[geo-discuss] Hello and request for advice w.r.t developing open geo-data as part of an undergraduate degree course geography module

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 30 12:40:18 UTC 2011

Hey Andy

OSM covers a lot more than only Streets. The overwhelming Map Features page is 
just a sample" http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Map_Features

But there are certainly things that don't fit into OSM all that well. For 
example, historic data, vectors digitized from paper maps into a collaborative 
database, are a little tough to shoehorn in. That's because the notion of start 
and end times of features isn't well grappled with by the pipeline of OSM tools, 
and wouldn't be filtered out of "today's" map. However, the OSM codebase could 
be adapted for this, and set up in another instance. And if the code base isn't 
appropriate, say in a collaborative DEM or as you point out conceptual items, 
then certainly the core concepts of a wiki map are there to be reused --- open 
contributions and use through commons licenses.

Licensing would be a key part of any open geo data model. As a whole, society 
needs better understanding of how data is being managed legally, in the commons 
and commercially, and the real impacts that has on data use.


== Mikel Maron ==
+14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron

From: Andy Turner <A.G.D.Turner at leeds.ac.uk>
To: Mikel Maron <mikel_maron at yahoo.com>; "geo-discuss at lists.okfn.org" 
<geo-discuss at lists.okfn.org>
Sent: Fri, April 29, 2011 3:18:31 PM
Subject: RE: [geo-discuss] Hello and request for advice w.r.t developing open 
geo-data as part of an undergraduate degree course geography module

Hi Mikel,

The module is shaping up to cover a lot of ground and different approaches to 
geography. If it was down to me, the digital learning resources we develop would 
be open access, but it's not, so we'll have to see how it works out. I'll do my 
best to argue for greater openness and try my best to keep my work in the open.

It would be good to be more active in responding to crises, but maybe this comes 

OSM is great, and I'm very keen to get the students using and learning how to 
develop it.

OSM is not the be all and end all though, it focuses on the current physical 
socio-economic infrastructure and that is only part of the picture that these 
geographers are interested in. I want OM and I see OSM moving that way...

Wikimapia allows for a lot of information to be added to a collaboratively 
developed map and that is both interesting and useful. The interface is quite 
nice, but I appreciate it has drawbacks and the one you point out is quite 
major. Still, it is something I want to expose and get the students using, 
likewise Google Map Maker. I'd like to have something like this, maybe based on 
Ordnance Survey data that allows us to develop data that would be really open...

It is key to be able to link to information about non-physical things on a map 
for many types of geography. We can do that with layers and indeed get the 
students developing and sharing GIS type data that links to details on resources 
like wikipedia...



From: Mikel Maron [mikel_maron at yahoo.com]
Sent: 29 April 2011 15:56
To: Andy Turner; geo-discuss at lists.okfn.org
Subject: Re: [geo-discuss] Hello and request for advice w.r.t developing open 
geo-data as part of an undergraduate degree course geography module

Hi Andy

Nice. Just quickly...

--- Curriculum is something I'm very interested in, and others in OpenStreetMap, 
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, GroundTruth Initiative/Map Kibera are also 
interested in.
--- Crisis Mapping classes in the US (Tufts, John Carroll, Columbia) have 
incorporated OSM. Tufts is using OSM quite a bit in research projects in GIS. 
Probably many others as well. In France, academic connections are being built 
through HOT. UCL has done a great deal of research.
--- Possibly the right time to start thinking about an OSM academic research 
--- There are local awesome OSM folks in Leeds.
--- Wikimapia is closed data, and deriving from Google; proceed with caution.


== Mikel Maron ==
+14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron

From: Andy Turner <A.G.D.Turner at leeds.ac.uk>
To: "geo-discuss at lists.okfn.org" <geo-discuss at lists.okfn.org>
Sent: Thu, April 28, 2011 1:15:48 PM
Subject: [geo-discuss] Hello and request for advice w.r.t developing open 
geo-data as part of an undergraduate degree course geography module


I'm a researcher based at the University of Leeds. I expect some of us have met 
:) Anyway, I've just joined this list as I think it is a good one to perhaps 
field a question I have. Sorry not to have joined the list sooner.

I'm working with a small team to develop a proposal for a new module for an 
undergraduate level 1 module in geography to be run at the University of Leeds 
from October. The focus and proposed title for the module is "Leeds: From local 
to global". The idea is to focus some teaching and learning (and research and 
data development) about our local region (and introspectively mapping out how 
the University of Leeds collaborates/collaborated with other organisations 
around the world).

I have interested David Bell, the Director of Learning and Teaching, (who is 
leading the development of the module) in developing open data and linked data 
and geo-data in particular. The plan is for something like 50-100 students to 
take the module and learn about the different types of data that exist and then 
actively contribute to developing maps.

So we're still in the planning stage and I'm after some advice.

I want us to get the students and staff engaging more in creating their own open 
web content and contributing more to collective efforts like OpenStreetMap, 
Wikimapia and Wikipedia. I'm also keen to somehow be able to show what we have 
added collectively and hopefully show our contributions blossoming and 
developing year on year. I'd like us to have a lovely map of Leeds through time 
that can be merged with other maps through time in a virtual world based on 

We are keen to work with Ordnance Survey and our Local Authority and local 
organisations (especially those developing open data).

Should we be thinking about maintaining our own wiki's be they map based or 

I want some comparisons happening with all the data we have available including 
comparisons with more open commercial data like Google/Bing/Yahoo maps and 
especially from things like Google Map Maker and similar.

Do you have any advice?

Thanks in advance,


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