dawidi's Diary Comments

Diary Comments added by dawidi

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What's your OpenStreetMap story? almost 8 years ago

My first “mapping project” was surveying anthills with my father in a very anthill-rich forest for a local nature conservation club. For the first survey in 1994 (when I was 12), we made a custom coordinate system by putting in numbered wooden poles every 50 meters and measuring from there; the data was then plotted with a GW-BASIC program. For the comparison survey in 2000 (shortly after SA was switched off) we used a borrowed GPS and I rendered the “map” in VisualBasic; this time we also included a few of the forest tracks for orientation.

I remember a situation around that time where I was stuck with my bike in the middle of a muddy forest due to an outdated paper map, thinking: “Having a digital map on a GPSr on my bike would be way cool… there should be an online community where people share their own maps made from their tracklogs, like they share mp3s on Napster [those were the days], but legally. On such a map any missing, superfluous or erroneous ways could be fixed instantly and everyone would profit from that.” Of course back then, my borrowed GPSr could only display a tracklog, but no maps, and I didn’t have a data cable for saving the tracks yet (didn’t know it would’ve been easy to make one myself).

In 2006, I got into Geocaching, bought my first mapping GPS, and shortly after, noticed the OSM project. With my home town mapped as little more than a named node next to a motorway intersection at the time, basically every road I cycled down and then traced in JOSM was “my discovery”, which was quite addictive for a while - until, with others joining in, my town was suddenly mostly complete and the initial “race” was over :-) These days I usually only edit the map when I was on vacation abroad and noticed missing things, or when a construction site in my town makes significant progress - rather often finding that someone else beat me to it…