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[News] OpenStreetMap Accompanies Free Software with Free Data

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OpenStreetMap: the data behind the maps

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| 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

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| 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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