Random Etc. Notes to self. Work, play, and the rest.

Posts Tagged ‘OpenStreetMap’

js-vector-maps on github

I've been experimenting with some javascript classes that mimic the structure of mapnik's Layer/Style/Rule classes and render OSM data (via GeoJSON) to a <canvas> element. I've also finally taken a look at how github works, so I've decided to share the initial code there in case people are interested. If you don't want to check the code out for yourself there's a demo page here (tested in Firefox and Safari only, so far).

3 For ‘09

November 2008 marked two years at Stamen for me, and I'm not done yet. Three purely technological things I'm excited about working with in 2009:

  1. Realtime messaging and XMPP. After some initial experiments, I'm really excited by the possibility of visualisations driven by realtime data feeds. I like the idea of XMPP, and although scaling it out gives me the fear it's a fear I'd like to confront in 2009 on a real project.
  2. Custom cartography and up-to-date maps. I'm a long-time cheerleader and supporter of the OpenStreetMap project and the project is reaching a level of completeness and complexity that competes with commercial map providers. I'm looking forward to writing tools and maps that work with OSM data in a way that just wouldn't be possible with Google-Maps-style mapping APIs or would require data well out of the budget range of most of our projects.
  3. Visualisation and vector mapping in a web-browser using NotFlash technologies. The healthy competition between Gecko (used in Firefox) and WebKit (used in Safari, Android, the iPhone etc.) is improving the performance of javascript, canvas and svg (not to mention the new CSS transforms). This means that the potential for interactive vector graphics in the browser is almost on a par with Flash. I imagine the developer tools will keep me with Flash for a long time, but I'm looking for the right project to kick-start a comparable tool chain for in-browser vector graphics, and looking forward to thinking about what that might look like for myself this year.

This post could probably use some supporting links, but I thought I'd get it out there before my first week back at work ended. Happy 2009 to you all.

OpenStreetMap vectors + Flash + Yahoo Maps

Teaser time.

OpenStreetMap GPS Visualisation

I frequently get emails asking me about visualising collections of GPS traces as an animation. The OpenStreetMap community is way ahead of me on this one, and has a tool called Party Render to create animations of mapping activity.

Here's one that Mikel just pointed out from a recent mapping party in Mumbai:

SxSW Interactive, Saturday March 10th


Just a quick note to say that on Saturday March 10th I'll be appearing at SxSWi in Austin, Texas as part of a panel convened by Flickr/geoblogger's Rev Dan Catt entitled "Mapping: Where the F#*% Are We Now?". In the fancy SxSW panel picker, Dan's proposal read:

"Last year online mapping was emerging, now it's everywhere; on your mobile, in your camera, on your wearable head-up display, in your location aware clothing, even on paper and in your kids. Which of those did I totally make up? Guess it's time to check in with those people who actually make maps, merge virtual and real worlds at location flux points, and, you know, put maps online."

It sounds great! I'll be wearing both my old, trusty OpenStreetMap hat and my new, fancy Stamen hat, which should make for an interesting balancing act.

Mark Magazine #3

Mark Magazine OSM Poster

The OpenStreetMap GPS poster of London that Steve and I made is featured in the latest issue of Mark Magazine in an article by Auke Touwslager and Ursula Lavrencic entitled Mapping The Urban Landscape.

Mark Magazine Maps Article

It's a beautiful magazine, from the same people as Frame Magazine, stuffed with 240 pages of full-colour imagery and interesting architectural articles.  If you like getting nice stuff through the post, as I do, then it's a must!  You can buy it online at Mark Magazine's gorgeous Flash site.


I've been blogging at OpenGeoData recently.

The X of Y

I'm playing with YouTube. I'm a bit confused as to why I have to write my own RSS feeds out for all my friends, but apart from that it's doing most things right and not getting in my way. Fun!

YouTube is the Flickr of video, or something. I discovered today that this lazy turn of phrase is known as a snowclone. Undeterred, I watch with anticipation as Steve takes steps towards making OpenStreetMap into the Flickr of GPS traces. (It's already the wikipedia of maps, of course.)

Animated GPS Map

As part of the OpenStreetMap project, last month Steve Coast and I produced an A1 poster showing all the data we'd collected for London.

The biggest contributor to OpenStreetMap's UK data is an innovative courier firm called eCourier, and by way of thanks for their continuing commitment to the project I cooked up a movie of a sample of their data using Processing. Thankfully for me and my bandwidth, eCourier are kindly hosting it here for your enjoyment.

You can read more about our collaboration on their news page, and on the OpenStreetMap wiki.

Still wrestling with Feedwordpress here at Processing Blogs HQ. We're upgraded to 0.97, but something still strips links and images from Blogger feeds with mode="escaped" and I can't work out what it is. Much love and prizes to anyone who can spot the problem.

OpenStreetMap Test

I'm testing out different interfaces for drawing and annotating maps. More to come, once I fix my line intersection function, which thinks my streets are infinitely long - oops!

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