Im in ur mapz, stealing all ur nodes

Posted by geekasylum on 15 September 2012 in English (English)

Ok, maybe that title didnt translate well - its a paraphrase on a common lolcats saying. If you dont know about lolcats... OMG!

So, anyway... Im here, and I must say i'm impressed! I discovered OSM recently while looking for some Australian TIGER data... needless to say, I didnt find any, but OSM has pretty much what I need - now, if only I could figure out how to export it to a TIGER compatible shape file.... I'll work on that.

Meanwhile, Im going to update some missing stuff in my local area - taking it slowly at first, but hoping to build up steam as I go.

Looking at the map I had a brilliant idea for a web application that would basically do what I need that TIGER data for, all with a single click. There's another project for me to build. sigh I have too many already.

Basically the idea is to combine the map data for a selected area with SRTM data (Im guessing thats probably in there already, but if not - no biggie) and produce a custom file that can be loaded into a particular simulation to generate real-world terrain, with a map overlay that can be used as a template for adding the details on top of that. Sound familiar? Feel free to point me to any open source you may have come across that does something similar.

Ive still yet to get my head around rendering, so it may be a while before I get to that.

Comment from AndrewBuck on 15 September 2012 at 12:39

There have been several projects that have merged OSM data with SRTM. The opencyclemap is one I think, open terrain map is another.

If you are interested in trying out rendering without too much fuss about the setting it up I just finished putting together a virtual machine image that I describe in this post. You can also see a lot of info about the process at The virtual machine image is basically the machine from the "Building a tileserver from packages" on that site.

It is very easy to use the VM to download an extract of the OSM data and get the standard OSM map style that is on the main site, but rendered locally on your own machine. Once you have that you can play around with changing the style, etc. Of course setting up your own rendering server is not too difficult either if you choose to go that route.

Hope you find the project useful, and I hope you continue adding your own knowledge to the map. Remember, we cannot use any copywritten data in our maps so do not copy from any other maps when entering data, just use your own knowledge, or things you go survey yourself.


Comment from geekasylum on 15 September 2012 at 14:27

Thanks for the links. That will save me a lot of time, and Thank You for the work done to make the VM available :)

I run several VirtualBox VMs here - more if I can get my other physical server back up (just needs a bit of time spent on it), so I look forward to trying it out soon. The Wiki will be very helpful, as once Ive tried your ubuntu image, I'll probably set one up on a gentoo/KDE to match the other VMs here. If the osm stuff isnt in portage (the gentoo version of apt) Im sure I can install it manually, following those links.

I spent several days trawling the osm wiki and other sites before I felt I was ready to sign up. I know all about the license change, the redaction bot and why, and Im pretty clear on what I can add and what I cant. So far Im tracing bing, using my local knowledge, and on occasion walking around the neighbourhood. Its not going to get much more complicated than that for a while. All the streets in my area are there, and named, so thats done - Im just adding a bit of extra detail, and repairing a few places I know well.

Thanks again for the pointers :)

Comment from AndrewBuck on 15 September 2012 at 16:44

Awesome, and once again welcome to the project. There are a lot of different ways people have already used the data so if you need help with some particular thing feel free to ask. The osm IRC channel is a good place to ask. There is a wiki page with the IRC channel details on it. There is also (which is linked in the left sidebar). You login there with your OSM account so no need to create a separate login.

Also, if you are interested in walking around with a printed map to gather building address data and business names, etc, often there are people who will trace in the buildings in the area around where you live to save you the time of doing it yourself. Having a printout with all the buildings makes gathering info really easy with something like


Comment from Tom Chance on 16 September 2012 at 09:33

There's always more detail to be added! Though I had to move house after I got this far in my old neck of the woods ;-)

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