OpenStreetMap past(s), OpenStreetMap future(s)

[Crossposted from Slides at]

I gave a talk at AAG last week, as part of a session about OpenStreetMap data analysis.

I followed three presentations by some of my favorite OSM researchers, Sterling Quinn (@SterlingGIS), Indy Hurt (@IndyMapper), and Jennings Anderson (@JenningsatCU), all of them using OSM history data to see what it tells us about OSM’s past and its present. You can read more about their presentations in Diana Stinton’s article for Directions Magazine: “The simple map that became a global movement.”

My own dissertation research also looks at OSM’s history data, but for this presentation I wanted to try speculating about OpenStreetMap’s future. Specifically, what if you take a chart that looks like this, and extrapolate what happens if the number of nodes keeps going up up up:

Like all of my co-presenters, we’re really not that interested in counting nodes, but we’re more interested in what those nodes tell us about the people who make up OpenStreetMap. You may have heard recently that OSM passed 2 million registered users, but the reality is that most of those people have never even edited OSM. A more meaningful statistic is the count of users who have been active editors each month. Right now the number is around 25,000 people. Smaller than 2 million, but still steadily increasing:

In my research I make a lot of comparisons with Wikipedia, which is a much bigger and older project than OSM, but similar in many ways. Wikipedia is also still growing in size, but if you look closely you’ll see that the rate of new articles has been slowing down for a long time, since 2007 approximately.

The same thing is true about Wikipedia’s users. Their monthly count of active editors has been dropping since 2007. A smaller number of people is doing more and more of the work.

If you talk to Wikipedia researchers, they’ve been freaking out about this statistic for a long time. Nobody knows exactly why it’s happening. It’s probably caused by a variety of factors, and one possibility (to simplify things greatly) is that the Wikipedia community has become increasingly unwelcoming and difficult to become a part of. Or at least that there are enough difficult people to deal with that it drives away new contributors. (Those who have been active in the OSM community might notice some parallels here.)

Another possible reason is Wikipedia’s Notability Guideline. Basically, Wikipedia has come to a consensus that there are only some topics that are notable enough to be in an encyclopedia. Any new articles that aren’t considered notable are candidates for speedy deletion.

Of course, there are many Wikipedians who argue that Wikipedia shouldn’t be held to the standards of a traditional encyclopedia: there are no space constraints because it’s not printed on paper, so why not have an article about basically everything, notable or not?

These two factions became known as Inclusionists and Deletionists, and pretty much everyone agrees that the Deletionists won.

However, this is one of the key places where OSM differs from Wikipedia. OpenStreetMap has no notability rule! An arbitrary amount of detail is theoretically possible. When you’re done mapping roads, you can start mapping sidewalks. When you’re done with sidewalks, you can map mailboxes, trees, and benches. Nobody knows where the level of detail will end.

But if OSM allows this much detail, somebody has to maintain it!

This question of maintenance is the key focus of my dissertation research. Who maintains OSM? Are they the same people who mapped the roads to begin with, or do different people come along to do maintenance? Is there enough maintenance happening to keep OSM up-to-date?

In my research I call this “map gardening”, borrowing the concept of “wiki gardening” from the community of wikis (Wikipedia being only one of these). A wiki gardener is someone who doesn’t necessarily write new articles, but instead enjoys fixing typos and grammar in existing articles, fixing up formatting and broken links, basically doing all the thankless and unsexy tasks that are necessary to keep a wiki functioning. Presumably a similar “map gardening” must exist in OSM, so what does it look like?

And what does it look like going into the future?

Here I’d like to step back, way back, and borrow an analogy from cosmology, the study of the life and death of the universe. Following the Big Bang, the universe expanded rapidly. After a while, the expansion slowed down, but recent studies have found that it’s actually speeding back up again. Cosmologists think there is something called dark energy that is causing this acceleration, but nobody knows how much dark energy is out there. If it’s a lot, then the universe will keep expanding and eventually even molecules and atoms will be torn apart. This is called the Big Rip. If there’s not much dark energy out there, then eventually gravity will overcome it and the universe will collapse into the Big Crunch.

So what are the “cosmological” futures for OSM? The number of new features (points, lines, polygons) could keep increasing, or maybe that pace will slow down or stop entirely. Similarly, the amount of maintenance edits (those “map gardening” tasks) could keep growing, or they could slow down to a trickle. The balance between those two activities could lead to the OSM equivalent of a Big Rip, a Big Crunch, or something else entirely.

Here are (at least) four scenarios that might occur:

But before we look at those scenarios, here’s a chart (not with real data, yet) that illustrates the possibilities. Note that this chart is different from the cosmological chart that I just showed. Instead of time along the bottom axis, this is a cumulative chart where time moves somewhere up and to the right.

As people create new nodes in OSM, the dot moves to the right. Every time someone edits an existing node, the dot moves upward on the chart. Because it’s cumulative, the line will never curve downward, or bend backward to the left. Each year’s worth of edits moves the dot some amount right, up, or both. (Also note, for simplicity’s sake I’m ignoring all the lines and areas in OSM, and only looking at the raw points, which OSM calls “nodes”).

Now let’s look at the four scenarios.

#1. Ghost town

Our first scenario is the “Ghost town”, where new nodes slow down, and so do the modifications. Basically, this is what happens if everyone gets bored of OSM (or if community disfunction causes everyone to leave).

It wouldn’t necessarily look like this: (although this is the first result when you search for “ghost town” in OpenStreetMap).

In fact, the Ghost Town scenario might look like a fully complete street map. But it would be slowly getting out of date, and no one would be increasing the amount of detail. It would become a snapshot in time.

#2: Garden

The second scenario is what happens if people stop adding new features to OSM, but they continue to edit them and keep them up to date. Maybe this would happen if OSM institutes something like Wikipedia’s Notability Rule. Perhaps OSM decides that streets and addresses are good to have, but trees and mailboxes are too much detail.

But this scenario requires a large community of OSM editors who enjoy maintenance. There will always be new buildings built and old ones torn down, roads that are widened or redirected, river banks that change their course. All of these things need to be updated in OSM if it’s going to stay useful.

For example, here’s a nice garden in OSM, next to some well-mapped riverbanks that will be shifting and changing year after year.

Here’s another lovely garden. (Of course, I’m talking about all kinds of OSM features, not just literal gardens… but if you do find any nice examples of gardens in OSM, please send me a tweet!)

#3: Borgesian map

The third scenario is what happens if people keep adding more and more detail to OSM, but nobody can keep up maintaining it.

In this scenario, eventually everyone has mapped all the streets and sidewalks, and they start mapping every tree and shrub, maybe even every blade of grass (to borrow Harry Wood’s “most insane” example from his 2011 talk at State of the Map about OSM as a garden).

Eventually, OSM would approach the 1:1 scale map described by Lewis Carroll, and later in a short story by Jorge Luis Borges. In Borges’s story, cartographers succeeded in creating a 1:1 map, only to find it impossible to use. Eventually they abandon the map, parts of which can still be found scattered about in the desert.

In OSM, a 1:1 map without enough maintenance would be equally useless. It might not be fully abandoned, as people keep adding more and more data, but everything they did add would become out-of-date and impossible to verify. The OSM database would be cluttered with useless information.

But we’re probably not yet at the limit of detail that is both useful and (potentially) maintainable. OSM already has some proposals underway about mapping roads as areas instead of lines. Here’s an example of some municipal data (not from OSM) visualized by Lou Huang at Mapzen, showing curblines maintained by the city of Philadelphia. I won’t be surprised is OSM volunteers start adding data at this resolution.

But then where do we stop? As another example of municipal micromapping, here are the outlines of all the street markings painted by the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Surely some amateur mapper in Germany with too much time on his/her hands is thinking about how to tag features like these in OSM…

#4: Singularity:

But what if Borges’s 1:1 map doesn’t get abandoned to crumble apart in the desert? What if, somehow, OSM keeps adding features, but the community keeps maintaining those features too? What if OSM didn’t just have 25,000 monthly editors, but actually did have 2 million or 25 million editors checking OSM and fixing data every day?

I’m calling this scenario The Singularity, but you’ll have to excuse me for mixing my metaphors. I’m not talking about a cosmological singularity like a black hole, or the Big Bang. Instead I’m borrowing from Ray Kurzweil’s idea of rapidly accelerating computational power and information growth. Partly I like this concept because the singularity is the point past which we can’t predict or imagine what would happen, and I can’t really imagine what OSM would look like if it were a constantly-maintained 1:1 map. But Kurzweil’s singularity is also relevant because OSM probably couldn’t achieve a perfectly up-to-date 1:1 map without the help of algorithms and machine intelligence. But that’s a topic for another presentation.

Who knows what that would look like? The gardens of Versailles in OpenStreetMap are the most detailed gardens I could find, but this level of detail might only be the beginning.


So we’ve spent a lot of time speculating about what these different scenarios might look like, and I’ve shown charts that illustrate how we might see those scenarios manifest themselves in the data. But what does the real data look like?

Here’s the chart showing the OpenStreetMap planet file, from the earliest OSM nodes around 2005, up to January 1st 2016. The line shows the cumulative count of nodes created and nodes edited for each month, with dots every January.

There are a few surprising things about this chart that I didn’t expect to see. In the first few years, we see mostly new nodes added, and not a whole lot of modified nodes; that’s to be expected. You can see there were more new nodes in 2007 than there were in 2008, mostly due to the TIGER data import that happened in late 2007. Then in 2008 and especially 2009, we see a significant number of modifications. I’m not sure what was happening during this time to explain this burst of gardening. It doesn’t correlate exactly with changes in the OSM data structure (which might require fixing features that were incorrectly translated from one datatype to another), and it doesn’t match up with the availability of new higher-resolution satellite imagery (which might have triggered spurts of gardening where people would improve the geometry of poorly-traced roads). That early spike of gardening certainly merits more research.

The other striking aspect of this chart is the steady, smooth line from 2010 to the present day. It’s shocking to think that when you sum up all the editing activity all over the world in OSM, it always adds up to the exact same ratio of new features to modified features. From 2010 onward, every month in OSM, there were roughly three new features for every one modification of a feature. Did OSM stumble upon some perfect, magic balance that will be maintained forever? What is special about that ratio?

But if the study of geography teaches us anything, it’s that you can’t look at the whole world as a homogenous system. We need to zoom in on the local dynamics of the OSM community, not just look at the planet file as a whole. How has OSM evolved on smaller scales?

Here’s London, the place where OSM got started. It follows a similar path as the planet does overall. But if you look closely the spacing between years, it starting to slow down (even while the ratio between node creation and node modification is staying steady). Is London pulling back from a course towards the singularity? If it slows down too much, will it become a ghost town? Maybe the map of London is getting close to being “finished”?

However, if we look at Berlin, another extremely well-mapped city with a strong OSM community, we see something different. In the last two years, when London slowed down, Berlin sped up! Here they are still finding new things to map.

Tokyo is also still adding new features, although it might be slowing down a bit, like London. But one key difference between Tokyo and the first two is that the number of modified nodes is significantly lower compared to created nodes (the chart is further down toward the right). Tokyo is more on track to become a Borgesian map.

In a place like Port-au-Prince, Haiti, we can see the signature of an intense burst of humanitarian mapping after the 2010 earthquake. We also see sporadic bursts of subsequent activity: in some years there is almost no activity, but in other years there is a lively pace of new features with a bit of maintenance. This is an example of a place where a community is struggling to take root and avoid becoming a ghost town.

In San Francisco we can see the early influence of the TIGER import (the first year which is flat against the X axis: all new imported nodes, no maintenance). But in later years we see a strong and growing rate of activity: in relative terms, the TIGER data is just a blip, far in the past. More worrisome is the trend of the line, bending more towards the right instead of upwards. If San Francisco doesn’t increase the amount of gardening edits, all this rich data will become out of date and obsolete.

Finally, Moscow. Another well-mapped city with a strong community, similar to London or Berlin. But of all the cities we’ve looked at, the slope of the line is the steepest: Moscow has its own blend of node creators and node maintainers, with significantly higher rate of maintenance than anywhere else! Is this a cultural difference within the OSM community? Does it mean Moscow’s map is more up-to-date and better maintained? It will be fascinating to find out!

Finally, these charts can’t really tell us anything about how much maintenance is necessary to keep OSM at some minimum level of quality. But we can start thinking about what that equation would look like. We know there are at least two reasons why we need maintenance: to fix human error in the node creation process, and to keep OSM up-to-date to reflect changes out in the real world. The human error rate is a function of the number of new nodes (and also errors during the process of maintenance, we can ignore those for now), while the rate of real-world change is a function of the number of features in OSM that reflect features in the real world. If OSM decides to include features for blade of grass, that’s a lot of maintenance edits that will be required whenever someone mows the lawn.

Here’s what a first stab at that equation looks like. All the values are unknowns at this point, but one thing is clear: “map gardening” shouldn’t be and can’t be just an afterthought. In the long run, without maintenance OSM won’t add up to much.

I would love to hear what you think about this research. Please get in touch!

UPDATE: Bill Morris was quick to give an opinion: “I’m definitely voting ‘Borgesian map’ as the likely outcome here.” …which made me think, I should do a twitter poll. So let me know what you think will happen with OpenStreetMap. Remember that it might be years or decades before we know for sure: [twitter link]

Posted in Mapping, Networks, not_geowebchat | 1 Response

#geowebchat transcript, 5 January 2016: Predictions for 2016

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 9:45am Today on #geowebchat: share your #geospatial predictions for #2016! Join us at 12pm PST, Tuesday January 5th. Please RT! #gistribe

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:02pm Hello everyone joining today’s #geowebchat. Today we’re going to be making predictions for #2016. Feel free to join the chat!

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:02pm Is this thing on? #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:02pm As with all twitter chats, make sure you include the hashtag #geowebchat in your tweets to follow along. Or mute that hashtag to ignore us.

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:03pm You can also try to follow along with #geowebchat. More info about the chat here:

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:04pm @geoparadigm Welcome Alex, you do want to go out on a limb and make our first #geowebchat predictions?

@wildlifegisgirl Jan 05, 12:05pm Hello from Boulder CO #geowebchat

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:07pm Looking into the crystal ball…. I think #OpenSource will continue to be huge in the Geo space. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:07pm @wildlifegisgirl Welcome Emily, and welcome #gistribe to #geowebchat!

@wildlifegisgirl Jan 05, 12:08pm +1 RT @geoparadigm: Looking into the crystal ball…. I think #OpenSource will continue to be huge in the Geo space. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:09pm @geoparadigm Will there be any big new players joining #OpenSource geo, or will the innovation keep coming from familiar names? #geowebchat

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:10pm 2016 will be the year of maps and design. Lots of beautiful maps and visualizations being made by the masses. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:10pm @geoparadigm New players might be new upstarts, or could be existing big names switching to #opensource… #geowebchat

@wildlifegisgirl Jan 05, 12:10pm @mappingmashups thanks Alan! I predict that the @geohipster 2016 Calendar will take over the world once and for all #geowebchat

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:12pm @mappingmashups I predict a surprising acquisition of a new upstart… #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:12pm @wildlifegisgirl So this is the year that @geohipster goes mainstream?! ;) #geowebchat

@Steven_Ramage Jan 05, 12:13pm I hope/predict some big shifts in how global geospatial policy is positively impacted by @UNGGIM in 2016 #geowebchat

@jQueryGeo Jan 05, 12:13pm Where will we go for great spatial data in 2016? And how will we know to go there? #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:13pm @geoparadigm hah! That’s possible! Things move so fast that right now we might not even know the name of that upstart! #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:14pm @geoparadigm A year ago we might not have known about a cool company like Mapsense, and then they were acquired by end of year! #geowebchat

@Steven_Ramage Jan 05, 12:15pm I also predict greater global awareness around the challenges of location referencing and addressing! #geowebchat

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:16pm @jQueryGeo We will go to the drones, and we will know when we hear an annoying buzzing sound overhead :) #geowebchat #drones

@dvolps Jan 05, 12:16pm 10 yrs ago, if you told me a major Auto OEM, a taxi company, & Apple would each become global map makers, I’d have scoffed #geowebchat

@polemic Jan 05, 12:17pm Oh hai #geowebchat tuning in from sunny Auckland, New Zealand.

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:18pm @polemic Welcome! I’m glad our timeslot works for you down there! #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:20pm @dvolps Are you inviting us to try making 10 year predictions? :) Even 1 year is hard, but I’d love some long-range guesses too! #geowebchat

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:20pm Prediction in 2016 (10 year): Geospatial community key to solving #climatechange #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:21pm @geoparadigm @jQueryGeo For sure #drones will still be big news. Any guess at the most shocking #drone story we’ll see in 2016? #geowebchat

@wildlifegisgirl Jan 05, 12:23pm In 10 years, even the professionals will be doing all of our GIS from mobile devices #NoMoreOffices #geowebchat

@spara Jan 05, 12:23pm Indoor mapping will heat up – see Project Tango #geowebchat

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:25pm Toyota’s own realtime streetview. Will more car companies purchase geospatial companies in 2016? #geowebchat

@jeresuikkila Jan 05, 12:25pm @mappingmashups @dvolps I wouldn’t dare to predict that far right now. So much happening in automated driving right now #geowebchat

@GonzoEarth Jan 05, 12:25pm big uptick in crowdsourced weather reporting and maps #geowebchat

@karldonert Jan 05, 12:26pm 2016: the year of digital data dashboards. Encouraging people to interact with beautiful maps & visualizations #geowebchat

@mapperz Jan 05, 12:27pm @mappingmashups @dvolps VR might make it if we shrink them goggles… #geowebchat

@UrbDemogrphics Jan 05, 12:29pm @geoparadigm yes, with lots of repeated maps from previous years published as new ones #geowebchat

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:30pm @UrbDemogrphics If you haven’t seen #popvssoda you really need to. It’s a classic! #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:31pm What does #geowebchat predict for the future of #openstreetmap this year? What will be the big #OSM stories in 2016?

@mapperz Jan 05, 12:34pm @jeresuikkila @mappingmashups @dvolps needs Ultra High Speed connectivity…. IEEE802.11ay range 3km to work #geowebchat

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:35pm Will folks embrace OpenStreetMap for navigation in 2016 and use Scout? #osm #geowebchat

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:38pm Will mappers take to hoverboards in 2016? #thefuture #geowebchat

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:40pm @mappingmashups my fake start-up gets acquired #geowebchat

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:41pm Will a practical use be found for @what3words in 2016, and will everyone start using it? I think that is very likely. #geowebchat

@polemic Jan 05, 12:41pm #geowebchat 2016: better use of geo and mapping in civil advocacy, e.g. around PT, infrastructure, planning etc.

@dvolps Jan 05, 12:42pm @mappingmashups more & extended mobile data collection & editing toolkits #geowebchat

@jQueryGeo Jan 05, 12:44pm @mappingmashups #openstreetmap will continue to not have true polygons or closed shapes in 2016 #geowebchat

@UrbDemogrphics Jan 05, 12:46pm @polemic yes, with more widespread use of #GTFS and Real-time transit data #geowebchat @mappingmashups

@geoparadigm Jan 05, 12:35pm Will folks embrace OpenStreetMap for navigation in 2016 and use Scout? #osm #geowebchat

@wildlifegisgirl Jan 05, 12:47pm @jonahadkins why do you say fake? #geowebchat

@Steven_Ramage Jan 05, 12:13pm I hope/predict some big shifts in how global geospatial policy is positively impacted by @UNGGIM in 2016 #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:52pm What are your predictions for the most surprising new #Maptime location that will appear in #2016? #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 12:58pm Any final #geo predictions for 2016 before we wrap up this month’s #geowebchat?

@prushforth Jan 05, 1:00pm In 2016, I am hoping/working for a good community to develop around #maps4html… #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Jan 05, 1:00pm Thanks for joining today’s #geowebchat, everybody. The transcript will be at Next chat will be in 1 month, Feb 2nd.

@mapperz Jan 05, 1:04pm @mappingmashups postgres to support 5d…. #geowebchat

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#geowebchat transcript, 15 December 2015: #topgeostoryof2015

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:40pm Okay everybody, now we’re going to count down the #topgeostoryof2015! This is all a very scientific tally of _your_ votes! #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:41pm 10. #topgeostoryof2015 is the popularity of @what3words! (and #what3emoji) #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:42pm 9th place for #topgeostoryof2015 is the drawn-out sale of HERE Maps to a consortium of car makers #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:44pm 8th place for #topgeostoryof2015 is drones in the news & going mainstream (although I think we voted this in previous years too) #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:44pm 7th place for #topgeostoryof2015 is Google shutting down Google Maps Engine and Google Earth Enterprise #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:45pm 6th place for #topgeostoryof2015 is the wide adoption of Vector Tiles (including ESRI adopting @Mapbox’s spec) #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:48pm 5th #topgeostoryof2015: everybody’s Escape from Mercator……… #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:49pm 4th place for #topgeostoryof2015 is #Map4Nepal w/ @openstreetmap/@hotosm/ktmlivinglabs #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:51pm 3rd place for #topgeostoryof2015, counting sarcastic twitter chatter: @Mapbox & @mapzen hiring everybody #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:52pm 2nd place for the #topgeostoryof2015 is the new dawn of funding for geo education (It was news to me!) #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:54pm And finally, the #topgeostoryof2015…. the new release of @Mapbox Studio with end-to-end WebGL cartography! #geowebchat Congrats @Mapbox!

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:55pm Thanks everybody for voting for the #topgeostoryof2015! As always the #geowebchat transcript will be posted shortly:

@mappingmashups Dec 15, 2015, 12:56pm Next #geowebchat will be at the same time in 3 weeks on January 5th. We’ll be making predictions for 2016! See you then! (12pm PST 3pm EST)

Posted in geowebchat, Mapping, Networks | Leave a comment

Next #geowebchat: #topgeostoryof2015

It’s time for our annual round-up of the top stories on the geoweb and in the greater world of geospatial and cartography. On Tuesday December 15th at noon PST we’ll be counting down your votes for the biggest news in geo this year.

Please send me your votes either as comments on this blog post, or on twitter at @mappingmashups.

To see the top 10 lists for previous years, check out the transcripts: 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Need some ideas? You might start with Visualoop’s “100 outstanding interactive maps of 2015″. Or you might want to review the last year’s posts from some of your favorite bloggers([1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], etc.), or maybe re-read the weekly OSM newsletter, or the peruse the blogs of your favorite mapping companies ([1], [2], [3], [4], [5], etc.) to see what they’ve announced this year.

Looking forward to joining you all on twitter at #geowebchat on Tuesday!

Posted in geowebchat, Mapping, Networks | 1 Response

#geowebchat transcript, 3 November 2015: #opengovdata with @GeoCensos

@GeoCensos Oct 30, 6:10pm After #ogpmapping at #ogp15 we ask : What can govs learn from #openmappping ?. Join us next 3/11 11am EST in #geowebchat #opengovdata”

@mappingmashups Nov 02, 5:25pm Tmrw on #geowebchat, we wake up early on the west coast for a special time 8am PST. Topic is #opengovdata w/ guest host @GeoCensos. Join us!

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 6:02am Welcome all #openmapping communities 2 discuss about #govopengeodata in a #geowebchat hosted by @GeoCensos, tks to @geothinkca initiative

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 6:03am Welcome also #opengovpart stakeholders 2 discuss about #govopengeodata in a #geowebchat hosted by @GeoCensos, tks to @geothinkca initiative

@geothinkca Nov 03, 6:14am RT @re_sieber: What govs can learn from #openmappping?#geowebchat 11am EST Nov 3…

@re_sieber Nov 03, 7:19am Economic Impact of Open Data: What Do We Already Know? From @JeniT @ ODI… #geowebchat @geothinkca @peterajohnson

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 7:51am Welcom all parties and communities to discuss about #govopengeodata in a #geowebchat hosted by @GeoCensos, thanks to @geothinkca initiative

@re_sieber Nov 03, 7:59am Welcome everyone to #opendata for government & #openmapping @ #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Nov 03, 8:00am Hello to everyone joining today’s special-time #geowebchat! Welcome to #ogp15 attendees! More info about the chat:

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:01am Goal of this #geowebchat: trigger dialogue answering 4 provoking statements in a scale: 1. Agree + 2. Agree – 3. Not agree + 4. Not agree -

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:01am Or #opendata for gov is viewed as use cases, best practices #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Nov 03, 8:01am If you want to join the conversation, be sure to use the hashtag #geowebchat in all your tweets. Follow along here:

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:03am #geowebchat will be enriched justifying previously scaled answers, ie “3. NOT AGREE to statement because governments don’t know about maps”

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:03am #openmapping for gov is also a managerial issue. How do you integrate #opendata in SOP of gov? #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:03am We should probably begin by defining ‘open’ in #opendata, #openmapping for go #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:04am @re_sieber Its a matter of openess of institutions, of course , and gov need to apropiate #datarevolution #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:06am .@GeoCensos Never thought of ‘open’ as openness of institutions to VGI. Usually think of open as OKFN definition #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:06am @re_sieber openess in #geodata is about simple accessibility to data, its replicability and reuse for anyone or ANY purposes #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:07am .@peterajohnson has done research on openness of gov to accept citizen-generated data like OSM #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:08am #geowebchat STATEmnt 1 #openmapping will never work for govs as all stat nat offices own all mayor #geodata in countries and don`t share.

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:08am #geowebchat will enrich if justifying previously scaled answers, ie “3. NOT AGREE to statement because governments don’t know about maps”

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:09am .@GeoCensos Depends on scale, as ownership varies by level of gov. US fed data governed by strong FOIA, cult of openbydefault #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Nov 03, 8:09am Intrigued by the possibility of #OSM adoption I asked 8 Canadian muni govs what they thought – most had never heard of #OSM #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:10am @re_sieber @peterajohnson can u please provide any links about that? I`d be fruitful if some of #geowebchat can enrich that research I guess

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:11am .@ international level, we have instance of UN, other agencies using OSM for humanitarian relief #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:11am @peterajohnson Sure there is a #evangelization gap between gov natnl or local on #openmapping that the real #datarevolution #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Nov 03, 8:11am Some govs are open to direct citizen contributions to fix data errors. Not sure if direct edits would fit. #geowebchat

@davidfawcett Nov 03, 8:12am @GeoCensos In my mind, economic value is directly proportional to degree of openness, but no data to back it up. no -BY, etc. #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:12am Are we working w a common definition of #openmapping? Is it = non-expert crowdsourced geographic content? #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Nov 03, 8:13am Does gov position as provider for emergency services routing, legal land titles, impact possibility of open map adoption? #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Nov 03, 8:13am @re_sieber I’m assuming we are talking about #osm ? #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:14am @mapanauta @GeoCensos @lxbarth Not sure we have the extra characters to use both #geowebchat & #opengeotalk

@charlielapin Nov 03, 8:14am .@re_sieber Why non-expert? The qualifier seems unnecessary considering the implications of openness. #geowebchat

@bensonwilder Nov 03, 8:14am .@GeoCensos #geowebchat don’t agree, of course, since we are already seeing many examples to the contrary

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:14am @re_sieber Signaling could work for openess in institutions, its time to think about a good std 4certifiable openess 4 govs #geowebchat

@bensonwilder Nov 03, 8:16am .@GeoCensos #geowebchat but open mapping definition can include OSM and other thematic data, some of which can be more ‘proprietary’

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:16am .@charlielapin We usually-not always-insert non-expert into discussion of VGI to distinguish it from credentialled contributions #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:18am .@bensonwilder would lk to broaden discussion beyond OSM. Examples of proprietary sources? Is #openmapping ab data or map? #geowebchat

@bensonwilder Nov 03, 8:19am .@peterajohnson #geowebchat It can, in good ways – see…

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:20am @re_sieber #openmapping has no common definition as it is an evolving discipline, its still a challenging task #geowebchat

@lxbarth Nov 03, 8:20am @re_sieber @bensonwilder see also #geowebchat

@lxbarth Nov 03, 8:20am @re_sieber @bensonwilder open mapping = open data + open collaboration #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:21am #geowebchat STATEmnt 2 #opengovs are really trying hard #opengeodata actions, but they WILL NEVER include #openmapping in their workflows

@peterajohnson Nov 03, 8:21am @bensonwilder Nice example – this is a good start. Still unsure about prop bound, but turns/curbs for emerg serv maybe? #geowebchat

@bensonwilder Nov 03, 8:22am .@re_sieber #geowebchat varies according to context and local/natl authority. but admin boundaries at lower levels for one.

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:22am #geowebchat discussion can work justifying scaled answers to below, ie “3. NOT AGREE to statement because bla bla bla…”

@bensonwilder Nov 03, 8:22am @lxbarth @re_sieber #geowebchat yes that’s a better link!

@vtcraghead Nov 03, 8:23am @lxbarth @re_sieber @bensonwilder <canofworms>Google Map Maker</canofworms> #geowebchat

@bensonwilder Nov 03, 8:23am @lxbarth @re_sieber #geowebchat maps are always about the data imho.

@lxbarth Nov 03, 8:23am @vtcraghead @re_sieber @bensonwilder google map maker does not create open data #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Nov 03, 8:23am @vtcraghead @lxbarth @re_sieber @bensonwilder clearly not open! #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:24am .@bensonwilder @lxbarth I still some #opendata portals in Canada, where gov thinks OD is ab mapping/viz data #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Nov 03, 8:25am @GeoCensos but…I am sure there are many that already do some comparison between #osm and own data #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:26am .@bensonwilder @lxbarth Also issue of how close to raw data should be #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:26am @peterajohnson #geowebchat maybe its true, but this does not assure govs will adopt the #openess of #geodata … have u got case studies?

@bensonwilder Nov 03, 8:28am .@peterajohnson @GeoCensos #geowebchat compare, use, incorporate, fill in gaps…

@peterajohnson Nov 03, 8:29am @GeoCensos working on those case studies…. #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:29am #geowebchat STATEmnt 3 @aliciabarcena from @eclac_un said Nat stats orgs MUST be opened to civil society . Explain your position, please.

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:30am (whoa, seeing lots of grammatical errors in my own #geowebchat). This is not like a bicycle-must continue to practice twitterchats!)

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:32am @re_sieber Never mind, I guess latinos like @javiercarranza3 have a lot to learn from you, not smth to be too proud of, but…#geowebchat

@vtcraghead Nov 03, 8:32am @lxbarth @re_sieber @bensonwilder e.g.… #geowebchat

@bensonwilder Nov 03, 8:33am .@re_sieber @lxbarth well to be fair that still allows for engagement with the data. positive step on a spectrum in my book.#geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:33am What about statement3? No politically correct answers, please! @aliciabarcena said Nat stat orgs MUST be opened to civil society #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:33am In #openmapping, are we agnostic as to source? Don’t care if citizen-, gov- or priv sector generated? #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:36am If we’re agnostic ab source of data (citizen, priv sector,gov) then can we still ask for raw data Can we have opencollab w/o it? #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:38am #geowebchat STATEmnt5 @mikel said @ that #openmapping is “equally accessible, not silo’d by border or organization”

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:38am .@bensonwilder @lxbarth How is opencollab diff from a consulting contract to map? #geowebchat

@davidfawcett Nov 03, 8:38am @bensonwilder I am pretty sure that the proprietary vendors are doing it, why not gov! #geowebchat

@vtcraghead Nov 03, 8:39am @peterajohnson @lxbarth @re_sieber @bensonwilder Well it’s complicated, not least by license:… #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:40am @re_sieber @bensonwilder @lxbarth 4 us, #opencollab does not diff from a consulting contract to map but in #geoopendata #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:40am .@GeoCensos @aliciabarcena Agreed. Data from Nat stats orgs must open data to civil society (protecting privacy, OFC) #geowebchat

@davidfawcett Nov 03, 8:41am @bensonwilder @re_sieber @lxbarth Maybe there is an opportunity to provide tools/apis that gov can use to monitor data changes? #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:41am @re_sieber @aliciabarcena thats a dimension that should be embeded in #opendata definitions : institutional policies #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:42am .@mikel argues, in #openmapping, ‘Sources & methodologies are fully transparent’. Just say no to patents #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:45am Time to wrap up #geowebchat : Have 3 – 4 concluding remarks to make sure we all understood our #geowebchat findings or takeaways Maybe not

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:45am #geowebchat Conclusion 1 Governments need to walk the talk 4 #openmapping and #mappingrevolution as many don`t even know the talk

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:46am #geowebchat Conclusion 2 You can convince governments to include some #opengeodata in their plans, but the walk needs a long talk yet

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:46am Don’t see opening in… for licenses ever. Thorny subj #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:46am #geowebchat Conclusion 3 Google Map maker is clearly not open and does not fit in the evolving definition of @openmapping

@davidfawcett Nov 03, 8:46am @GeoCensos Next steps or place for further discussion? #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:46am #geowebchat Conclusion 4 Have some #opendata portals in Canada, where gov thinks OD is a mapping/viz data #geowebchat

@davidfawcett Nov 03, 8:48am @GeoCensos How do we get together to focus those talks? (my interest is US state and local gov data) #geowebchat

@jedmiller Nov 03, 8:48am @re_sieber But #DataRevolution work must tell Nat Stats orgs to /engage/ CSOs, not just “open” data @GeoCensos @aliciabarcena #geowebchat

@bensonwilder Nov 03, 8:49am .@GeoCensos #geowebchat we are going to see as much #openmappingevolution as we do #openmappingrevolution. more of the latter at local scale

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:49am .@GeoCensos @openmapping Conclusion 3:We need consensus on meaning of open. Otherwise, concept can be co-opted by gov, priv sect #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:50am @davidfawcett 1. we are going to put together a paper and share 2 put a statement 4 @StatsCanada next NSO conference in #Quito #geowebchat

@bensonwilder Nov 03, 8:51am #geowebchat @jedmiller @re_sieber @GeoCensos @aliciabarcena incentives may lie in co-creation of (often new) data

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:51am .@jedmiller No to #Opendata as throwing data over the wall… #geowebchat

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:51am #geowebchat conclusion 5:We need consensus on meaning of open. Otherwise, concept can be co-opted by gov, priv sect

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:53am Thanks to everyone who joined today’s #geowebchat! Lets keep working on to map together with #opengovs a better world!

@jedmiller Nov 03, 8:54am Good idea. A “create-a-palooza” for #opendata, w/2-way incentives. Instead of “We make. You use.” #geowebchat

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:54am Conclusion 5.5 #openmapping > crowdsourced mapping #geowebchat #FOSS

@re_sieber Nov 03, 8:56am Thanks everyone for participating in today’s #geowebchat on #openmapping, #opencollaboration

@GeoCensos Nov 03, 8:57am Sorry, but @javiercarranza3 needs to catch a plane from Mexico – Bogota. Please keep the dialogue open and geo. Hasta la vista! #geowebchat

@jedmiller Nov 03, 8:58am .@re_sieber Yes. No #opendata “over the wall.” Need govt listening to what can makes #opendata usable.… #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Nov 03, 9:01am Thanks @GeoCensos for running today’s #geowebchat! I’ll post the transcript on shortly!

@jedmiller Nov 03, 9:03am Rich soil, vast expanses in twitter #GeoWebChat on #geomapping, #opendata and what can govts learn. @re_sieber @mikel

@mappingmashups Nov 03, 9:03am Next #geowebchat is in one month, on Dec 1st, at 12 noon PST. Topic will be the #topgeostoryof2015. Start sending me your votes!

@mikel Nov 03, 11:03am great #geowebchat today, sorry to miss… #openmapping is about collaboration, great example…

@GeoCensos Nov 04, 3:02pm Our last #geowebchat boarded relevance and potential of #mappingrevolution for governments, preview transcript at…

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