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Archive for the ‘OpenStreetMap’ Category

OSM and licensing

Posted by smathermather on March 15, 2014

I don’t often wade into the flame war territory of vi vs. emacs, GPL vs. MIT (etc.) and the question of “more open” for a given definition of open. But, as State of the Map, US (SOTMUS) approaches, the question of the share-alike clause with it’s copyleft equivalency in OpenStreetMap seems to rise as a conversation piece. For example:

and of course this:

Create, Adapt, Share

Create Adapt Share

So, the copyleft. It’s an assertion of copyright, but with a radical twist. It’s a tool in the toolkit, and important. It’s used to good effect in Linux and PostGIS and other important projects. I’m no purist– there are undoubtedly times when copyleft prevents the growth and contribution of community. It’s important because it is a protection of that which we make public to remain public.

The same is true for share-alike. This is like enabling legislation is for governmental agencies, it’s a line in the sand that defines that which is a public good vs. private good.

Assuming it gets accepted as a pull request, you’ll be able to use CC0 or ODbL (share-alike) for data on GitHub in a drop-down soon… .

So, when does share-alike or copyleft make sense? Maybe when the thing needing protection is a core piece of data or software (PostGIS, Linux, etc.). And (from the perspective of a not being a nearly active enough OSM member) perhaps OpenStreetMap fits here too.

Let the argument begin. CC0! Share-alike! CC0! Share-alike!

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Using OSM Nominatim to search for geographic objects

Posted by smathermather on July 21, 2012

Just playing a little today.  I’m at Cleveland Give Camp today, working on a project for Ohio City Writers, a non-profit youth creative writing center.  I’m deploying some maps for the registration site, that will be filterable, using CartoDB as a host for the data.  As I don’t know what we’re going to filter, or where the page will go yet, I was trolling around trying to find alternate data sources for things like locations of schools.

OpenStreetMap has a search service called Nominatim that allows for search of geographic objects across the world.  This is one of the tools that used on the OSM landing page when you search for a location.

This post won’t be much more than a reflector for the documentation, but it’s a nice easy to use service, i.e.:<query&gt;?<params>

and e.g.:,cleveland,oh

By default, it returns with HTML.  If we want xml or json, that’s not so hard:,cleveland,oh?format=json


"place_id" : "3095185",
"licence" : "Data Copyright OpenStreetMap Contributors, Some Rights Reserved. CC-BY-SA 2.0.",
"osm_type" : "node",
"osm_id" : "357479537",
"boundingbox" : [41.482427825928, 41.502431640625, -81.717878112793, -81.697870483398],
"lat" : "41.4924303",
"lon" : "-81.707872",
"display_name" : "Urban Community School, W 25th St, Detroit-Shoreway, Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, 44109, United States of America",
"class" : "amenity",
"type" : "school",
"icon" : "http:\/\/\/images\/mapicons\/education_school.p.20.png"
}, {
"place_id" : "3100746",
"licence" : "Data Copyright OpenStreetMap Contributors, Some Rights Reserved. CC-BY-SA 2.0.",
"osm_type" : "node",
"osm_id" : "357508524",
"boundingbox" : [41.451994171143, 41.47199798584, -81.720136413574, -81.70012878418],
"lat" : "41.4619957",
"lon" : "-81.7101311",
"display_name" : "Blessed Sacrament School (historical), Trowbridge, Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, 44109, United States of America",
"class" : "amenity",
"type" : "school",
"icon" : "http:\/\/\/images\/mapicons\/education_school.p.20.png"
//... etc.

I may have to use this for a future geographic search application.  I so often have to append OpenStreetMap’s Copyright on my applications anyway… .

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