[OSGeo-Discuss] CommonMap in Canada

Brendan Morley morb.gis at beagle.com.au
Mon Mar 14 03:26:21 PDT 2011

Hi all,

I just wanted to let you know that the CommonMap initiative is still 
alive, as am I.

To recap, CommonMap will be a collaboration and repository of 
liberally-licensed geodata (without share-alike) - accessible though an 
OpenStreetMap-style interface.  We will accept Creative Commons 
Attribution, CC0 and public domain geodata contributions, depending on 
your jurisdiction.  We expect it will find fresh acceptance in the "Gov 
2.0" movement, since it allows governments to redistribute contributions 
from the community.  We also are quite happy to accept OpenStreetMap 
contributors who find themselves dissatisfied with its default licence.

We want to focus on a particular country at first, which is Canada.  Why?

      * It has quite a comprehensive open data catalogue;
      * It appears to have a compatible licence;
      * It also has a rigorous "foreign key" model, which bodes well for 
roundtripping back to government;
      * It's the home of Refractions Research, the custodian of PostGIS 
which is a good friend of mine;
      * Finally, it helps that Sam Vekemans is our enthusiastic man on 
the ground over there.

We want to get as much of Natural Resources Canada's GeoBase and Canvec 
publications into the CommonMap database as we can, and use Canada as a 
showcase country for what CommonMap can uniquely do.

The "proof of concept" API instance is currently at 
It is hosting an overlay of:

      * Natural Earth Data;
      * Some sample Geobase National Road Network, National Hydro 
Network and Land Cover datasets.

(Hint: look up Victoria, British Columbia[1] for an example of all 3 
datasets together.)

Next comes the challenge of ramping up to a public launch.  The core of 
CommonMap is a web-facing API and its "one true" database, a download 
site for XML full copies of that database, and a map tile server with 
its optimised database.  To run this at public scale will demand about 
8-10 CPU cores and associated storage, or about US $10,000 per year.

Let's face it, we will require a higher rate of donations to do this. If 
you believe in the idea of CommonMap, a good way to show your support is 
to donate to CommonMap Inc.  (CommonMap Inc is the non profit body that 
operates the CommonMap internet resources.)

Potential donors, please head this way:

Even if you can't spare the cash, perhaps you can spare your skills or 
tools, whether they be in geodesy, obtaining or converting geodata 
imports, running up database or tile servers, or developing 
applications?  Let us know.

Please feel free to forward this news to whoever you wish.

I welcome all comments: You can make further enquires by return email, 
the commonmap.org website, or "CommonMap" at LinkedIn, Facebook or 
Twitter.  Sam Vekemans also has a group blog for CommonMap set up at 



Brendan Morley
President, CommonMap Inc.
morb_au at commonmap.info
Queensland Incorporated Association 37762
Also find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

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