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MapGive - Open Mapping from the US State Dept. (state.gov)
113 points by chippy 1257 days ago | hide | past | web | 25 comments | favorite

This looks like a great project, and nice to see them supporting OSM. Google gets (rightfully) lauded for offering quite good maps[1] of much of the developing world, but I recently checked out the OSM map[2] of the city I live in (Dakar, Senegal) and it's just as good, if not better. Bing Maps[3], by comparison, thinks there are 2 roads in the entire city.




I often use http://tools.geofabrik.de/mc/?lon=-17.41738&lat=14.73861&zoo... when comparing between the different map providers.

Of the three initial examples, only Bing marked the Atlantic Ocean. At least they had that detail.

(though they do have a road running right through the airport... win some, lose some)

> Of the three initial examples, only Bing marked the Atlantic Ocean.

Start zooming out. At one tick out, none of the maps mark the Atlantic Ocean. Because the label isn't in the viewport.

Perhaps you didn't get the sarcasm. ;-)

I'll just start assuming everything people say on HN is sarcasm.

Wow, great tool, thanks!

Wow this is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

What a nice project. This is the kind of thing that I like to see the US government supporting. Now to find the time to learn to map something.

I wonder if there is a way to automate this using Google maps and places data...

On some level, certain things could be automated but:

1. It definitely violates Google's TOS: https://developers.google.com/maps/terms

2. Also, in my opinion is contrary to the spirit of the OSM community

A more powerful approach would be providing resources and tools for teachers and students to map their communities and places around the world. The map data becomes more robust, and students get a great opportunity to learn about new places and geography.

How about showing the equivalent Google map when editing an OSM map?

Nope. That'd be an invitation to copy Google's copyrighted data, which defeats the whole point of OSM.

Why so many downvotes? Can't ask legitimate questions on HN anymore?

Agreed - we really should encourage contributions to the discussions, rather than "i disagree points".

(I cannot downvote, all I see is the comment in a lighter shade of grey. If I could, would I be able to see the number of downvotes?)

> If I could, would I be able to see the number of downvotes?

The only person who can see number of upvotes/downvotes is the person who made the comment. I am pretty sure this is to prevent making leaderboards out of trolling, but I could be wrong.

Doesn't appear downvoted to me.

It was -5 but now it's +1.

So the problem of converting Satellite data to Maps is still not possible with algorithms ? Google is able to find all Cat photos in the youtube videos, how about finding streets ?

From what I gather there is a number of algorithms that work pretty well, but only on certain datasets and for certain parts of the world. For example, one approach could be flawless to extract highways and on and off ramps in the US, but the same algorithm may struggle with French roads.

What I am excited about within the context of open data and crowdsourcing is using machines to do a rough first pass over the imagery, and get people to rate or fix the results.

A wonderful example of this is the New York Public Library's Building Inspector: http://buildinginspector.nypl.org/

There's various algorithm in use for OSM, eg click in the middle of a lake and it'll trace the outline for you based on color, but going from a satellite image to a map requires both a human and other sources of info, generally.

Are you sure they don't already do this, and just only use it on Google Maps?

"Quality geographic data helps empower killing drones ... I mean, organizations and communities!"

Certainly not from this. The military most def (via the NRO) has their own "classified" maps for all of these sorts of things. If you think the US military is using google maps or OSM data for this, you are sadly mistaken. I know this first hand having flown a non-weaponized drone ~12ish hours per day for a year overseas.

- Former Shadow 200 TUAV Operator with 482 combat flight hours in Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003-2004.

While I believe you are being facetious, I'll bite.

Yes, it also means that schoolhouses will no longer be confused with military bunkers. And diplomatic consulates won't be confused for depots [1].

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._bombing_of_the_Chinese_emb...

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