MapCraft. Cake diagrams just went clickable! + London events

Posted by Harry Wood on 9 May 2011 in English (English)

In this old diary entry I mentioned several neat things, including QualityStreetMap version 2, which is all about presenting mappers with an assessment of completion levels. There's something quite neat about the idea of binding things to an endless globe-spanning grid, and following the Tile naming conventions used everywhere with tile image rendering seems like a smart idea too. But grids have their disadvantages...

When dealing with on-the-ground details, and thinking about splitting up an area for a mapping party, a grid just doesn't cut it. I remember we discussed the idea back in the early days, but no... I went to some detail on the artistic progression of cake diagrams in my State of the map 2010 talk. The cake diagram is an irregular oddly shaped higgledy piggledy sort of thing, and that's the way it has to be. In fact it's become more oddly shaped over time as we try to accommodate uneven distributions of POI gathering effort. Designing cake diagrams is sort of a fun part of running a mapping party, but we've pondered other ways of doing it. Matt and I in particular, came up with ideas for interfaces involving javascript clickability. Never got around to building anything though. But now... drum-roll please...


How awesome is this? Developed by User:Hind (and anyone else who wants to fork it on github) it shows a cake diagram as a bunch of clickable areas, with the ability to take ownership of cake slices, as well as commenting on them, and chatting to eachother about it.

It also has the idea of rating the cake slices by progress, which is then shown prominently as different colourisation. So you see this tool ends up being half way between the QualityStreetMap assessment idea, and ye olde cake diagram. The assessment idea is not so important for our London usage, where we simply bagsie cake slices beforehand, and hopefully do uploads to progress the state of the data after the event. This system was more designed for realtime collaboration on sketching aerial imagery, and largely inspired by the Russians' experiences of the Saransk mapping party (see awesome video) I imagine it could be very useful for Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team coordination.

But let's try it out for London mapping parties too. The cake diagram featured here was put in as a test, but it's a real life genuine cake. We're mapping it on Tuesday! So here's the old way of doing a cake diagram & sign-up list, and here's the future. That's right. It's 2011 and the cake diagrams just went clickable. How our grandchildren will laugh when we show them those old non-clickable cake diagrams.

Did I mention we were going mapping on Tuesday? All the details and sign-up. In fact there's several events for Londoners to be aware of:

London Events

  • Tues 10th - Mapping evening in Pimlico. Do some mapping, or just join us in the Morpeth Arms from 8pm to chat about maps. Bring a friend!

  • Thu 12th - #geomob. This presentations evening on geo topics comes around every three months or so. Usually the topics involve some OpenStreetMap goodness, and there'll be a bunch of us OSMers in the audience. sign up

  • Sat 21st & Sun 22nd - Hack Weekend May 2011. This is a fun event involving laptops and delving into some OSM technicalities. Swing by if you're a hacker guru or if you're just curious to learn some stuff about OSM.

  • Sat 21st - OpenTech - Clashing with the hack weekend unfortunately. OpenTech is a pretty massive annual gathering of open technology people, with a packed schedule of talks including... me! Talking about OpenStreetMap before I rush off back to the hack weekend :-) Chris Osborne will also talk about "Visualising Big Data" (Big OpenStreetMap data? I think so!)

Phew! Let me know if I'm missing anything. I usually manage to plug all these kinds of things on the wiki here and via the OSMLondon twitter account.

Comment from Kachkaev on 9 May 2011 at 12:53

First time Mapcraft was used in Gelendzhik, one of famous resort towns on Black sea in Russia. The cake is not available, as Hind changed Mapcraft since then, but the progress of that huge remote mapping party can be viewed here:

Comment from OliverG on 9 May 2011 at 15:33

Looks amazing! Is it possible to add own cakes at, or does this have to be done by an admin?

Comment from OliverG on 9 May 2011 at 15:37

(never mind my question, I just noticed that you can specify the areas when creating a new cake)

Comment from Harry Wood on 9 May 2011 at 16:20

Kachkaev: Aha. ok. I've created a MapCraft wiki page now with your historical notes.

OliverG: Yep. You can create a .osm file using JOSM and upload it. I haven't actually tried doing this yet, but that didn't stop me documenting it on the wiki page :-)

Please feel free to make corrections. Guess we'll want a RU:MapCraft page too.

Login to leave a comment