Recent diary entries
The London OSM community is quite active having their regular pub meetups, so it was exciting for me to attend their 10th anniversary celebration, which was held at The Artillery Arms. Intentionally held near the Barbican Centre, where Wikimania 2014 was held, the party had a pretty good mix of people from the OpenStreetMap and Wikimedia communities. It was really great meeting people and talking about OSM over pints of ale and beer.
Photo Ⓒ Harry Wood, CC-BY-SA 2.0
Over two weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Wikimania 2014 in London. Wikimania is the annual conference for the Wikimedia movement, which includes the Wikipedia project. Coincidentally, the conference occurred on the same weekend as the 10th anniversary of OpenStreetMap. As my way of celebrating the anniversary, I gave a presentation about the collaborations between OpenStreetMap and the Wikimedia projects at the conference.
Last November 5 to 7, I and a few other volunteer mappers from the OpenStreetMap Philippines community joined the Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC) in training the local government of Guagua, Pampanga in contributing to and using OpenStreetMap with an eye for disaster risk reduction.
Read the rest of this piece on my blog.
I created a visualization showing the node density of OSM data in the Philippines taken from the 2012-01-02 Geofabrik extract. Each pixel (in the full-sized image) represents a 0.01°×0.01° degree square or approximately 1 square kilometer. Brighter pixels represent areas with higher node counts.
The edges of available satellite imagery at that time is quite visible in some areas like Pangasinan, Cebu, Bukidnon, and Davao del Sur. As expected, brighter areas are places where there is a large amount of editing and with a large population.
I mentioned in my previous diary entry that I discovered that Bing has added/updated tons of satellite imagery for the Philippines (and apparently also for the rest of the world). This now makes maintaining the catalog of imagery coverage in the Wiki very unwieldy.
So, what I did was to create a simple slippy map to visualize the areas in the Philippines that are covered by Bing and other available imagery.
It's my first time to use CloudMade's Leaflet and I have to say that it's a joy to use. :)
At least in my country (Philippines) it seems that Bing Maps has added a whole lot of new/updated satellite imagery sometime within the last two days. The scale of the update is mind-boggling. It’s as if Microsoft went on a satellite image shopping spree! The added imagery seems to have more than tripled the area that is available for tracing. 2012 will certainly be a very busy year for OpenStreetMap in my country, and that’s not just because of the license change. ;-)
Can people in other countries confirm this development?
A wrote about my personal view of how 2011 went for the OpenStreetMap project in the Philippines.
“2011 was a pretty good year for the OpenStreetMap project in the Philippines. Aside from the usual Mapping Parties, the community has organized or participated in several other events, some of them outside the Philippines. 2011 also saw the release of a more improved and usable OSM Philippine Garmin map, and OSM contributors made 2011 the best year in terms of increase of data in the Philippines (thanks to Bing).”
Duplicated submission. Please delete. :p
Wikimania 2011, the annual conference of people in the Wikimedia/Wikipedia movement, is currently happening here in Haifa, Israel. There will be two OpenStreetMap-related items in the conference schedule, both on Friday afternoon, August 5:
2. A Mapping Party right after the workshop on the streets of Haifa
If you happen to be in Haifa, why not drop by and join the mapping party? :-)
I wrote over 2 years ago that OSM is far too addicting. And while I still don't think that I'll score high in the OSM purity self-test, my OCOSMD (obsessive-compulsive OSM disorder) has reached a new level.
I've noticed that during the past few weeks, I've been paying extra attention to POIs during my daily commute to and from work and other trips outside the house. I either mentally note them or key them in my cellphone. Consequently, majority of my recent edits have been to "add/update POIs" (an example).
This practice has gotten so distracting that I have to actually force myself to ignore my surroundings so that my mental buffer would not overflow! Sometimes, I pass by POIs too fast for me to remember or note them. Other times, it gets dangerous because it's my turn driving and I have to concentrate on the road. So lately, I've been practicing the art of letting go—letting go of noting down a POIs, that is. :-)
The Manila-Cavite Expressway, which goes by many other names (such as Aguinaldo Boulevard and Coastal Road), is a major tollway in Metro Manila and is designated as part of the Radial Road 1 route (R-1). This road used to go from Zapote, Bacoor to Tambo, Parañaque and functions as a major transit corridor for people who live in western Cavite in going to and from their offices in Metro Manila.
There has been an ongoing project to extend this expressway to Binakayan, Kawit and just last week, the southbound side of the extension was opened to the public. Of course, this was an opportunity for mapping! So yesterday, Good Friday, I went out and took a GPS trace of the extension.
I thought that there would be no traffic since it was the holidays but I didn't expect to encounter so many religious processions on the roads! What would've been a possibly 30-minute trip became an hour and three quarters. At one point, we even had to double back near the Bacoor Church since the procession there had occupied the whole road! (You can easily spot this in the GPS trace. Actually, you can even guess where the traffic was based on the GPS animation.) It was still a net positive since I was able to note down many POIs which I wouldn't if I were going at cruising speeds. :-)
I came home earlier today from a house-warming party hosted by my godmother (my mother's cousin) in Metrogate Tagaytay Estates, a gated community in Tagaytay City. The subdivision is quite nice and they apparently have several celebrities owning properties there such as Piolo Pascual, Luz Valdez, Mel Tiangco, Rio Locsin, and Aga Muhlach. In fact, Nova Villa, another celebrity property-owner, was at the party herself!
Anyway, I saw that OpenStreetMap didn't have any data for this gated community save for a now-deleted node, so I couldn't resist going around the subdivision to map everything I can. My siblings accompanied me on my impromptu mapping party (they wanted to look at the architecture of the houses) and we took a GPS track of the road network and got the existing street names (save for one, which I found out later to my chagrin).
And the first thing I did when I went home? I added the data into OSM, of course. :-)
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, everyone!
My slice buddy, Wayne, and I had a funny encounter during last Saturday's Intramuros Mapping Party. So we were walking all over northwestern Ermita in Manila noting down various POIs on a Walking Paper when these two guys called our attention. We ignored them at first because we thought they wanted trouble, but we soon learned that they were merely asking for directions.
"Where is Solidaridad Bookshop?" asked one of the strangers.
Wayne and I laughed because we passed by that bookshop maybe around a half hour before that! If the two guys asked us before then, we would honestly say that we didn't know. But as it was, we had noted down that bookshop and so we consulted our papers and gave the two chaps the directions to the bookshop which was about a block away.
One of the guys noticed what we were carrying and laughed himself saying, "Oh, it's a good thing these guys have a map!"
OpenStreetMap saves the day!
I thought only congressmen had a penchant for renaming roads. (I have a hunch that half of the laws enacted by Congress are renamings of roads, schools, public buildings, and the like.) But apparently, Ayala Land Inc. has renamed the quite old streets in Ayala Center and has confusingly reused the cardinal directions (like "North") on totally different streets. For context, the renamings appear to be part of Ayala's redevelopment of the Makati Central Business District. (See this news article for context.)
Fortunately for Ayala, most people don't really use the names of these roads to determine addresses and to find locations in Ayala Center, preferring instead to refer to the more well-known buildings like Glorietta. So these recent renamings are not a hassle at all. I very much doubt that people who are not mappers (like me!) would even notice.
So here are the old and new names that I could determine. Some of the old names don't have street signs put up yet so I don't know their new names yet.
Rizal Drive -> West Street
North Drive -> Parkway Drive
Office Drive -> North Street
East Drive -> Courtyard Drive
Hotel Drive -> East Street
Highway Drive -> Station Road
South Drive -> (unknown)
Theater Drive -> (unknown)
Park Square Drive -> (no longer exists)
West Drive -> (unknown)
Of course, I have already edited the data in OSM putting the old name into old_name=* and alt_name=* tags. No other map (Google, RoadGuide.PH, etc.) has these new names yet. :-)
P.S. Zoom to level 17 on the map link below.
Last Sunday, my family attended the baptism of my cousin's kid, but we arrived too early at the church. So what do I do? I map of course! It was a good thing I brought my bag where I keep a notebook and pen. So, while waiting for the relatives to arrive and the ceremony to begin, I walked around the gated community and noted down POIs, street names, and addresses. Good thing the weather was cool making the excursion bearable, though I still worked up a sweat.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to visit every street due to lack of time (Chronicle and Evening News being the holdouts). Moreover, a roving security guard on a bike approached me and asked if I was surveying. Since I was sure he would say that surveying was prohibited without prior permission from the homeowners association, I said that I was waiting for the baptism to start and was passing the time, which was nominally true. :-) I guess he believed me since he left me and didn't ask to see my notebook. I just continued my survey more discreetly. Hehehe.
Location to map with the correct zoom level: http://osm.org/go/4zhTBbHCI--
Lately, I've found the OSM History Viewer (Wiki) to be a really useful tool for checking changesets created by other users. But it's quite a hassle opening a new tab to load the service then copy-pasting the changeset ID. So I created a bookmarklet such that whenever I am on a changeset page on the OSM website, I can just apply the bookmarklet and be whisked off to the History Viewer instantly.
To install, just create a new bookmark with the whole geeky text above in the URL/URI field. Just ignore the auto-link added by the OSM diary software.
A friend of mine told me that the newest phase of the Congressional Avenue Extension, from Tandang Sora to Luzon Avenue in Quezon City, has been completed. So when I had to pick my sister up in the area, I grabbed the chance to map this new road! Well, there are still some parts of the dual-carriageway that are under construction, but it is quite passable.
I know lots of other people can relate, but I always love it when I am able to map new roads in OSM. It gives a nice feeling that you are doing your fair bit in keeping the world's best map updated. :-)
C-5 Road is a major artery in Metro Manila and the project to extend it south is quite controversial since a senator, and presidential candidate in this coming May election, is accused of using his position to influence the project for the benefit of his real estate businesses. But here in OSM, we don't care about the ethics of the road construction but whether the road is accurately mapped.
A portion of the extension, from Quirino Avenue to Sucat Road, has already been opened more than a year ago and it is already mapped in OSM, but I didn't realize that the next phase, the one from Sucat Road to Multinational Avenue, was already passable until I saw this changeset by Al Silva. Since he was only able to map the northbound side, I really went out of my way last Saturday night to drive both sides and get a GPS trace. I then subsequently edited the road into OSM existence and also cleaned-up the C-5–Sucat interchange.
I wish I had a more accurate GPS device since the track my GPS phone got didn't quite match the track obtained by Al Silva and since I don't know his equipment, I'm not sure whose track is more precise. But at least the road is now in OSM and is routable. Somebody can refine it in the future.
There an activity on the OSM Wiki where every week there is a Featured image to be displayed on the main Wiki page. I decided to do a similar activity for images specific to the Philippines. One advantage of this activity, aside from serving as an inspiration to OpenStreetMappers in the Philippines and recognizing excellent work, is that the Philippine OSM community now has a selection of images that can be used for promotional purposes here in the country.
Last December 12, we had a Christmas OpenStreetMap Micro Mapping Party. The previous one was in Davao back in July and the first was in Tagaytay in May. Starting in 2010, we plan to have quarterly Mapping Parties at least in the Greater Manila Area. So if you’re interested to join one, there will be plenty of opportunities next year for you to do so. :-)
Read more in my blog.