OpenStreetMap

The Challenge of Creating the Big Map of Sibiu

Posted by HermannstadtGeographer on 24 July 2016 in English (English)

Sibiu is definitely not a small city. Sibiu was the only city from Romania that has gained the title of European Capital of Culture but in a remarkable twist of fate, the city does not even have a hardcore OpenStreetMap community. This is quite shocking for a city that has its own Geographic research institute. However things are about to change as I have challenged myself to create the Big Map of Sibiu.

The Big Map of Sibiu is nothing more than an average OpenStreetMap but there is a big difference because every house will be placed on the map and the map will have a high richness in terms of detail. My plan is to create a map that abounds in details and that can be even better than the OpenStreetMap of Paris. Moreover, I have even created a personal website dedicated to the OpenStreetMap community of Sibiu (unfortunately the local community has only one member up until now). The website is called Hermannstadt Cartographic Laboratory http://lchermannstadt.weebly.com/charterul-proiectului.html.

Hermannstadt is the old city name of Sibiu and I believe that this name suits the idea of a laboratory quite well. Of course that some of you may ask why did I created this laboratory instead of creating an average community website. The idea is that the community needs a place where they can have the latest and greatest information about OSM and I want to assist the community through this knowledge. Moreover, given the fact that in Romania we have limited financial resources, the best way to map our cities is by sharing knowledge to remote OSM contributors. I must admit that this job is not easy but I enjoy it a lot since I have the opportunity to learn a plethora of things about OSM. I am absolutely fascinated about the detailed graphics of OpenStreetMap and I love the uniqueness of the design.

This fantastic map that I am going to design is going to be of great use for the Red Cross and for the local fire department. I read about the recent developments regarding the OpenFireMap and I want my city to be safe when it comes to a disastrous fire. I will not start to map every fire hydrant but I will first add every single address and point of interest.

I truly hope that my mapping effort will inspire others to map as well. Mapping is important and it is a skill that you need to develop. The more you map, the easier it gets and if you practice long enough you will soon map entire cities in days. Every single house that you place on a map will be there for a very long time. Every tree that you place will also be there. While everything is static, your effort is dynamic and as time goes by details get richer and richer and more lives are saved and more people enjoy an easier life due to your crucial effort.

As a civilization we are at a point where we need to realize that we can simply not put a price on place and time. After discovering the fact that there is nobody else available that can map out my city I took the full responsibility to do it alone. I have decided to quit my job, stop going out in town and I have invested all of my effort into OpenStreetMap because I truly believe in the fantastic power of this free and open map.

Mapping an entire city all alone is not easy but is definitely worth it. I want to be part of the pioneers of open source mapping and I am proud to be part of this community. I am proud to be part of a community of people that is dedicated towards making the world a better place, a place where nobody can get lost, a place where you know exactly where you are and a world where life can be easier for all of us.

As of today, progress is going really well and I am trying to map out about 3 streets every day. Things are smooth and I am sure that by the end of the year I will also manage to map up some nearby towns as well. I have this big plan of mapping the entire county in 2 years and I am quite confident in my ability and I hope that I will be able to map it faster. This is all that I have to share for now, I will be back with more updates on The Big Map of Sibiu.

Comment from GOwin on 25 July 2016 at 01:04

Good luck! We all look forward to getting updates about the map of your city.

Comment from Piskvor on 25 July 2016 at 06:47

Wow! That is sure an ambitious project - but doable, definitely. I wish you best of luck :) Is this the city? http://www.openstreetmap.org/node/290485693#map=12/45.7886/24.1668

Comment from HermannstadtGeographer on 26 July 2016 at 11:19

Piskvor yes that is my city. I want to map out every single house in the city and create one of the best maps in OSM with my city in it.

Comment from joost schouppe on 28 July 2016 at 16:53

You could consider using Mapillary when out collecting data. That way you generate a cc streetview of you city, and others without local knowledge might be able to help you a bit more. Also, it allows you to collect data (often by chance) that you will only be interested in later. So you avoid having to go back to that same street because you didn’t collect the fire hydrants.

That’s in theory. In practice, you need a very good and focused set of pictures to be able to really do that.

Comment from HermannstadtGeographer on 28 July 2016 at 21:33

joost thank you for the advice…. I must agree however my main focus is to correctly map buildings. I can do this quite well even though it takes a lot of time.

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