I was so hyper-enthused with a glowing sense of geotastic-all-conquering pride after last week's London pub meet-up, that I went ahead and set up the next pub meet-up. Yes. We've had the details on the wiki page two weeks in advance. How very well organised! Do come along and join us on Thursday 11th in a pub over in Hoxton.
But what was I so pleased about at last week's meet-up?
The Monkey Puzzle did a switch2osm! It was a sort of live-action-laptop-over-the-bar switch2osm.
I've chatted to the landlord, Gary, a few times before. He knows about those crazy guys who come to merrily drink with an "OpenStreetMap" sign on the table. And when I said they should switch from google maps to OpenStreetMap on the Monkey Puzzle website, he said "Errr. Yes... yes we should", and after some confused behind-the-bar discussions about who knew how to update the website and what that would involve, he went and fetched his laptop.
This was highly amusing to me at the time, but then I had had several pints. Presented with a very slowly loading wordpress admin interface I didn't try to do anything too fancy, but swapped out their google maps iframe and put in an OpenStreetMap one. Boom! switch2osm live and direct!
Check out the new themonkeypuzzlepub.co.uk contact page! The Monkey Puzzle was our favourite pub before, but this makes it the greatest OpenStreetMappiest pub in the whole of London for sure.
What else happened? As well as that, we had some good beer-fuelled map-chat in a tight circle, with not many people showing up (6 people). One of these was a new chap. Someone called Vin, who I had come across via n0tice. He's big into n0tice, and is using it to devise a concept he calls "pubmapping" involving stream-of-conciousness photoing and 'reporting' from a pub... or something. We tried it. Here is a our set of iPhone photos and other nonsense which I have "reposted" onto the "OpenStreetMap noticeboard". See how that works? ...no. Me neither. I did show him how we do pub mapping, using JOSM to highlight the pubs data gathered in the Paddington area. As an aside, on IRC yesterday ris pointed out this awesome changeset by a brand new user. Now that's pub mapping!
Vin explained that he was interested in capturing how a pub makes you feel, and this got us onto a conversation about "subjective" mapping. We try to avoid putting subjective data, such as ratings of pubs, into OpenStreetMap. Other similar ideas pop up all the time with greater or lesser merit. The H.O.T. list has debated whether measures of the risk of a disaster can be captured on a the map somehow, e.g. where a local resident anecdotally reports that an area is at risk of flood or landslide. All worthwhile data to capture somehow, but maybe not using the OpenStreetMap database directly. We could do with more tools like ushahidi which let people layer data on top of OpenStreetMap. Ushahidi handles data on temporary situational reports, which mostly wouldn't belong in OSM directly. Subjective data could be captured in similar (but not the same) tools.
We also got talking about radiation leaks and aeroplane crashes :-O
Oh and Grant was showing off his new head mounted camera
By the way I did also do some mapping beforehand, though I think I was the only one, and I was running late so just very quickly swung by on my bike and got a bunch of very blurry photos in the gathering darkness (it's getting to that time year again). But this was enough to check a few things I wasn't sure about while armchair mapping the building outlines. For example if you look at the bing imagery around this building it's not obvious whether it's attached to other buildings nearby or not. A very quick check on-the-ground makes for better data.
So we're going to Hoxton on Thursday 11th, all the details here. We'll be at the Wenlock Arms. Why did I choose this pub? The Wenlock Arms has been threatened with closure, with various outrageous plans to turn it into ...something other than a pub. Always sad. But actually we're continuing a switch2osm theme! wenlock-arms.co.uk has been linking to OpenStreetMap for a while now, so it's time we go reward them for this, and show our support by drinking a few beers there (That's the deal by the way, if there's any pub landlords reading this... switch2osm, and we'll come drink there!)
Also the pub is reasonably well placed for a mapping excursion. The area around Hoxton Square, further to the East is probably higher priority actually. (We really need to finish off the Shoreditch "tech city" area with building outlines. Individual mapping missions encouraged!) Around the Wenlock Arms the buildings have been filled in, but maybe not with a survey. not sure. Some more footpath details could be good, plus I see some buildings missing, so I've laid the cake slices out accordingly.
Join in with that if you fancy it, or just join us for a social meet-up, come along to meet and learn more about OpenStreetMap!