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Jan 17, 2019


OpenStreetMap is a global project whose aspirations to ‘map the planet’ – because maps & data created by government agencies are not always free to use - were dismissed as ‘impossible’ when OSM started just over a decade ago.

Built by a community of GIS professionals, humanitarians, community activists and others who contribute and maintain data about roads, cafés, railway stations, phone boxes, defibrilators and more, OpenStreetMap makes maps that are open and free to use for any purpose.

In this conversation, Brian describes how developers can use OSM to integrate mapping services into their applications without incurring licensing fees, and why the public sector is a bit late to this party. He explains why OSM can often provide a much more up-to-date picture of dynamic cityscapes than ‘official’ maps that must undergo lengthy QA processes, and outlines how teams of OSM volunteers routinely support relief agencies by swiftly recreating maps that natural disasters have made useless.

The conversation also covers how to be an OSM volunteer, and what we’ll be discussing in future programmes, including ownership and licensing of map data, the economic value of opening up this data, and projects OSM is involved in around journey planning and routing and the creation of Welsh language maps.