OpenStreetMap

Demographic extrapolations and interesting bi-national area

Posted by Mikkel Kirkgaard Nielsen on 19 January 2011 in English (English)

Just took myself on a little North American OSM adventure as a spinoff to alexz recent diary entry about lodging roads in Canada (http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/alexz/diary/12842).

Nice to see so much data in the US, but it struck me how you can actually see off the OSM data how well developed/organized/privileged a country is. It is really apparent when following the Mexican/US border that Mexico is only sporadically mapped, in contrast to the areas just over the border which has a lot more coverage.

An interesting spot is around the bi-national area El Paso/Ciudad Juárez at http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=31.78&lon=-106.14&zoom=8&layers=O (more info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Paso%E2%80%93Ju%C3%A1rez). Here some cross-border mapping has been done, but it doesn't stretch far into Mexico.

Being European having done no US-traveling at all, I don't know much about the Mexican/US tensions or conflicts. But from the map and geography I would reckon this whole area could be a rather interesting cultural exchange point.
Even though the mainstream press has it's focus on the very unsafe situation in Ciudad Juárez aka. City of the Dead (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ciudad+Juarez), more local voices seems much more relaxed about this for the ordinary traveller(http://www.juarez-mexico.com/HTML/YourSafety/YourSafety.htm).

Think this area deserves a place on my 'want-to-visit' list.

Thank you to all OSM contributors for making this virtual adventure possible!

Mikkel
Denmark, Europe

Location: East Father Rahm Avenue, El Paso City Limits, El Paso, Texas, 79901, United States of America

Comment from netman55 on 19 January 2011 at 17:01

The difference seen here is mainly due to the availability of TIGER data to populate the US landscape where Mexico does not

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Comment from Mikkel Kirkgaard Nielsen on 19 January 2011 at 18:15

Yeah, I know that TIGER accounts for a lot. But still the amount of freely (or PD like TIGER) available data to import into OSM, is also an indicator of how advanced/free/organized the community is.

Mikkel

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Comment from 26eb5473101d742b174d730717409668 on 19 January 2011 at 18:37

You do know that the fact that there are NO free geodata available in the UK is the reason why Openstreetmap was started, right?

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