OSM (OpenStreetMap) is a common project aimed to make a free changeable world map.
Creators use information from different sources including GPS data, aerial photos and others.
If you have a CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION-SHAREALIKE 2.0 license it’s possible to download vector graphics and different images.
The mechanism of the OMS is similar to Wikipedia site; after registration with an “Edit” tab you can change this or that image or add some thing new to it.
How it was created.
In 2004 Steve Coast created OSM. Two years later in April 2006 the OSMF (OpenStreetMap Foundation) was opened with a purpose to inspire and raise of distribution of different geographical information for free use. Later Yahoo, the famous Internet company, allowed OSM to use its aerial photos.
In a year the AUTOMOTIVE NAVIGATION DATA company gave full information of main roads in Netherlands, India and China. In July the first OSM conference has taken place. At that moment 9000 users have already registered. GOOGLE, YAHOO AND MULTIMAP was also added. Later in August another project, OPENAERIALMAP, was created. It contains amount of free license aerial photos. In October OSM imported data of the US Census TIGER. And in December of this year Oxford University became the first institution who used OSM at their official website.
At the beginning of 2008 it was made possible to download map to the GPS devices for motorcycles. In February OSM was presented in India. Next month its founders declared that they have bought OSM data to the CloudMade company.
Who use it.
Until August more than 50,000 users were registered. In March this quantity doubled and at the end of 2009 there were about 200,000 users.
But not all these users make great contributions to the map. Only some of them add new information to the existing map. According to the statistics in March 2008 only 10% of registered users change the data each month.
How it works.
The first map was made in rather a simple way. Everyone could hold some surveys with the help of a notebook, GPS device, camera or voice recorder. Then this information became a part of OSM database.
Nowadays this work is done more quickly, because a lot of free sources of aerial photos became available and it’s easier to get them. In this case a team of technicians will converse and import the information.
How it is made.
There are search people called mappers that get the information about roads and other geographical objects. They do it on foot, by bicycle, car or boat. If necessary they can use their GPS devices.
After collection the information is uploaded on the main website. But at that moment no one knows how this information was got. That is why during the second stage they edit this information with the use of special map editors. In the most cases it is done by the mapper himself or by other users at OSM Карта Минска.
As collecting and uploading data is separated from editing objects, contribution to the project is possible also without using a GPS unit. As you can see all these steps don’t depend on each other, so addition of the information can be done without GPS help. It concerns putting schools, hospitals, cafes and other public places according to known facts.
There are users that regularly add some data about concrete towns or cities during definite time period. They even can map in details a separate area during only one day or weekend.
Besides great local researches, there are not so big edits and additions of data or its correcting.
Searchency of OpenStreetMapis likes baby tears – crystal clean.