rest without needing the Internet.

During the lab exercises some sample OSM and GPX formatted data was used and looked at, these can be found in this ZIP below…

As for the growth of OpenStreetMap, Iain prepared this handy table…


Year
UsersNodes
20051000
20063000
200710000
200825000250
2009100000500
2010200000750
20115000001000
20127500001350
201310000002000
201414000002500
201520000002700
201628000003250
201742000003750
201850000004500
201956000005200

As of when the presentation was given (14th January 2020) there are…

  • Number of users: 5,968,421
  • Number of uploaded GPS points: 7,637,593,413
  • Number of nodes: 5,699,926,279
  • Number of ways: 632,110,826
  • Number of relations: 7,415,306

At the end a flyer was handed out with further information, you can find the original source of this at this link on GitHub, however we’ve provided copies from there in PDF format below too…

Finally these are the rough notes that our presenter Iain used during the meeting, these could be handy if you’re trying to remember the order things were covered. Any images referenced in these notes can be found in the ‘osm_presentation_webpages.zip’ ZIP file (in the ‘src’ directory) above…

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