30 November 2009

OpenSteetMap Potlatch 2 Development Preview

OpenSteetMap Potlatch 2 Development Preview
"It's not just an online map editor - it's a Live Cartographic Online Editor"
Potlach 2 Editor

OpenStreetMap users are getting a brand new online 'cartographic' editor in the form of Potlatch TWO (2.0)
Potlatch 2 is a complete rewrite.


  • Speed

  • Ease-of-use

  • Flexibility

Four big new features :

1.New feature – friendly tagging system Potlatch 2 has a friendly, intuitive tagging system. The mapper can use graphical menus, dedicated fields, and icons to get the tagging just right – without the need to remember tag names and values.

Graphical Presets - no need to lookup or remember tags

Potlach 2 has a friendly, intuitive tagging system. The mapper can use graphical menus, dedicated fields, and icons to get the tagging just right – without the need to remember tag names and values.

2.New feature – 'What You See Is What You Get' (WYSIWYG) rendering Potlatch 2 has an all-new rendering engine far in advance of the current one.

Potlach 2 Editor MapCSS

With road names, patterned fills, rotated icons, and much more,form a Cartographic editing experience can be like working live on the familiar Mapnik rendering, the cyclemap, Osmarender, or anything you like -making it much more approachable for the beginner.Thumbs ups for this!

3.Cascading Style Sheets - CSS but for Maps = MapCSS

Just like the tagging, the rendering is easy to customise. It uses a special form of CSS, called MapCSS, which lets you create wonderful-looking maps with just a few lines of text. The tagging and rendering together make Potlatch 2 ideal for ‘vertical’ mapping applications, such as a cycle-specific editor or a building/addressing editor. Stylesheets aren’t just about making the map look pretty: you can create stylesheets to help your mapping, such as one that highlights roads without names.
So if your only interested in Footpaths then only show footpaths

Because this integrates fully with MapCSS stylesheets, you can choose to temporarily hide background data, or show (say) only footpaths… whatever you like.

So Potlatch 2 will have an accompanying ‘OSM Guide’, explaining the basics with friendly, illustrated text. It will be concise, focused and clear.

4.New feature – vector background layer Mappers are working more and more with imports. But the approach until now has been to import data directly into the map – and many people have pointed out the problems this can lead to.Highly requested

Potlatch 2 will support vector background layers.

You can load OSM-formatted data from servers or files, and work on bringing it into the map the way you want, at your own pace.
Fully rewritten in ActionScript 3 Potlatch 2 is written in ActionScript 3, a Java-like language with an open source compiler and full docs available online. The Potlatch 2 source comes with instructions on getting started and is, of course, permissively licensed under the WTFPL.
Potlatch 2 thus far has been written by Dave Stubbs and Richard Fairhurst (Great Work). But we would love to see more people hacking on the source. There’s a potlatch-dev mailing list especially for this.

New Existing Features likely to be coming:
Some other features, like Yahoo and tiled backgrounds, are finished but not currently exposed through the editor: they’ll be along shortly. Others, such as GPS track support, the Beginners’ Guide and the vector background layer are not coded yet but are intended for the initial release.Load Import Shapefile? Export Shapefile options?? Would be good. [Hint]

Potlatch 1 has some three years of development behind it, of course, and much of this feature set has not yet been ported to Potlatch 2. There’ll be countless little UI tweaks (no keyboard shortcuts yet, for example!); and as you’d expect for an in-development version, performance can sometimes be sluggish and there’s a lot of optimisations we’d like to do.
But with work progressing so fast, this seemed a great time to talk about it. Both the tagging system and the renderer are enormously flexible and we’d like to see people hacking on them as soon as possible.
Live Version
Renderer alone at:

Should you want to try a particular area, just put the lat and lon in the URL like this:


Source Code is at:http://trac.openstreetmap.org/browser/applications/editors/potlatch2

More on MapCSS and documentation at:http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/MapCSS

Full Credit and Original Post

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27 November 2009

Golfshot.com - World Golf Courses Mapped and App'ed

Golfshot.com - World Golf Courses

Golfshot Touchpoint

Golfshot is now available for the iPhone and available from the App Store.

  • Golfshot makes it easy
  • Over 22,000 courses ready to play
  • No software to install on your computers
  • Show up and golf

Golf is a game. It should be fun.

We designed Golfshot to be easy to use, understand and share.
No computer downloads...simply add Golfshot to your iPhone and go play golf.
Scorecards, Statistics and now GPS Aerial View and GPS List View, are all included with
Golfshot: Golf GPS.

Example Golf Course
Golfshot Map Preview

but many more from (23,000+)

and On the iPhone

Distances calculated and touch screen controls for the golfer.

We have over 23,000 courses mapped – mostly in the US, but we’re adding them worldwide. You can search and view courses at golfshot.com/courses. You can also request new courses for free from the same page.

Golfshot: Golf GPS is now featured in the Apple App Store at introductory pricing and no subscription.
More details:

Full Users Guide

*Google [Aerial images and API] requires an internet connection to view images for the course.
Tip - You are able to download images with WiFi and they will be available on the course if you keep the app open.

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24 November 2009

Open Flood Mapping - OSM Maps Update First

Open Flood Mapping - OSM Maps Update First

Yes the OpenStreetMap'ers have been on the ball and with on the ground surveys and have updated the Bridges (collapsed or to be demolished).
Now this sounds a cruel but in reality shows the raw power of 'crowdsourced' mapping.

Open Flood Mapping - OSM Maps Update First
OpenStreetMap Updates [source] have come online within days of the bridge collapse.
Yes there was a fatality more here

Now all we require is Flood Mapping Areas from Environment Agency (EA) overlay [available in April 2010?] on the map to show potential flooding on Ordnance Survey (OS) Maps.
Then the analysis of Met Office data [available in raw format in April 2010?]
Then the OFS [Open Flood Map] can provide real-time flood alerts and help communities likely to be affected.

Required from Government sources
1 in 1000 year flood polygons (EA)
1 in 100 year flood polygons (EA)
1 in 50 year flood polygons (EA)
1 in 10 year flood polygons (EA)
1:10,000 vector/raster mapping (OS)
Raw live-feeds MetOffice (geo-xml/json please)

[available April from 2010?]

Now that's a potentially risk-saving mashup of data.

Background on Bridges and Travel Distruption
Cumbria Bridges
Fully closed and Collasped bridges.
Collapsed Bridges: 1. Northside Bridge, Workington 2. Navvies Footbridge, Workington 3. Camerton Footbridge, Camerton 4. Memorial Gardens footbridge, Cockermouth 5. Low Lorton Bridge 6. Little Braithwaite Bridge 7. Camerton Church Bridge, Camerton
Closed bridges: 8. Calva Bridge, Workington 9. Goat Bridge, Cockermouth 10.Holmrook Bridge, Holmrook 11. Ouse Bridge, north of Dubwath 12. Isel Bridge, near Cockermouth 13. Cocker Bridge, Cockermouth 14. Southwaite Bridge 15. Broughton Bridge 16. Bridge End, Egremont 17. Spark Bridge 18. Backbarrow Bridge (off A590) 19. Bouthrey Bridge, Water Yeat 20. Station Road Bridge, Keswick 21. Scarness Bridge, Keswick 22. Scale Hill Bridge, Scale Hill 23. Greta Bridge, Keswick 24. Wath Bridge, Cleator Moor
Source: Cumbria County Council, 24 November via BBC News

latest travel news

Flood Recovery Appeal

Note - Ireland has also had huge problems with flooding over the past week.
And more rain forecast doesn't look good.

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19 November 2009

PublicEarth 'Wiki for Places'

PublicEarth 'Wiki for Places'

PublicEarth is a'wikipedia for places' that can be extended by users. Using Google Maps to display 'crowdsourced' Points of Interest [POI] locations.
Guests can view the data in a read-only format whereas registered users rate places,create collections and can personalise their suggestions.

Public Earth Points of Interest Southampton
Clean, Fast Public Earth Points of Interests [POI] Layers.


PublicEarth has currently 4 million + POI's and rising, all grouped into a number of categories. PublicEarth has over 450 categories, these include the usual categories such as restaurants and entertainment but also more unusual topics.

Full List of Catergories
Arts, Culture & Entertainment
Recreation & the Outdoors
Community Essentials
Places to Stay
Food & Drink.

Some different catergories to the norm.
Fossil Sites, Kiteboarding Locations, Public Rooftops, Shipwrecks, Sundials, Street Art

The site allows the user to plan a trip or a day out and then send the saved locations to a GPS device, a mobile phone or e-mail them to friends. PublicEarth also lets you display your saved places on your own website or blog by creating and embedding a widget.

The site even comes with an API that allows developers to access PublicEarth's huge database of recommendations.

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17 November 2009

Ordnance Survey Maps to go FREE Online

Ordnance Survey Maps [and Data] to go FREE Online by April 2010.

updated: 18th November 2009.

News coverage on this story

Ed Parsons (former CTO at OS now
Geospatial Technologist at Google)

BBC News

The Times

Groundbreaking News this is amazing turn-around for UK Government Geo-Spatial Datasets.

Freed our Data

Thanks to Sir Tim Berners-Lee
(& inventing the World Wide Web)

"The government is to explore ways of making all Ordnance Survey maps freely available online from April"

Today's announcement will be followed by a speech, due next week by the chief secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, explaining how the freeing up of data, alongside the scaling back of other functions of central government, could lead to a "smarter state".
1:10,000 Raster Maps might be available for all in April 2010

1:10,000 Raster Maps might be available for all in April 2010....
image source for illustration only.

This is likely to include Flood Mapping Data, 1:10,000 data [Vector & Raster Datasets], Highways Agency Traffic Data and much more.
reports are conflicting whether 1:25,000 data will be freed (to be confirmed)
"sets of public data currently not freely available include wills dating back to 1858, house values recorded in the Land Registry, maps, and flood-risk data for individual homes"

***More important is vector data as users can create thier own maps/styles with it.
Will be interesting to know the re-licencing of these products and deriving from such sources conflicts with crown copyright.

The online maps would be free to all, including commercial users who, previously, had to acquire expensive and restrictive licences at £5,000 per usage, a fee many entrepreneurs felt was too high.

Noted on the Guardian:
Today the union representing staff at the OS stated that Brown's pledge was in "complete contradiction with the OS's own plans to explore commercial opportunities and find new ways of raising revenue".
Read more
(and thanks for running the Free Our Data Campaign over the years)

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16 November 2009

Free Wall Maps to Print - Geography Awareness Week

Free Wall Maps to Print - Geography Awareness Week

National Geographic sponsors & highlights:

Geography Awareness Week 2009, with its theme of "Get Lost in Mapping: Find Your Place in the World" was kicked off on Sunday 15th November 2009.

"The Geography Awareness Week Web site offers students, teachers and the public access to games, activities and lessons about mapping. The site features contributions from National Geographic and partner organizations such as Google and ESRI. Visitors can learn about mapping at home and at school, as well as experiencing geospatial technologies and learning how to become "map activists." Visitors can explore maps of all sizes, from high-tech to low-tech, and can download a free poster-size National Geographic world map for the bedroom or living room wall. Google Earth tours offer virtual interactions with fascinating people and places, and engaging videos explain how today's geospatial revolution is changing everything from shipping to warfare."

Free Wall Maps to Print

[pdf that can be printed in 6 sections]

More Free Wall Maps to Print
There are more wall maps across the world Physical/Political /Terrain to download and print out are available here:


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14 November 2009

Advantage West Midlands Using OpenStreetMap

Advantage West Midlands Using OpenStreetMap

One of the first commercial enterprises to fully take on 'crowdsourced' maps
A huge boost to OpenStreetMap

Open Street Map West Midlands ICT - AWMist

Advantage West Midlands is the regional development agency (RDA) for the West Midlands. We are one of nine RDAs in England established to transform the English regions through sustainable economic development.

AWMist (A Web Map-based Information Search Tool)
AWMist has data about ICT and electronics businesses, about public sector supporting projects and services, about universities and their research groups, and about private sector professional services and training organisations from the West Midlands.

The purpose of AWMist is to encourage and foster collaboration between businesses, universities, local, regional, national and transnational agencies and organisations by greatly increasing the speed and ease by which organisations can easily identify potential partners and business opportunities.

West Midlands chose a solution based on OSM for its more open commercial terms and lack of technical restrictions when compared to rival map providers. The fact that the data for the West Midlands was collected and maintained locally was also a factor in the decision.

"One more example Open Source, GIS and Open Street Map in particular making a difference in this highly competitive world."


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13 November 2009

South Downs National Park - Map Confirmed

South Downs National Park - Map Confirmed

After months of debate. The final boundaries have been confirmed of what is inside England's newest National Park.

South Downs National Park Boundaries Confirmed
England's Newest National Park Boundaries are now confirmed.

"Following a period of public consultation the Countryside Agency (as predecessor body to Natural England) made a National Park Designation Order in December 2002 detailing the area that it believed should be included within a South Downs National Park. A Variation Order was subsequently made in 2004 so as to include additional land. The proposed boundary was considered at a public local inquiry (in two phases) (and a later public hearing to consider some additional areas). Following consideration of the Inspector’s reports, Hilary Benn, Secretary of State decided that there was an area which met the designation criteria under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 and that the principle of a National Park for this area had been established."

More Related Information

Lastest Maps (PDF files)


South Downs Online


The Secretary of State decided to confirm the Designation Order and the Variation Order boundary subject to a number of modifications, as set out in his decision letters of 31st March 2009 (PDF 181KB) and 12th November 2009 (PDF 41 KB).

Details of the inquiry and hearing can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website.

A more detailed map can be found on Natural England’s website.

What does designation mean?

Designation as a National Park is a formal recognition of the South Down’s special qualities in terms of natural beauty and opportunities for open-air recreation. It means that:

  • the area has the highest level of landscape protection under the planning system
  • there is a fixed boundary for the area to be protected
  • public bodies and others are required to have regard to National Park purposes when operating in the area
  • it permits a National Park authority to be established (under the Environment Act 1995) to carry out functions associated with the Park.

National Parks, along with Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are considered to be the nation’s finest landscapes. They form part of a worldwide network of protected landscapes established by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature/World Conservation Union).

The formal designation of the South Downs National Park will be on 31 March 2010.

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11 November 2009

Marine Protected Area (MPA) Map - UK

Marine Protected Area (MPA) Map - UK

Marine Protected Areas Map
The interactive map illustrates the location of the different MPAs in the UK. For each site there is information about its designation, interest features and a link to a relevant website.

A Marine Protected Area (MPA) is often defined as any area of intertidal or subtidal terrain, together with its overlaying water and associated fauna, flora, historical and cultural features, which has been reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment.

Related to this is the Marine and Coastal Access Bill
"The Marine and Coastal Access Bill will ensure clean healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas, by putting in place better systems for delivering sustainable development of marine and coastal environment."
More Information

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10 November 2009

Bing Maps Revamp - Draggable Routes

Bing Maps Revamp - Draggable Routes

Bing Maps Revamp
Routes can be picked up and moved around the current map - distances are shown on the fly.

Bing Maps Revamp Private Roads
Information on private roads and gated roads is much clearer now.

New Functions
  • Draggable Routes – Bing Maps now allows you to generate a route, then you can change the route, you can simply grab any part of it and drag it to where you want the route to actually go. To use draggable routes, click the directions link in the welcome pane or the car icon near the bottom of the welcome pane. Enter a start and end, generate a route, then grab anywhere on the route to move the route line. The route will regenerate for you.
  • Zoom Bar – No longer just a zoom in and zoom out button, the zoom bar allows you to jump to specific zoom levels within predefined settings.

  • Embeddable Map Cutomizer (EMC) – You can now take a map view right from Bing Maps and embed it into your site. To do this, you’ll want to click the Share button once your map is where you want it to be. You can copy the embed code from there; or, you can click the Customize View link which will take you to the embeddable map customizer (EMC). The EMC allows you to set a map to the map height and width (small, medium, large or custom); the map type (static or draggable); the map styles (road, aerial, aerial w/ labels); and, add links to Bing Maps for Viewing a Larger Map or Getting Directions. Once you’ve set everything the way you want it, click Generate Code and there is your code. You copy it, then paste it into your web page and you’ll have the map you wanted.
Dynamic Compute – We’ve moved the processing power closer to the user. Using Microsoft’s ECN, we now have Bing Maps running in data centers in 7 locations around the world. This means wherever you are around the world, you will access Bing Maps from the closest geographic node to where you are physically located.

Front End
New Navigation – We also added a subset of features to a button bar along the bottom of the welcome pane. Each button loads features on Bing Maps. Welcome loads the welcome pane; the car loads the route planner; the star loads My Places, formerly called Collections; the envelop loads the ability to share the map with someone via email, copying a URL or embedding the map into a web page (more on that below); the printer icon is for printing; and, stoplight will load a traffic overlay with flow and incident information.

Faster Cold Start:
Diet Bing Maps - The default Bing Maps home page dropped from 678kb to 484kb. It zips through the pipes much faster now.


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Street View - Gran Canaria & Tenerife.

Street View - Gran Canaria & Tenerife. (Hawaii too)
Street View Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
Street View Tenerife.

Don't Forget the 50th State of the United States too. Hawaii

Official Blog

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Google Street View Mexico Arrives

Google Street View Mexico Arrives
Google Street View Mexico Arrives

Mexico City

Puerto Vallarta
Playa del Carmen

nice views on the Google Maps Mania Blog

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06 November 2009

Network West Midlands - Live Bus, Train and Metro Map

Network West Midlands - Live Bus, Train and Metro Map

Network West Midlands - Live Bus, Train and Metro Map
Interactive Travel Map - this is information overlaid on to Google Maps showing live information from http://www.networkwestmidlands.co.uk/

The Interactive Live Map shows:
  • Bus stops (real time bus timetables, where available) rail stations (train departure and arrival times) and Metro stops.
  • See forthcoming departures (live for rail and bus)
  • Link through to full timetables relevant for each station and stop
  • See the 8-letter bus stop code for a particular bus stop.
The map functions:
  • Search box Type a road, town or village, postcode, bus stop name or bus stop code list matching bus stop results in the left panel.
  • Map top strip Tick/untick a checkbox to show/hide those map icons.
  • Map & markers You can pan, zoom and scroll using your mouse and the Google map controls (and the small map view in the bottom right-hand corner).
  • Left side links Select Rail or Metro to list local rail or metro stops
  • Left panel Bus stops matching your search are displayed as lists of links.
  • Quicklist Moves the map to an locality on the drop-down list.

View the Live Interactive Map

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05 November 2009

OpenStreetMap Data 'On Demand' with Quantum GIS 'Mimas'

OpenStreetMap Data 'On Demand' with Quantum GIS 'Mimas'

Updated 07/11/2009

Getting the data you want.

One of the hardest things about OpenStreetMap [#OSM] is getting access to the data you want and for the location you require.
You can download large files for entire regions or countries, but why only if your going to use a small amount.

CloudMade gives you this by country. http://downloads.cloudmade.com/

Here is a solution - All software is FREE and Open Source so no excuses.

OSM direct access within Quantum and saved in Postgres
Viewing styled (Automatically) Open Street Map Data in Quantum GIS 'Mimas' [QGIS]
The data has been downloaded directly from the Open Street Map Servers [most up to date data].
**There are area limitions controlled by OpenStreetMap Servers, the plugin will warn you of this issue if required.
You also can edit, select features, query features and do spatial geoprocessing (buffer,intersect etc) on the data.

Clarification on editing the OSM data.

After selecting the area, download to a location on your computer .osm format.
you will get 3 layers called
osm points*
osm lines*
osm polygons*
*not editable
now these are 'representations' only, so you are required to load the .osm file in again.
use the openstreetmap plugin to do this
This will create two layers ways and nodes - These can be edited - right click/toggle editing.
Now you can edit your OpenStreetMap data.

Import Issues to Edit your on-demand openstreetmap data.

Please note: There are 2 'OpenStreetMap' Plugins available - both are required. But to use the editor with the data downloaded please use the 'Import OpenStreetMap' version - not the Load OSM option.

You will need the development version of Quantum GIS 'Mimas'

http://download.osgeo.org/qgis/win32/QGIS-1.3.0-3-No-GrassSetup.exe [Direct link to Windows file 28.1mb]

Spatial Database or Shapefile?
If you want to store your OSM data and use it for other projects then storing it in a Postgres Spatial Database is a good idea.

With Postgis 1.4 (1.5 in dev) you can speed up functions of geoprocessing and achieve more accurate results.
Download - http://postgis.refractions.net/download/ [install after Postgres].

Or if you just want it as a common file type you can just save out to shapefile.
Good if you want to share it to others with minimum impact.

Note: There are many new plugins for Quantum GIS

QGIS plugin manager
For this please use the OpenStreetMap Plugin (Version 0.5) [top]
and if you choose the postgres/postgis route a very useful plugin 'PostGIS manager (Version 0.5.4)' gives users a Graphical User Interface for managing Postgres/Postgis functions.
*versions maybe different in future.

This give users the power and speed. This gives Quantum GIS the edge on Open Source and Commercial GIS by breaking down the limitations and access to geographical data directly.

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02 November 2009

Weather.com goes into the 'Future' (Bing Maps)

Weather.com goes into the 'Future' (Bing Maps)

Weather.com Temperature Bing Future Map BetaWeather.com Cloud and Radar Bing Future Map Beta
The new 'Future' button starts moving into a predicted mode using 'trupoint' technology at 15 minute intervals up to 6 hours into the future.


"The Weather Channel's unique TruPointSM technology delivers the most accurate weather reports and forecasts - for more locations - than any other weather provider.

NEW: TruPoint technology is now available on weather.com interactive maps! See exactly where storms are forecasted for up to the next six hours so you can better plan and prepare for any activity."

Summary of TruePoint Technology

  • A highly localized weather forecast; accurate down to a one-square mile area.
  • Allows you to zero in on specific places such as schools and parks.
  • Available every 15 minutes across a 6 hour period.
  • Available only within the 48 contiguous United States.
  • A proprietary technology developed and used exclusively by The Weather Channel.
  • Full details on the technology here:


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