Tags: openstreetmap



Brighton, mapped

Today I travelled from home to work, from work to band practice, from band practice to an educational celebration: OpenStreetMap Brighton 1.0.

Ever since the mapping workshop after dConstruct 2006, Mikel and others have been out and about improving the mapping data for Brighton from the ground up. While a map can never be truly finished—it is, after all, a representation of a changing, evolving place—the data is now remarkably complete.

There’s a natural tendency for us to think in our own domains of experience so I usually only see the potential for OpenStreetMap data in web applications and mashups. But the launch event showed some wonderful use-cases in the real world: local councils, public transport… these are organisations that would otherwise have to pay very large sums (of taxpayer’s money) to the Ordnance Survey just to display a map.

OpenStreetMap is one of those applications of technology, like Wikipedia or BarCamp, that fills me with hope. On paper, the concepts sound crazy. In reality, they don’t just compete with commercial services, they surpass them.

I really need to get myself a GPS device.

d.Construct events

d.Construct is almost upon us. Everyone at Clearleft is excited and nervous in equal measure.

I wanted to give a quick heads up on some of the satellite events taking place around the conference.

If you haven’t heard yet, there will be pre-conference drinks on Thursday evening starting at 7pm at a place called Heist on West Street. We’ve hired out the downstairs room which should accommodate one hundred eager geeks.

It’s worth sticking around the day after d.Construct too. The guys from OpenStreetMap have put together a mapping workshop. It begins at ten in the morning and will probably go on until four in the afternoon on Saturday. The central hub will be the offices of Brighton Web at 2 Brunswick Terrace in Hove. Most of the time you’ll be out and about purposefully striding the streets of Brighton with a GPS device in hand. GPS devices will be provided but if you have one, please bring it along.

It looks the weather is going to be quite nice on the day of d.Construct. It’s a sign. The gods of weather clearly want us pasty geeks to go outdoors. With that in mind, I’ve decided to host a microformats picnic during the lunchtime break: 12:452pm. The Pavilion Gardens are right next to the Corn Exchange. The park has got WiFi, though it may hard to see your laptop screen in the sunshine. This picnic is for everyone. If you’re just curious about microformats, please come along and ask any questions you want. If you’re already using microformats, let’s talk about that.

All these events are on Upcoming. I’ve also marked this up in hCalender so you can subscribe to the events and stick ‘em on your mobile phone, iPod or whatever.