OpenStreetMap Christmas

One day to go before Christmas, and the UK government have made an astounding contribution to the OpenStreetMap project. It will shortly be announced that through collaboration with the Department for Transport, Traveline, and OpenStreetMap, most of the NaPTAN and NPTG datasets will be offered to OpenStreetMap as a one off bulk import, with the possibility of updates in the future.

This means the import of up to 350,000 geocoded public transport access points, such as bus stops, ferry terminals, trains stations, etc, along with the import of up to 50,000 geocoded place names in a hierarchical format.

Once again, a big thank you to the DfT and Traveline for this massive contribution, and to the OSM Foundation for making it all possible.

Isle of Man

It would appear that Google has decided that their map data for the Isle of Man isn’t good enough, and now allow everyone to edit it through their MapMaker system. Several things spring to mind… firstly that OpenStreetmap has great coverage of the island, and secondly, why doesn’t Google want to re-use the OSM data? It’s already freely available under Creative Commons licensing. I fail to understand their method of thinking here.

An Idea

It’s probably already been covered, but my 30 seconds of Google-Fu hasn’t turned anything up so bear with me…

Take one OpenMoko phone,  a geolocation service like Fire Eagle, an online celltower database such as CellDB, and some code to use those lovely d-bus bindings, and you could have a location reporting service that’s easy on the battery and mostly precise in urban areas. If your area isn’t covered by CellDB, then run around with the OpenMoko GPS reciever online for a while to report celltower locations, and you’re sorted.

Use all of the above to create services like Socialight, location based Twittering, rough geotagging for photos (courtesy of Flickr and FireEagle [both Yahoo companies]) , pre-emptive OSM tile downloads, Asterisk routing – you could even implement ex-girlfriend logic to it all, if she were to have a similar device 🙂

Well, I’m sure someone has thought of this already, but I thought I would commit ideas to storage just in case. Once my FreeRunner arrives, I know what I’ll be working on

The New New Bible

Recently, having almost completed the spec on HTML5, the WHATWG have announced that they are to commence work on the next biggest thing to hit humanity… The Bible.

With updates to the ten commandments, the new Bible5 will also be RFC 2119 compliant, and promises to bring us closer to a law abiding society than ever before. Something to look out for methinks.