[OSGeo-Discuss] FW: [OSM-talk] The State of the Map

SteveC steve at asklater.com
Thu Feb 8 14:12:07 PST 2007

Cameron Shorter wrote:
> Does someone want to talk about how Openstreetmap and OSGeo can work in 
> harmony with each other.
> Chris Holmes wrote:
>>  Is OpenStreetMap considering moving to using Geoserver, or supporting
>>  the same WFS-T protocols as geoserver?
> They basically won't talk until we have all the features they do.  Which

Oh no.. we'll talk, we (or I) just think WFS-T is a big bloated waste of 

It's really two themes:

1) Don't lose sight of making actual maps.

OpenStreetMap takes the KISS approach to just making a map. We've got 
really far, and made lovely maps, with this strategy. The example thread 
you pointed to is one that occurs periodically where someone comes along 
and says we should be using postgis/geoserver/wfs-t etc. We always ask 
them to come back with actual database timings or similar to prove their 
methods are better. They never do.

(As an aside, the same thing used to happen with people wanting 
mapserver until tiles at home and mapnik got going. The list of people 
who've said OSM would never work without a strong ontology or wfs or X 
or Y is pretty long but these mailing list events are growing less 

 From OSMs point of view OSGeo is building a tower of babel which is a 
ton of use if you're Ordnance Survey but we really don't need all that 
strong ontology, data consistency, GIS stuff.

You can convert from OSM to shapefile, GML and what have you. Formats 
and standards like these are Good Things.

2) Community

Our community of people making maps, going out in the cold and rain, 
right now, to collect street data are not, for the most part, 
programmers. We're a pretty diverse bunch and the community is more 
important than the technology and so more resources are thrown at 
organising our frequent mapping parties and so on. Supporting these 
people with simple tools is important.

The simplicity of our data formats and APIs have brought in many non or 
semi-technical people or people (many of them mappers) who wouldn't 
usually touch code or XSLT. I can completely explain how OSM works in a 
few minutes in the pub to a non-technical person. You can't do that with 

I could extend this to talk about the difference in attitudes to data on 
each side of the atlantic (we don't have TIGER) but I havn't fleshed 
that out and would welcome views.

None of this is said with particular prejudice, it's more a statement of 
views than anything. We're holding a OSM developers workshop in April in 
Germany if anyone wants to come, and we'd love to have someone (or more) 
from OSGeo at our upcoming conference.


I'd love to make it to FOSS4G 2007 but I'm not sure I have funds for a 
trip to canada.

> is somewhat reasonable, so we're working on that, but I'm not incredibly
> optimistic that they'll just jump over - even if we match their existing
> feature set and do more (diffs, rollbacks, commit comments are all
> basically done in our postgis datastore).  If you want to read a thread
> that is pretty typical (I think) of discussions on OSM about PostGIS and
> WFS-T and the like, see:
> http://www.nabble.com/Server-slowness-tf2928059.html 
> <http://www.nabble.com/Server-slowness-tf2928059.html> starting with
> Kristian Thy's email.
> Andy Robinson wrote:
>> Forward from: talk-bounces at openstreetmap.org
>> [mailto:talk-bounces at openstreetmap.org] On Behalf Of SteveC
>> Sent: 07 February 2007 2:38 PM
>> To: talk at openstreetmap.org
>> Subject: [OSM-talk] The State of the Map
>> Note: Can people on the talk-* mailing lists please translate and 
>> forward this?
>> Thanks to a lot of hard work from all involved, we have a conference 
>> web site up http://www.stateofthemap.org/  Please spread the word! 
>> This will serve as a base for info for the upcoming event:
>>      * The State of the Map - First openstreetmap international 
>> conference
>>      * Manchester, England
>>      * 14-15 July 2007
>> There's a Call for proposals up. Got something to speak about? We're 
>> interested in a broad range of topics:
>>     1. Freeing Up Access to Geodata - The political, commercial and 
>> opensource implications of open Geodata
>>     2. Redrawing the Map the OSM Way - GPS, surveying, data editing 
>> methods and additional sources of base data.
>>     3. New Uses For A New Style of Geodata - A look at new and 
>> existing uses for OSM data.
>>     4. Cartography 2017 - where are we headed?
>>     5. Building Blocks for Collaborative Mapping - Data storage, 
>> processing, scalability and delivery in a wiki-like environment.
>> It doesn't have to be exclusively about openstreetmap - feel free to 
>> suggest mini-talks, talks, BOF sessions, posters and more. Oh, and it 
>> wouldn't be an openstreetmap conference without mapping all of the 
>> city either, would it?
>> have fun,
>> SteveC steve at asklater.com http://www.asklater.com/steve/
>> _______________________________________________
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>> talk at openstreetmap.org
>> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/talk
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

have fun,

SteveC steve at asklater.com http://www.asklater.com/steve/

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