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OpenStreetMap : a Mapping Party in Mont de Marsan

Article translations :

- Workshop the whole week.

- Mapping party in the city the Saturday and Sunday.

Founded in 2004 by Steve Coast, OpenStreetMap project came from a simple idea: " My GPS can register my position, regulary. So, if I make a walk with, then I just have to rely every transcribed points to trace the ways I followed !".

Motivated by the idea to create libre geographical datas whereas they wasn’t, Steve Coast worked on it, using the libre community as an example. People were fast interested about this project and began to mapmake their city, helped by their GPS. Tools were developed to ease datas edition and their federation. These datas are, of course, libre, implying that everyone can use them and contribute to the project.

While OSMers (like they nicknamed themselves) were very few in the beginning, they’re now about 40.000 participants in the whole world and the database grows like wool on a ship. Such as the French datas, which double during the past 5 months. Lately, in France, the project has greatly grown, from 300 to 700 contributors in the 2 past months and general activity has increased of about 40% since the beginning of the year. Consequence of this success: Dijon, for example, has been achieved and some others big cities, like Lyon or Rennes should be finished during summer. This means we should at last produce maps we could use for these cities navigation.

Besides, some benefited of the mapping parties, OSMers meetings aimed to mapmake city defined areas (even a whole town, if participants are enough). Also, these events are a great reason to meet each other, to share between contributors, and of course, inform the public about it.

This kind of meeting often takes place in United Kingdom, where project was created, but French well expect to do their best this year. So, the shedule is pretty big, a meeting tought place to Caen in May and others are planned to Rennes, Lyon, Nancy in June, such as Mont-de-Marsan in July, during Libre Software Meeting. Not included all the meeting not planned yet, which will be added step by step in the summer.

Year 2008 witness a big change for OpenStreetMap in France : project is on the good rails. It will be interesting to see new applications making their appearance, from these libres datas, which will rejoin ecological city maps (recycling points, bio shops, markets, etc), maps aimed to cyclists or maps especially conceived to be used by the Garmin brand GPS, instead of commercial ones. The various meetings with the public will have also their importance. It will be the occasion to talk about the advantages of a libre mapmaking for final users such as the interest created by the project. And maybe, why not, get some new contributors.