“The Overture Maps Foundation (OMF), a collaborative effort to enable current and next-generation interoperable open map products, today announced the release of its first open map dataset….”
“This page contains information about UK universities that have institutional rights retention policies. The raw data underlying these visualisations is available on github along with the code that generates this page….”
“It is a long-standing tradition that every now and then, a member of the OpenStreetMap-community posts that OSM is in trouble. Often times, these essays complain about some trivial things which are, in the end, not that important. For example, they complain that we didn’t implement Bézier curves yet (we don’t need them), or that the data model is stale (it isn’t, new tagging appears every day), that the main OSM.org website doesn’t have some feature and isn’t on par with Google Maps (that’s by intent) or that AI will make the entire manual mapping space obsolete, in “just another ten years time”.
However, most of these things miss the crucial point of what OSM is: a community; a group of people that are working together on mapping the world in an Open Data way and building related tools with Open Source. Our strength is the unison in this goal, even though everyone pursues this differently, through different technological means and for different motivations. Motivations range from the most mundane reasons up till political activism. And that’s fine. All this activity and diversity strengthens us as a global community.
However, recently, a new participant has entered the ecosystem with parasitic intents. It tries to capture away precisely what makes OSM strong: the contributors.
The means to this end is called ‘Bing Map Builder’….”
We are delighted to announce that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has joined Open Knowledge Maps as a supporting member. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the second funding agency to join Open Knowledge Maps and the first to do so with a Visionary Membership.
“The nonprofit Linux Foundation not only pays the salary of Linus Torvalds and Greg Kroah-Hartman. It also runs the AgStack Foundation, which seeks more efficient agriculture through “free, re-usable, open and specialized digital infrastructure for data and applications.”
And this week that Foundation announced a new open source code base for creating and maintaining a global dataset that’s a kind of registry for the boundaries of agricultural fields to enable field-level analytics like carbon tracking, food traceability, and crop production….”
“The Linux Foundation, a global nonprofit organization enabling innovation through open source, today announced the formation of the Overture Maps Foundation, a new collaborative effort to develop interoperable open map data as a shared asset that can strengthen mapping services worldwide. The initiative was founded by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Meta, Microsoft, and TomTom and is open to all communities with a common interest in building open map data.
Overture’s mission is to enable current and next-generation map products by creating reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable open map data. This interoperable map is the basis for extensibility, enabling companies to contribute their own data. Members will combine resources to build map data that is complete, accurate, and refreshed as the physical world changes. Map data will be open and extensible by all under an open data license. This will drive innovation by enabling a network of communities that create services on top of Overture data….”
“Google Maps is getting some competition. The Linux Foundation has announced Overture Maps, a “new collaborative effort to develop interoperable open map data as a shared asset that can strengthen mapping services worldwide.” It’s an open source mapping effort that includes a list of heavy hitters: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Meta, Microsoft, and TomTom, with the foundation adding that the project is “open to all communities with a common interest in building open map data.”…
If you’re saying, “Wait! isn’t there already an open source map community out there?” There is, and it’s called “OpenStreetMap,” the Wikipedia of maps that anyone can edit. The Overture press release says, “The project will seek to integrate with existing open map data from projects such as OpenStreetMap and city planning departments, along with new map data contributed by members and built using computer vision and AI/ML techniques to create a living digital record of the physical world.” …”
“The University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) is pleased to announce the Historical National Topographic System (NTS): 1:50,000 Scale Maps, Data, & GIS, a new Open Access geospatial data collection of over 6000 Canadian maps that all researchers can discover, explore, and analyze.
This map series stretches across Canada and across time, covering the period of 1948 to today, providing an invaluable record of changes to the natural and human geography of the country. Digitization for a large portion of the series was recently completed by the McGill University Library and released as part of the online Canadiana collection. The current project builds on this series, transforming the maps into an open geospatial data resource available on the Borealis and Scholars GeoPortal platforms.
UTL, in partnership with McGill Libraries and with funding from Compute Ontario, are currently undertaking a mass-scale project to georeference the maps, a process that geographically positions the maps onto the Earth’s surface and creates geospatial data. Researchers can use the data in a variety of digital research tools, including geographic information systems (GIS), to analyze the maps. Access to historical GIS datasets based on national map series held in library collections supports transformation of physical maps into digital research data, enabling integration with current, real-world data for in-depth research and longitudinal analysis. This project builds on the commitment of academic libraries across the country to support access and preservation of these important historical maps and cultural resources….”
“…The first problem that I feel plagues OSM is that the OpenStreetMap Foundation views the mission of the project to provide the world a geographic database, but not geographic services. OSM gives people the tools to create their own map rather than offering them a simple, out of the box solution. Providing the ability for individuals and organizations to make their own map may work well for some, but it discourages small and medium size organizations from using OSM and thus engaging with the project. And even if they do use our data, their engagement is through a third party, rather than directly with us….”