* Posts by Harry Wood

6 publicly visible posts • joined 2 May 2013

OpenStreetView? You are no longer hostage to Google's car-driven vision

Harry Wood

Re: How "open" is OpenStreetMap?

"scores really badly on consistency of coverage." is a reasonable criticism. It's a problem I've given a talk about in fact https://harrywood.co.uk/blog/2011/10/10/sotm-talk/ As the community maps more and more detail, we do become consistent within the more important feature mapping. So you give footpaths as an example. It's an interesting one because while we may be inconsistent in footpath coverage currently, I would guess this one is very solve-able with more volunteers getting involved. Meanwhile there's higher detail things like mapping every tree and bench, where we'll probably struggle to consistently do this for many years to come (but if benches and trees are not your use case, this may not be a problem)

"Topology is quite questionable". Well please question it. Try planning route, and if you find it refusing to take you through a junction which should be joined up, please use the "Notes" feature to report an issue, or (since you know how to) make an edit yourself. My experience in the UK, is that the road network is very well mapped for routing purposes, so the becomes a use case which OpenStreetMap serves just as well as other providers and in a free and open way. With march of mapping progress we will swallow other use cases too. But if you're referring topology of footpaths, I agree that is an issue. We should improve it where we find bugs, but particularly in urban settings it's a very difficult thing to achieve fully joined up pedestrian routing. We're improving it steadily, but may never manage it completely.

Google do not supplement using OSM. We would like it if they did, but they don't because they want to own it all themselves. They don't want to be giving credit to OpenStreetMap and sending map data users there instead. I know of one occasion they were caught supplementing using OSM in a south american country, which they say was due to buying data from unscrupulous suppliers (I understand they apologised and removed the data)

"First of all there's the licence, which isn't open at all". Well that's rather sweeping clearly incorrect statement. OpenStreetMap data is released under a free and open license. As I'm sure you are aware, it's not "copyright free". It's an open license. It has restrictions designed to keep the data free. Now however you feel on the issue of whether OpenStreetMap should be using a "share-alike" license (The requirement to share back changes/improvements made, and disallow locking down the data and making it more closed) ...your objection, you must surely admit, is a lot more nuanced than just saying it "isn't open at all".

Harry Wood

Re: Portable atlas?

Try OSMAnd which others have mentioned, or I would recommend MAPS.ME for iPhone and Android. Great for general use, but also by the way, these are fantastic as a thing to set yourself up with before going on holiday, to save on roaming fees.

Funny that you would highlight this precise advantage of OpenStreetMap without realising it as such. You are correct that google likes to keep you connected, so that it can more effectively attach advertising to your map usage. So... OpenStreetMap!

Harry Wood

Your comment can be taken as feedback by OpenStreetMap volunteers and used to make improvements, not at all in any useful manner

P0wned plug-in puts a million WordPress sites at risk of attack

Harry Wood

Re: Asking the big questions.....

It's similar to microsoft windows if that's what you mean. Hackers write malware for windows because most people run it (plus it tends to be more vulnerable than OSs with stricter permissions models) Hackers attack wordpress because lots of people install it on their website (plus it tends to be more vulnerable having a php enabled webserver and the ability to write to the filesystem for plugins and themes)

Would you trust crowd-sourced maps? Skobbler releases satnav app

Harry Wood

Re: Speed limits?

Speaking of missing data....

Now you can add "notes" to OpenStreetMap (check out the little "add a note" link in the bottom right of the openstreetmap.org homepage) This is a brand new feature added a few days ago. In fact skobbler's app has a problem reporting feature built into it too. This means that even if you can't understand how to edit OpenStreetMap (takes a little while to learn), you can very easily help provided information on speed limits.

Also check out ITO Map's speed limit view: http://www.itoworld.com/map/124 to see where speed limit data is filled in already in OpenStreetMap

Harry Wood

Re: Speed limits?

Well the way a satnav works, it performs complex routing calculations over road network data, which involves taking into account speed limit data for the roads. Specifically it would be a bit more likely to direct you down a road with a high speed limit to get you to your destination faster. "A bit more likely" but it's not a certainty of course. It's all just fuzzy influences on the routing calculation.

Now at what point in this process would you like your satnav to say "I don't know"?