As most of you will probably know OSM is to printed atlases from AA, Ordnance Survery etc, as wikipedia is to encyclopedias. People can contribute data to the project through a variety of activities: going out and actually mapping an area with a sat nav or gps unit [even a mobile phone with GPS in it such as an iphone, nokia n95 or whatever], tracing data off Yahoo [and other] aerial imagery, filing bugs on the openstreetbugs website or literally drawing in information via the walking papers map making website. And better again, this is about providing free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them.
Anyway…I mentioned how the OpenStreetMap map of Nenagh is more complete than even the latest commercially available maps for Garmin and Google Maps and listed off a few ways how OSM could be used commercially: by real estate agents, courier companies, how being able to pin-point where all the amenities are would be useful for tourists, and so on.
Compare the Open Street Map of Nenagh with the Google Map of the area – as you can see, there’s still quite a bit of work to be done – Millers Brook needs to be marked as such along with the various groves, avenues etc that comprise that estate. Plus all the amenities, shops [perhaps even their opening hours] and the Shannon Development Industrial Centre still need to be added – as I’m sure are some other small portions of the town that I’ve unknowingly neglected.
It’s fair to say that this will never be finished – existing housing estates will be extended, there will always be urban development plans that when implemented would also need to be included on the map.
I discovered the OpenStreetBrowser site to be a great test of the data that myself and others have entered – it’s also a great way of demonstrating just what can be done with OSM data.
If you happen to spot something that I’ve missed please either drop me a comment or use the openstreetbugs website.
On a related note: it would be good to see a PEAR/PHP based client/component for interfacing with the OpenStreetMap server so that interesting apps utilising that data could be implemented on the LAMP stack – something to go alongside the Services_GeoNames package from pear