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[News] OpenStreetMap Enters Wikipedia, Open Access Seen as "Middleware"

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OpenStreetMap Navigates to Wikipedia

,----[ Quote ]
| One of the powerful features of open source is re-use: you don't have to 
| re-invent the wheel, but can build on the work of others. That's 
| straightforward enough for software, but it can also be applied to other 
| fields of openness.    


Conventional Scholarship as "Legacy System" and Open Access as "Middleware"

,----[ Quote ]
| A "legacy system" in the world of computing provides a useful analogy for 
| understanding the precarious state of contemporary academic publishing. This 
| comparison might also keep us from stepping backward in the very act of 
| stepping forward in promoting Open Access publishing and Institutional 
| Repositories. I will argue that, vital as it is, the Open Access movement 
| should really be seen in its current manifestation as academic "middleware" 
| servicing the "legacy system" of old-school scholarship.      



OpenStreetMap: the data behind the maps

,----[ Quote ]
| The main api only lets you grab 5,000 points per request; you have to page
| the request to get the additional data. To pull out a really large chunk of
| data, or to filter it (for example to just download all the pubs in the city)
| use the extended OSM API (XAPI, or 'zappy'). Access to really enormous
| amounts of data, such as the entire planet or a country, can be found in the
| frequently updated dumps listed on the Planet.osm wiki page.


OSM passes 100,000 users!

,----[ Quote ]
| Sometime during Monday 16th March 2009 OpenStreetMap gained it’s 100,000th
| registered user account!


OpenStreetMap: Birmingham digital remapping complete

,----[ Quote ]
| Birmingham has become the first English city to be completely remapped by its
| own citizens. Maps of the city are freely editable and available at
| OpenStreetMap (OSM). The OpenStreetMap project, run by the OpenStreetMap
| Foundation, is an open source project that is building free online maps, not
| based on any copyright or licensed map data. Birmingham is not the first city
| to be remapped in this way, but it is the first city in the United Kingdom.
| Birmingham joins the likes of Paris, Berlin, Canberra and Vienna.


OpenStreetMap contemplates licensing

,----[ Quote ]
| Maps are cool; there's no end of applications which can make good use of
| mapping data. There is plenty of map data around, but it's almost exclusively
| proprietary in nature. That makes this data hard to use with free
| applications; it's also inherently annoying. We, as taxpayers, own those
| streets; why should we have to pay somebody else to know where the streets
| are?
| Your editor likes to grumble about such things; meanwhile, the OpenStreetMap
| project (OSM) is busily doing something about it. OSM has put together a
| database and a set of tools making it easy for anybody to enter location data
| with the intent of producing a free mapping database with global coverage.


OpenStreeMaps: free software's answer to Google and commercially-restricted

,----[ Quote ]
| In a recent article on free software and the Large Hadron Collider I
| mentioned that here in the United Kingdom The Guardian, a national British
| newspaper, had founded a campaign called “free our data”. They objected to
| the fact that the Ordnance Survey (and others), funded by the British
| taxpayer, was charging business and individuals for its cartographic data
| thus effectively making people pay for it twice. Their campaign is great but
| until such times as it succeeds an alternative is needed. A free software
| alternative. Enter OpenStreetMaps.
| [...]
| OpenStreetMaps is a classic instance of scratching an itch and instead of
| bleating about proprietary software going out (literally) and doing something
| yourself. It is always so easy to ask why someone doesn’t do something until
| you realise that you are that someone. Any participation in any free software
| project is demanding of time and often requires a high level of technical and
| programming skills, but the beauty of OSM is that anyone can participate and
| contribute. It’s not everyday that you get the chance to help map the world.
| Mark Twain said “buy land, they’re not making it anymore”. True, but you can
| at least map what’s there.

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