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Submission + - OpenStreetMap Launches a new easy to use HTML5 editor

SWroclawski writes: On the heels of the news that OpenStreetMap is allowing anonymous contributions with its "note" system, the project has launched a new in-browser editor called iD, which is not only easier to use, but written completely in Javascript, using the D3 library for rendering.
With all these improvements, OpenStreetMap is gaining popularity and has started a new campaign for additional hardware to support all the new contributors.

Submission + - OpenStreetMap adds easier reporting of map problems

An anonymous reader writes: OpenStreetMap recently topped 1 million registered users. Now they are trying to make the barrier to entry for contributing to the project even lower. A new "notes" feature, announced on the project's blog, allows anonymous users to submit bug reports which will alert mappers in the area to incorrect or incomplete map information. The feature also allows for commenting on notes, potentially enabling two-way communication between a mapper and a bug reporter if more information is needed.

Comment Re:We're better because we do the same thing! (Score 5, Informative) 345

Essentially OSM works on the principle of "with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow". There are cases of vandalism in OSM, but they don't last very long; the community usually picks them up rapidly and reverts them.

We have one advantage over Wikipedia in that it's easier for us to determine what's right. On Wikipedia, if one contributor says "John Doe's contribution to scholarship was important" and another says "no it wasn't", you get an edit war. On OSM, if one mapper says "this road is called Market Street" and another says "this road is called Market Road", we just go and look at the street sign. The rule is "what's on the ground". (The one place where this breaks down is disputed territorial borders, such as Northern Cyprus and Kashmir, but there are procedures in place for that.)

Comment Why an app at all? (Score 3, Insightful) 332

I'm always bemused why Apple doesn't bake closer iPhone/iPad integration into the Finder itself - the "root UI" of OS X, if you will. Shouldn't syncing between your Mac and your iPhone be a core service these days? And no, it doesn't solve the Windows problem - except if you're Apple. "See, if you have a PC you have to use this external app. But if you switch to a Mac, look how easy syncing is..." But then I'm an old grouch who thinks that Apple's once fabled UI consistency has been slowly getting messier from System 7.5 onwards.

Submission + - Apple Switches (Mostly) to OpenStreetMap (

beelsebob writes: In the recent release of iPhoto for iOS it appears that Apple have started using OpenStreetMap's data. Unfortunately, there are still some problems. Apple are currently not applying the necessary attribution to OSM; they are using an old (from April 2010) dump of the data; and they are not using the data in the USA. Fingers crossed apple works through these issues quickly!

Apple are now one of a growing list (including geocaching, and foursquare) to Switch2OSM.

Comment We can help! (Score 5, Informative) 235

First, ask on the OpenStreetMap mailing lists. There's lots of us who've done this kind of stuff before, and we'd be really pleased to help. I collected, scanned and rectified the Ordnance Survey's New Popular Edition - a complete set of England and Wales maps from the '50s, now out of copyright. It's all available in OpenStreetMap as a background layer and loads of people use it for adding rural roads, rivers, placenamese etc. Others are scanning other old Ordnance Survey series right now. Seriously, we love this kind of stuff. (#osm on OFTC can help too.)

Secondly, GDAL is definitely your friend. It's the most amazing set of command-line tools for rectifying and reprojecting data. gdalwarp and gdal_translate are probably the two you'll use most.

Comment Re:MapMaker vs. openstreetmap (Score 3, Informative) 167

But there's not a lot point exporting the data if you don't have the rights to use it.
That's what the top-ranked Data Liberation suggestion is talking about - great that we can get the data out; but now allow us to use it elsewhere without fear of being sued for breach of copyrighted.

Comment Oh cripes, not Daniel Eran Dilger (Score 1) 276

The author of TFA is renowned as one of the least clueful Apple apologists there is, even amongst plain ordinary OS X fanbois. He's also a regular sock-puppeteer, although not a very convincing one.

John C Welch rightly reams him out over this latest burst of idiocy. Worth reading for the headline ("Douchebags fondly eviscerated") and such prize comments as "You'd have to be smoking hobo crack (as in 'ass' not 'rock') to say that without snickering".

Comment Re:local knowedge (Score 3, Informative) 297

I run our town website. 1,000 registered users but very, very little spam - over seven years I think I can count the amount of spam from China and Russia on the fingers of one hand.

Two reasons. One: a completely bespoke system, hand-crafted from finest dodgy Perl and inefficient SQL. Put simply, if you're not running phpBB or something well-known like that, they're simply less likely to find you. These guys search for phrases like "powered by punBB" to find targets.

Two: postings in the news, events and ad sections require approval before they go live. Postings in the forum don't - but you can only get access to the forum by clicking through a JavaScript "I agree not to be a dick" page, which sets a cookie (yeah, I know, accessibility yadda yadda). So, again, they're less likely to find it because it doesn't show up on Google. (Oh yeah, not having frickin' Googlebot hammer the server is a plus, too.)

I realise this isn't an option for everyone, but the OP sounds reasonably tech-savvy so should be able to do similar.

Comment Google Groups (Score 1) 538

is the place that I find most rewarding for Hard Algorithm Questions.

Regular Google is cluttered up with SEO crap and dear old experts-exchange. Clicking on the Groups 'tab' gets past all that to a load of really useful stuff that isn't indexed by regular Google.

Of course, you have to wade through the Usenet kooks, but hey, at least that's more fun than paywall sites.

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