Name: Laura Dadgar Philpott
Student Number: 115305436
Open Street mapping
This month’s assignment consisted of part taking in mapping a place in the world through the digital tool that is ‘Open Street Mapping’. The task at hand was to map out four different tiles and validate one other. Initially you are required to sign up to the website to partake in the mapping. I found this a really simple process. You chose a user name enter your email and they send you confirmation email. You click the link in the email and HEY!! You’re ready to begin your career as a mapper.
As most of my area was already mapped and finished I chose to pick four random places or ‘tiles’ in the world which had minimal work done to it. How do you map out a location you’ve never visited? The fantastic thing about Open Street view is that they give a satellite image of you random location and leave you map from that image. This allows you to map places that you’ve never even heard of, never mind visited. You can plot points/locations, lines if you want to add rivers or streets, and areas which lets you take over big areas of land for parks or industrial estates. I added my adjustments to the tile and then saved all the improvements I’ve made to the area.
I continued this process for another three tiles, in 3 more different places all over the world. I was given these random locations by the site as projects that all must be accomplish even though there are some very dormant locations. Some of the tiles were more difficult than others because they were very deserted areas which lacked in all kinds of infrastructure and services so there wasn’t much to map in these areas.
After I had mapped 4 different tiles the next task at hand was to validate a tile which was already mapped. This means that you edit a tile which had already been done by someone else and improve it to make it even better and more accurate. This makes the mapping even more effective and efficient.
Why use this service? This free service is beneficial for planning for such things as irrigation projects, future housing development and infrastructure improvements. It could possibly improve the standard of living and current living environment of the people in the country. Although it seems quite light hearted and fun I feel people should be aware of the great responsibility it holds because like I have said these maps may be used in plans for irrigation schemes or other environmental projects.
Another difficulty I came across was clouds. Clouds blocked the satellite image and limited me in my mapping. I would be plotting a road and then must come to a standstill as I could not see what happens because the clouds interrupted my few.
A small issues which annoyed me with the tool was that the satellite images were not up to date. If open street mapping wish to compete with companies such as Google maps I feel they should have more up to date software available for the users of the site.
Over all I enjoyed this assignment because I was proactively contributing to a project which could improve many people’s lives and their standard of living. Open street mapping is a fantastic idea which allow all members of the public to put forward their work efforts. This sense of community and interdependence is really satisfying to me because it gives you a positive outlook that internationally we can come together on a big project like this and maybe make a difference.