Help create an open source map of the Coastside, Sat, Aug 14


By on Sun, August 1, 2010

Open Street Maps is a self-described "Wikipedia of Street Maps": a complete set of local street maps that anyone can contribute to.

On Saturday, August 14, at 10am,  Bay Area OSM fans will converge at LaDiDa in Half Moon Bay for a mapping party [Meetup].  Bring your GPS or cell phone with GPS software—or borrow a GPS from the organizers at the event.

OSM’s goal is to create an open-source map of the world’s streets. Commercial street maps (such as Google, Yahoo, MapQuest, and Bing) are copyrighted by one of two companies (TomTom or Nokia). OSM got its start in Europe, where copyright restrictions made it impossible for developers to create new systems on top of existing map data.

I’ve been personally contributing to OSM for more than a year by cleaning up their maps of Montara and adding points of interest. Most of the Coastside maps have been created using US Census data and are already quite good, but parts of them are out of date, incomplete, or incorrect.

I’ve been using EveryTrail’s free iPhone app for my work, but there are other apps available for iPhone and Android. I recommend downloading a GPS app and practicing recording your tracks between now and the 14th. Or just bring a GPS or borrow one at the meeting.

You’ll get help uploading your tracks and updating the map based on your data.