OpenStreetMap

migurski has commented on the following diary entries

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A Rant: The Way Beyond Craftmapping That Nobody Is Talking About 2 days ago

Hey Ben, thanks for this detailed response to my post!

I’ll just write a few words because I’m about to get on a plane. I think you're pretty close to the point I am hoping to convey, but maybe coming at it from a different angle? I don't believe OSM is irrelevant now (as evidenced by attendance at conferences like SOTM and the interest of the robot and crisis communities), but I think its leadership and the Foundation are stuck in a holding pattern that I trace back through the history of the project. Briefly, because the OSMF has been unable to adapt to the emerging needs of new members which I connect to CoC’s and improved license communication, those new members find reasons to limit their involvement in OSM and ultimately hesitate to buy in.

Money and all that it represents is a shorthand for this. The companies and consortiums who could conceivably provide this money find OSM unapproachable for the reasons I’ve described, and so they either get lightly involved or steer clear entirely. I’ve spoken about OSM with numerous people from large businesses and funding organizations who either muse about creating their own less-hostile alternatives, or dip their toes in tentatively before drawing them back. OSM’s unwillingness to open the door to participation on unfamiliar terms blocks the project from access to the kinds of funding you describe.

I understand that a number of people have taken offense at the term “craft”, and I am also aware that I’m making a disprovable prediction regarding project doom. I think it has been necessary to shake the tree enough to flush these topics into the open.

Also, BushmanK, I’d love to hear more about the proven fact that HOT involvement has not succeeded in sustaining the map!

Is the OpenStreetMap Rails App Appropriate for Other Data Sets? about 3 years ago

It’s a less important point, but the XML output uses seven digits of precision after the decimal point, and for data sets like land use it might be more appropriate to use 3-4. Less important, though.

Is the OpenStreetMap Rails App Appropriate for Other Data Sets? over 3 years ago

One interesting outcome will be to gauge the suitability of the OSM tool chain for data at a different scale, like forest outlines vs. roads. How many of the tools assume street-scale in all things, and enforce that in minimum zoom levels for editing (iD) or high-precision data output (planet XML)?

Rendering is a Pain over 6 years ago

On further thought, it's probably worth noting that Mapnik's processing pipeline, the way that styles must be specified before geometry is passed through, is a major constraint here. I could imagine a future modification to Mapnik where it behaves more like HTML + CSS and applies the rules in-flight as they are needed, and removes the need to prepare all possible combinations. I expect this is many versions off, though.

Rendering is a Pain over 6 years ago

Hi asciiphil,

Cascadenik is my project, thanks for your comments. The combinatorial explosion issue is very much something I've run into when developing stylesheets, and like you I've found myself pushing a lot of logic in SQL to fix the problem. Here, for example, is a SELECT statement from one recent project: http://dpaste.com/hold/190143/

The "is_tunnel" and "is_bridge" parts help handle the various different ways of saying "yes", and the "kind" result column groups together many different types of roads. There's also a subselect in there you might have noticed: it groups the lines from each layer into single MULTILINE geometries, which helps deal with certain casing issues. Ultimately this is the way I've made stylesheets workable for myself - keep the ability to separate line casings and widths and colors and zoom levels, and use the expressiveness of SQL to munge the planet database into something more directly applicable to rendering. I know that Cloudmade have done similar things, including I believe downsampling the detail level of the road vectors for certain rendered zoom levels.