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OpenStreetMap Sends UK Volunteer Mapper To Antigua

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the new-vacation-policy dept.

Earth 52

Gerv writes "When Google launched their Map Maker community mapping tool last year, they included loads of Caribbean islands. This led Ed Parsons (chief Google Maps guy) to say that he was sad there wasn't any fieldwork involved. Well, now OpenStreetMap have gone one better — following a successful Pledgebank pledge, they have got together the money to send one randomly-chosen guy to Antigua for a week to work on the OpenStreetMap map!"

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Less Successful Field Work Ideas (4, Funny)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113849)

The pledge and volunteer drive for mapping the Swat valley [wikipedia.org] didn't generate nearly as much interest.

Re:Less Successful Field Work Ideas (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114137)

Bah on your 7.7k meters;I demand nothing less than total disambiguation. We need sufficient variation in measurement to make sure that the sense of each number is clear. I shouldn't have to depend on context to infer what you mean. If you reply to this post and call me "slipshod," I want to know that you are referring to the sloppy, careless reasoning of my post, and not to the looseness of my footwear (for which I propose to the new substitute "slipshoed"). Likewise, trademarks using common words will be disambiguated from the meaning of those words - popular word game Scrabble would need to be renamed, as this spelling is already in use by at least four other meanings, each of which will need its own variation anyhow. We can keep "scrabble" for "to scratch or scrape," but make subtle changes to the rest; "scragble" for "to struggle toward a goal," "scrubble" for "to climb over" (as over rubble!) and the sense "to scribble" should simply be eliminated, as "scribble" is already too close to "scrabble" anyway and might as well be handled as a variant of pronunciation. The game itself might be renamed B-3, after the second letter in the alphabet and its point value in the game (A-1 having been used for the tasty steak sauce and several thousand local plumbing, towing, and other services companies vying for the first spot in the telephone directory, each of which will celebrate its uniqueness with a new, never-before-seen name). Each town with the same name as another will also need to be reborn under a new moniker (surely a cause for revelry in the Midways, Fairviews, and Oak Groves [nwlink.com] [nwlink.com] of the world!). Finally, each of us whose name unfortunately coincides with that of another, shall have to make the tiniest of adjustments, on a first-come, first-served basis; thus, the eldest John Smith on record shall keep his spelling, while the next shall have to be subtly altered (Johnn Smith), and the next altered only the tiniest bit (Jahnn Smith), and so on (Djahnne Pschmiythe). For completeness, the birth and death certificates, tax and census records, and headstones or memorial plaques of some few billions of our ancestors shall likewise need to be "tweaked," possibly according to some fractal algorithm in cases where no living relatives can recommend how John might have preferred it, if only he'd taken the opportunity.

=smudge=

Re:Less Successful Field Work Ideas (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114539)

Why, they have to build the streets first and then they can map them!

Re:Less Successful Field Work Ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28121739)

Heh, there are surface quality tags already. It'd just need a special "warzones and third world" render to show the good ones from the bad -- too much noise for the regular map.

--OpenStreetMunky

Let me be the first (3, Funny)

I'mTheEvilTwin (1544645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113889)

to say that I will take one for the team and volunteer to map Hawaii. Although it may take two weeks.

Re:Let me be the first (2, Interesting)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114315)

to say that I will take one for the team and volunteer to map Hawaii

Always puzzles me why more people don't up and move to Hawaii. If I was an American citizen I'd move there in a heartbeat. There's always some kind of jobs for clever people and I'm sure Hawaii is no exception. I mean why would you live in Montana when you could live in Molokai?

Re:Let me be the first (1)

IronMagnus (777535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114503)

Everything is insanely expensive there because of import costs.

Re:Let me be the first (1)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114589)

1) Less bugs!
2) The humidity is near 0.
3) The distance to my neighbor can be measured in Km.
4) Congestion is being stuck behind a combine.
5) Most names of towns can be pronounced by English speakers.

Re:Let me be the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114693)

High prices because nearly everything is imported, lousy housing market, traffic is horrible despite being on an island, and spam is popular. In 2003, per capita income was 30k, per capita state tax was 2800, I imagine it has gone downhill from there. Reported unemployment is around 8%, which isn't as bad as some mainland states, but isn't great either.

You have to watch out for the occasional helicopter crash, residents think you are a tourist, tourists think you are a resident, both groups think you are a jerk.

Moving to another state now has a lot of extra cost, whether for choice or because your company tanked, so pad your "between jobs" fund appropriately. For the same reason, it's harder for the state gov to stick their homeless/druggies on a bus, so they tend to accumulate. Or commit suicide in the middle of rush hour(which is why traffic is so bad).

Re:Let me be the first (1)

singularity (2031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28117419)

I up and moved to St. Thomas, USVI [wikipedia.org] because I wanted to stay closer to the East Coast. I moved for the exact reason you mention - why not? Moved down without a job and two days later had an interview and two days after that started working.

I worked afterschool at a private school. Job was 3pm-6pm on weekdays. I could walk there, and the pay covered my (expensive) rent and basic groceries/laundry/etc. I was not living high on the hog, but was paying the bills.

All in all I stayed on island for a year. It was really nice, but being far from everyone gets to you (it is a long flight just to Miami, much less any further inland) and you can only go sit on the beach with a few hundred tourists so often. The resident population is very divided - very low income and very high income, with little middle class. A lot that fall into the low-to-middle class tend to be highly transitory. After I had been there for over six months I almost became an "old timer" on the island.

I am glad I did it, but unless I came into a good amount of money I am not sure I would move back.

I am not sure what your nationality is, but a lot of Caribbean islands "belong" to various European countries. May not be difficult for you to move there.

They don't mention it but... (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113947)

This guy was annoying them with all his "help." No one promised a return ticket.

Re:They don't mention it but... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113999)

No one asked for one either.

Re:They don't mention it but... (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114517)

This guy was annoying them with all his "help." No one promised a return ticket

Au contraire, mon frere.

This is no "randomly chosen" bloke Google is sending to Antigua for some kind of mapping exercise. That's just what they want you to think. This is a Special Envoy of Googol the Destroyer [slashdot.org] .

So what was Stallmanx working on in his secret laboratory? And what lies beneath his Beard of Druidic Prowess? Answers to these questions and more in this week's episode of Googol the Destroyer!

The truth is that the secret laboratory of the roving druid Stallmanx is in Antigua (which is why he doesn't need to wear shoes). Stallmanx has finally completed what he was working on in his laboratory, and contacted Googol the Destroyer for an audience -- but being a savvy druid, he requested that Googol send an envoy to him, so he wouldn't be caught in Googol's clutches.

The Special Envoy meets with Stallmanx in his secret laboratory, and asked, "You requested this audience. Why?"

"I think I've solved a problem. Googol the Destroyer is intent on wreaking the End of Days via the Rite of a Thousand Target Ads, but it's going to destroy humanity. I want to be a part of the winning side, so I've had a license drawn up to share the Rite."

The Acolyte drew back... this was puzzling. How could he manage to maintain his Master's desire for all knowledge if he restricted his actions via a license? He knew that he had to defer to his Master on this one... and so, with a quick input into his specially adapted G-phone, he summoned Googol the Destroyer to the secret laboratory.

"MORTAL!" thundered Googol, "WHY AM I HERE?"

Stallmanx stood bravely in the face of the most evil demon ever to hatch from the depths of the internet. "I have a license for you to sign, to bring me and my followers in to the Googol fold. Please read and sign on pages 3, 7, 8, 12, 12a, Appendix C, and Addendum 2." Stallmanx hoped Googol wouldn't read the whole license... for it contained a poison clause that would force Googol to share his true name with all the others who were signatories to the license, thus granting them power over him.

Googol conjured a pen and began reading the contract. "WHAT? I NEED TO RENAME MYSELF AS GNU-GOOGOL THE DESTROYER? THAT'S RIDICULOUS. I mean, really, how menacing is a Gnu? I might as well rename myself Antelope-Googol the Destroyer, or Mouse-Googol the Destroyer. Screw that, if you really wanted me to sign, you should have worded it "lion-Googol the Destroyer, or at the very least Wildebeest-Googol the Destroyer." And so Googol conjured a flaming cage of iron (thankfully, the flames were for appearance only, and burned at a comfortable 25 degrees C) and dropped it over Stallmanx.

"MWUA-HA-AH! NOW ONLY JOBA AND GATUS CAN OPPOSE ME!" Googol rumbled as he winked out, taking his Acolyte with him.

Little did Googol know, that Stallmanx had been working off the internet, and so Googol did not know all his secrets. He mumbled to himself (apparently), "Boys, come on out. You've got to help me escape this cage. Go fetch my mistletoe and wooden bowl so I can grow a key to unlock this cage, that is, if you show me how. Please?"

And to no one's amazement (since there was no one else there), three small gnomes climbed out from underneath Stallmanx's beard to fetch his bowl and mistletoe.

Stallmanx was already planning an alternate to subverting Googol. "And while you're at it, can you re-write the license for Gatus and Joba? We've no choice but to join their side."

And so, gentle reader, we have learned what Stallmanx was working on, and that it is actually three Beard Gnomes that live beneath his Beard of Druidic Prowess -- and that the Beard Gnomes are the source of his knowledge.

But what of Gatus and Joba? How goes Gatus's plan to Embrace and Extend the sorcerors he can buy off? How goes Joba's plan to have the low self-esteem sorcerors "just work" for him? Will they complete the One True OS with Built-in Global Search in time? What other deviltry does Googol the Destroyer have in stock for the world prior to wreaking the End of Days via the Rite of a Thousand Targeted Ads?

Tune in to next week's episode of Googol the Destroyer to find out!

Re:They don't mention it but... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114851)

Dammit. I knew I made this episode too long. It got an offtopic mod within five minutes.

I guess I have to set myself a new goal -- each episode needs to get net positive moderation. I guess this will involve more planning and rewrites than I had foreseen...

Re:They don't mention it but... (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114911)

I don't know what you've been taking, Red Flayer. Just keep taking it lest the End of Days comes upon us unprepared!

Major LESBIAN STRAPON PORNO UPDATE!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114033)

Why does CIA's Google NSA experiment reach front page on /. but nothing on sweet lesbians?

GUYS! I just found this huge URL index [szm.sk] of Lesbians pounding eachother hard with their strapon'd dildos.

No previews in there, only a list of URL's pointing right to the videos. Thank me l8tr!

Dr. Dean Adildo, MS, BSH, WD40, et al...

Offtopic, but slashdot is broken again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114079)

All the story links on the front page are in a new format like this story's [slashdot.org] . When I click on the link in Firefox 3.0.9 I get a "Page Load Error". I have to click on the comments link to get to the story. This has been going on for 24 hours now. Am I alone in seeing the brokenness?

Re:Offtopic, but slashdot is broken again (3, Informative)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114141)

Oh Anonymous Coward, you do alone do not suffer. I have seen the terrible foe that is the new Slashdot, and, after succumbing to a terrible bout of despair and terror, I managed to log in and enable the old index. Oh Anonymous One, I suggest that you trade in your glorious anonymity for an account.

Re:Offtopic, but slashdot is broken again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114323)

Or you can just set your User-Agent to IE6 and append "&beta_index=0" to all the urls. Somebody should write a GreaseMonkey script to automate it.

Re:Offtopic, but slashdot is broken again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28116877)

Slashdot working best in I.E.? Does anyone else see a problem with that?

Ambiguous Title (5, Funny)

Palmateer (1533975) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114101)

When I first read "OpenStreetMap Sends UK Volunteer Mapper To Antigua" I thought it meant that a software bug led some poor shlub on a wild goose chase from the UK to a destination address in Antigua. Like, you should look up every once in a while while following those turn-by-turn directions.

Re:Ambiguous Title (1)

PlatinumRiver (846268) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114299)

I read it the same way. This is a poorly worded title.

Re:Ambiguous Title (2, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114335)

I not only thought that but also, "I hope they paid his airfare". It was quite disappointing to find out that they did.

Re:Ambiguous Title (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114633)

I not only thought that but also, "I hope they paid his airfare".

My question is how Google Streetview would be able to direct him to the correct plane to get to Antigua in the first place. They'd have to update the airport locations in real time.

And then I figured maybe he drove an amphibious vehicle, but how would he get service while at the bottom of the Atlantic?

Yes, this misdirection to an island nation by Google is certainly puzzling.

Re:Ambiguous Title (2, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114757)

They'd have to update the airport locations in real time.

Airports don't tend to move particularly fast relative to their surroundings.

I don't think so... (3, Insightful)

ajdowntown (91738) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114445)

Correct me if I am wrong, and do not mean any ill will towards the winner of this contest, but doesn't it make more sense to just hire someone from the island to do it? It would either be quicker, cheaper, or possibly both.

Re:I don't think so... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114609)

The purpose of this is not to map Antigua, it is to raise awareness of Open Street Map as a competitor to Google Maps and WikiMapia.

The novelty of sending someone to Antigua generates interest. Consider the extra money part of the marketing budget. It will generate social media posts such as this Slashdot one. As a bonus, these "ads" will also bypass AdBlockers.

Re:I don't think so... (3, Informative)

legirons (809082) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115099)

Correct me if I am wrong, and do not mean any ill will towards the winner of this contest, but doesn't it make more sense to just hire someone from the island to do it? It would either be quicker, cheaper, or possibly both.

I think they're doing that already -- giving GPS devices to people in developing countries to help make free maps. e.g. see http://foundation.openstreetmap.org/gpstogo/ [openstreetmap.org]

Re:I don't think so... (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116331)

[...] giving GPS devices to people in developing countries to help make free maps. e.g. see http://foundation.openstreetmap.org/gpstogo/ [openstreetmap.org]

What about all the people not in Togo? And shouldn't Togo do all right on their own, as they apparently produce >90% of the world's coffee?

Re:I don't think so... (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116803)

This may surprise some, but we in the Caribbean are fully capable of operating GPS devices, and navigating the internet. All they have to do is identify a participant in each island, and mail them the equipment -- they may want to start by contacting LUGs for each island.

Whos gonna do North Korea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114479)

Any volunteers?

Re:Whos gonna do North Korea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28115261)

Any volunteers?

well this guy [wsj.com] could probably do a lot of it...

Will pproduce an excellent map (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114565)

of the local pubs or equivalent, and beaches!

What can be worse? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114597)

The only thing worse than not being in Antigua, is being there and having to WORK. Poor guy.

Re:What can be worse? (3, Informative)

shadwstalkr (111149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114767)

Mapping for OSM is easy. Set your GPS to record your trail, and record street names and businesses as you drive/walk around. As long as the GPS and whatever device you use for street names have synchronized clocks, the work of matching them up and drawing the streets can be done later.

Re:What can be worse? (4, Interesting)

CaptainOfSpray (1229754) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116173)

Mapping for OSM is easy. Set your GPS to record your trail, and record street names and businesses as you drive/walk around. As long as the GPS and whatever device you use for street names have synchronized clocks, the work of matching them up and drawing the streets can be done later.

Ha ha ha, ow splitting my sides! You've never been to Antigua, I note. Street names? Unlikely, even in St John. Business names in St John maybe; elsewhere on the island, forget it. We saw only two direction signs anywhere - every telegraph pole had an arrow pointing to a night club on the north end, and an arrow pointing to Harmony Hall, a truly marvellous restaurant at the south end. You want somewhere else? Find it yourself by random walk.

GPS?? (1)

mathfeel (937008) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115121)

Which brand/model of GPS works with openstreetmap, if such model exist at all?

Re:GPS?? (2, Informative)

dr-suess-fan (210327) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115413)

mkgmap is a java program that will convert OSM data to Garmin map format. It's not perfect, but I've found it works well with my GPSMAP 60CSx.

Re:GPS?? (3, Informative)

80N (591022) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115551)

There's a choice of about 50 different models here: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/GPS_Reviews [openstreetmap.org] It all depends on whether you want to contribute content to OpenStreetMap or just use the maps, or ideally both.

Re:GPS?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28121837)

Pretty much any Garmin does the job. OSM users like me and companies like Cloudmade produce maps for Garmin devices, and it's not hard to make your own if you can put together a toolchain (within the skill of most slashdotters).

My map for the UK is here: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps , check it out.

Donations accepted! (5, Informative)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115581)

I'm all by myself mapping Guyana so if you wanna keep me here...

Kidding! :)

But I am mapping Guyana and working on some advocacy posters to get some locals involved. Openstreetmap is such a great project, the data is open and can be used for anything. It allows places like this to get mapping done on their own because otherwise there isn't the commercial interest for it. I just did the small area known as Rosingol and part of New Amsterdam, they have NO MAPS there. None. I found someone in the area who was supportive of it and was able to have him drive me around all day twice now.

Guyana is a really neat place, one of the few unspoiled natural environments left. Not much tourism at all, now the government and locals want more of that for the investment that comes with it, but I'm sad to think of the negative affect it'll have on the environment.

Having no map was the scariest thing about coming to Guyana for me, and what led me to Openstreetmap. I'm really glad they got this project going and had all the tools I'd need ready to go. It also gives me a nice long term project for when I get bored or miss home there's something to work on.

Thanks guys!

Re:Donations accepted! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122231)

How about an interactive map of Jonestown? That would be awesome.

PS you seem to complain about development of Guyana, and yet you yourself have initiated a project that will undoubtedly result in more development opportunities.

All Canada in OSM and more (3, Interesting)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116073)

I'm an OSM enthusiast and wanted to share this: Canada, one of the 'poor countries' of OSM, is on the verge of seeing *all* roads added to OSM [openstreetmap.org] . No kidding.

Here's an excellent OSM introduction webcast [fosslc.org] on fosslc.org.

If you want to learn more about OSM, here's my shameless (really) plug [slashgeo.org] , hell, even the White House uses OpenStreetMap! [slashgeo.org] With projects like OpenRouteService [openstreetmap.org] , one will be able to replicate many of the important services provided by Google Maps, MS Virtual Earth, Yahoo! Maps, MapQuest, etc.

And Openstreetmap now uses PostgreSQL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28116271)

MySQL wasn't good enough and was replaced.

Playing with OpenStreetMap data (2, Interesting)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116493)

Last week PGCon had a session introducing this project and how to use OpenStreetMap with PostgreSQL [pgcon.org] . One Postgres add-on that's very popular in the mapping space is PostGIS [refractions.net] , which lets you do all sorts of spatial bits it used to take expensive propriety tools to handle.

Re:Playing with OpenStreetMap data (1)

SleepingWaterBear (1152169) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118877)

it used to take expensive propriety tools to handle.

Like diamond studded chastity belts?

Anyone know a service which... (1)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119935)

Provides printable topographic maps (Specifically for Australia)? Google maps on OpenStreet have their terrain feature which is cool, but I really want something overlayed with grid and magnetic north info. Would be handy for when I go hiking, instead of having to fork out $$ each time I go to a new place.

Re:Anyone know a service which... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28129047)

Provides printable topographic maps (Specifically for Australia)?

The software exists, but the guy is only running it for the Massachusetts area - http://toposm.com/ma/ [toposm.com]

Re:Anyone know a service which... (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147353)

Actually, the problem is that the data he needs to make a topographic map is only readily accessible for the area covered by MassGIS. That is, Massachusetts.

Actually OpenStreetMap sometimes has better maps (1)

viablepanix (1470049) | more than 5 years ago | (#28120521)

A lot of the time OpenStreetMaps will have more details in their maps, especially in developing countries.

Compare google maps over Almaty Kazakhstan

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=almaty&sll=43.284074,76.926962&sspn=0.233681,0.375938&ie=UTF8&ll=43.278455,76.928673&spn=0.233702,0.375938&z=12&msa=0&msid=107746239331497129542.000458a60dc6a719a8cb9 [google.com]

And OpenStreetMaps over Almaty Kazakhstan

http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=43.167025&mlon=77.096700&zoom=10 [openstreetmap.org]

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