Looking back at the last year

Posted by NicRoets on 29 April 2010 in English (English)

A year ago I learned of the SoTM scholarships. My old expired less than 3 months after the conference, which means that European Union countries will not issue a visa in it. So I immediately applied for a new passport, knowing that the delays at the department of Home Affairs increased after they upgrade the security features on the documents they issue.

After I received the scholarship, it was a couple of nervous weeks while I waited for the passport, but fortunately it all worked out. As I explained in a previous post, it turned out to be a big adventure :

The conference has confirmed (to me at least) that OpenStreetMap is vibrant and growing, and since then I've done a lot of work for the project: I've upgraded my Gosmore map viewer with 3D, improved lowzoom and rendering and improved user interface. Routing has also improved, but it still needs some work.

I also teamed up with slashme to map soccer stadiums ahead of the FIFA World Cup (Soccer city near Soweto and The Royal Bafokeng stadium near Rustenburg).

I mapped Hilbrow, Florida Lake and few of the older suburbs of Johannesburg on my own. The city was established a little more a century ago. Much of the growth was due to rich gold deposits and the resultant high demand for labour. But lately, vast numbers of economic refugees have arrived from all over the African continent.

Location: Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg Ward 61, Johannesburg, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng, 2001, RSA

Comment from stephan75 on 29 April 2010 at 16:06

Hello Nic,

nice to read about your activities, keep on going!

In my opinion, Gosmore is a very nice peace of software. How can we contribute to the development, even when some users don't have programming skills? There are still some open tickets for gosmore in trac.

Greets, Stephan

Comment from NicRoets on 30 April 2010 at 09:23

Hello Stephan,

I haven't done anything about the bugs in trac during the last few months, but I will get to them before the end of the year.

The one big thing is the user interface. What would help is if someone can
think about replacing the 4 on screen buttons with icons and make some mock-ups. Gosmore supports transparent icons (i.e. non rectangular), but not translucence.

Perhaps add a few more buttons for Searching, "Follow" etc. Then make a table: Icon, Current (English) Name and comments about changes that are needed. I got the current icons from, but I think that they are too big to use on the map view. Copying icons or ideas from navit, roadmap and other opensource projects are also ok provided attribution and other requirements are met.

The map rendering styles also needs works. I need a style that only uses light colours, making the names easier to read. It will make it harder to see the ways, but I will fix the problem by add casing (thin black lines separating the inside of the way from the background). The current style is based on JOSM's mappaint.

The voice commands needs to be extended: I generated the current set with festival, but recording them with a microphone can also work. On motorways we want to tell users what exit to take, so we need "Take exit", "0", "1", ..., "9". When we reach the destination, tell him it's on his left or right. Again, copying things from navit is OK.

You see, even messages like these make me get ideas: I should allow users to customize the interface using text files, because cyclists, pedestrians, motorists and PC users all have different requirements.


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