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Davidgogishvili's Diary

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cities for everyone

Posted by Davidgogishvili on 21 September 2011 in English (English).

I think the good city is a place which is open to everyone... right? Sort of space which "includes" everyone and can be utilized by every person from public...

However, it does not always happen that way... for example people using wheelchairs cannot access part or big part of spaces that is meant at least officially to be public. One of the ways of changing that, I think, is to show to people that this place is not inclusive, it excludes certain people...  maybe even put it on a map? Wheelmap.org is something like that.

"Wheelmap is a map for wheelchair accessible locations. On wheelmap.org you can find out if a location is accessible or not and are also be able to tag locations yourself."

Though the project was launched in Germany, it is a global project. It is not just about Germany but the whole world. Users from all over the world can go to the website, find POIs (points of interest) on the OpenStreetMap map and tick if the place is accessible for wheelchair users or not, maybe partially accessible or fully accessible. Collecting data from crowd-sourcing brings together great dataset for the countries around the world (there are very few points in Georgia that contain info unfortunately).

yeah, i think it is the great tool... sort of advocacy towards the inclusiveness and openness of urban space.

p.s. you can download the application for your smartphone and contribute this way as well.

mapping of georgia

Posted by Davidgogishvili on 10 September 2011 in English (English).

great video demonstrating the work of OpenMapsCaucasus in Georgia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C93jVa5EyY

see how we covered it.

I've arrived in USA several days ago. I am attending State of the Map 2011, which is held in Denver, Colorado. State of the Map is an annual conference (it's fifth already) by OpenStreetMap, where the mappers, developers and different interesting people meet together to share their knowledge, experience, ask questions and have fun (that's the most important part).

I got lucky enough to get a scholarship from OSM and get here in Denver, travel a lot and be at the final destination. I am really grateful because of getting this chance and thanks to all the people that have been involved in organizing everything for us. I hope I can "pay back" with my contribution to the map with my activities now or in the future (at least :)). It took quite a long way (physically and not) to get to US - get invitation, applications, documents, visa... but it all went well and is not really an experience interesting to share... so I'll skip this.

It is already my second year at the conference. Unlike last year, this year I will be presenting something, lightning talk on State of the Map, gis and mapping in Georgia.

I have been involved in open-source mapping activities since the beginning of 2010 (though I've more than 3-4 years of GIS experience). It started when I got my first job at Open Maps Caucasus (now known as JumpStart Georgia). OMC started a mapping project using separate openstreetmap server set up at our office first. Project goal was to create most complete, up-to-date, high-quality (as possible) geodataset of Georgia.

During a year of mapping activities in Georgia, Open Maps Caucasus together with bunch of people managed to create one of the most complete datasets of geographic reality of Georgia - covering 9 regions (up to 60 districts) and out of 11 regions and in the country. Today data is open and available for anyone, without any restrictions and procedures to start using them - you can get it here: http://jumpstart.ge/en/data,, attribution is the only thing we ask. Yes, and the project was funded by JumpStart International, US-based organization.

Using the work of up to 1000 volunteers, 50 community organizers, one geographer and several project managers we managed to make as much complete map of Georgia as possible. These mapping enthusiasts spread out over the different regions of Georgia, walking with GPS machines and walking papers in-hand and the desire to mark their city, town or village on a map. They tracked paths from the largest highways to the smallest paths of small villages and points of interest including schools, pharmacies, kindergartens and playground (more than 30000 POIs all together). We had fun, learned and succeeded in mapping Georgia.

Data that we’ve come up with has been widely recognized in Georgia. Data itself and the tilesets that we are producing are being used by variety of companies and organizations from time to time. Starting from state structures like Tbilisi City Hall to National Agency of Public Registry, to the civil society development projects like FixMyStreet (Georgian version), or the private companies providing GPS monitoring or hotel search engine in Georgia.

Data collected after a year of work is now also represented in the geo-search engine of Georgia - www.mapspot,ge. This thing is running in a beta version, but we have nearly completed new version. Version 2.0, built on Ruby on Rails, seeks to improve on this functionality and ease by which users can search an up-to-date street map of Georgia based on JumpStart Georgia's data, add points of interest and publicize events at a specific location. It will be easy to add MapSpot's maps to other applications such as Facebook and Google.

As for the use of OSM in Georgia... well, it's not hugely popular, however it looks more or less filled in. There is a group of mappers that contribute actively to the map, but well it is not really expanding fast. However, certain efforts that can be put towards that can improve the situation. I would like to take "care" of that together with several mappers that work on OSM map of Georgia. Mapping parties and organized community activities is what Georgia really lacks right now.

Tomorrow I will speak more about the situation in Georgia regarding OpenStreetMap in Georgia and GIS / Mapping in General in the country.

I think that’s it for now, I gotta run for for a session. I’ll try to come up with more blogposts on the conference itself, especially Humanitarian OpenStreetMap related topics coz that’s my main point of interest right now.