OpenStreetMap: A valid competitor to official base maps?

Still in last year, Cédric Moullet, amongst others MapFish and GeoExt contributor, sparked a discussion by his post “Why OpenStreetMap fails to replace official or proprietary base maps in a sustainable way ?” (note how this doesn’t sound like a question but bears a question mark ;) For simplicity, I will re-list Cédric’s 13 points here: … Continue reading OpenStreetMap: A valid competitor to official base maps?

When mapping is political

Maps chart territory and can thus be used and abused, for example, to convey one’s own interpretation of a territorial dispute. In such cases maps exhibit their considerable potential to invoke political disputes. With the advent of online mapping and the gripe very few large companies have on it (think Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and very few … Continue reading When mapping is political

Motivating volunteers

Crowdsourcing projects like OpenStreetMap, Google Map Maker or Building Maker without compensation for contributors rely on volunteers’ efforts. There are various studies which try to shed light on the motivational factors of such volunteers. One way to motivate people to contribute their time and effort can be to make them feel that they are part of … Continue reading Motivating volunteers

GoopenStreetMaple: Information wants to be free

A rant just arrived in my inbox, by Mikel Maron via the Geowanking mailing list. While I think Mikel has some valid points, I am still (naïvely?) optimistic that the bleak picture he paints will not materialise in really bad outcomes. Hopefully.

But who knows. In two events (about one and about three years ago) I asked two GeoGooglers (Ed Parsons being one of them) about the relationship, and its anticipated development, between Google and OpenStreetMap (OSM). Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), the answers were very vague and suggested that OSM is “not perceived as a competition” by Google and also that cooperation is “not impossible”. Continue reading “GoopenStreetMaple: Information wants to be free”

TargetMap let’s you put your data on – well – a map

Today I first heard about TargetMap. TargetMap is a mapping portal in public beta. Everybody can create customised maps with their own data (so-called ReportMaps). The interface for creating a ReportMap and the display of a ReportMap is implemented in Flash – and thus requires a bypass of your Flash blocking software (and cannot be consumed using iDevices).

Using the TargetMap wizard you can choose the world, a region or specific countries to be mapped. TargetMap then offers various options to bring data onto your map. You can:

  • upload an Excel file containing the data
  • type values directly into a TargetMap table
  • paint a map (assign different colours to different regions by clicking on them)
  • load your own ReportMaps or others’ public ReportMaps and use them as a template or background for your own
  • use something called a Sales Territory Manager (this option comes only with a private subscription and thus I haven’t tested it)

The service is essentially free if used for public maps. If you don’t want your data to be on display publicly, you can opt to create maps for your own exclusive use – this, however, requires you to pay a fee to TargetMap (somewhat hefty 195$ for an annual subscription). Continue reading “TargetMap let’s you put your data on – well – a map”