59 :: Maptime! Windsor-Essex

On Tuesday, May 13th, I hosted Maptime! Windsor-Essex at Hackforge.  The night’s theme was OpenStreetMap and I remixed the Maptime OSM presentation at github to make one that was more my own.

Preparing to teach something is sometimes the best way to learn things.  During my preparation, I grew to have a better understanding of the tools to improve OSM, like this QA tool which can tell you which streets are missing street names in your region.   Which is important because while we can use OSM for adding many points of interest to the map, the most important feature is that of streets.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget this.

We had a group of seven, including myself at the table and I was the only one who had edited OpenStreetMap before. In fact, while researching local OSM, I’ve come to believe that I’m the only one who is *currently* editing Windsor Essex (and who lives here).  So, unlike the Maptimes that happen in large cities and gather already existing a number of geospatial professionals with side interests in web and FOSS spatial tools, our Maptimes are going to have to be more introductory in nature.

I’ve been messing around with Wikipedia lately and also noticed that there our local data there is awfully out of date.  So many people use Wikipedia every day, and yet so few few people update it. To Wikipedia’s credit, they are investing in new tools and hiring folks to try to address the reasons why this is so.

I don’t have any answers to this problem but it makes me wonder about about which factors are most important for the future of collaborative enterprises such as Wikipedia (and FOSS projects as well).  Who can tell the longevity of such projects?  Will Reddit outlast Mefi?

But for the time being, OSM is good enough for navigation. That is, if I finish working on the streets that have no name.

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