Map Nerd Shit

Between morning cup of coffee 1 and 2 the little dinger on my phone went off letting me know of a new email. Fuck it, gonna get cuppajoe # 2 down before I read that.

Half way through #2 I decide to check it out and what do ya know, school got cancelled due to the .01 inch of ice. Woohoo, free day!

Got all the typical AM business out of the way then hit the computator to do some editing in Open Street Map. There, I tied it into the title. OSM, as us mappie types call it, is basically a spatial data version of Wikipedia. Anyone who opens an account can add, delete or edit the data in the map. The advantage of it over Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc. is that it isn’t up to the company to decide what gets edited/added. Have a favorite restaurant that isn’t on the map? Add it.  The map data is also shareware so it can be used by other developers without worry of copyright issues. Esri, the company that makes ArcMap, the primary GIS software platform, has it as a base map option, some phone apps, such as Maps.Me pro use it as their base map as well.

To get off on a side tangent, Maps.ME is worth having. You can download maps with built in routing so you can use them for route finding without having any data connection. The great benefit of them using OSM is this: if there are specific things you want to have in maps, you can add it to OSM and be able to access it at any time. Whenever the app updates, all the edits that occurred since the last update are automatically added. How can this be cool?

I’m a moto dork as well, if you couldn’t tell by the title of the blog. I like to do long solo treks on old highways and dirt/forest/desert roads in the middle of nowhere and there are a few things I like to know the location of: gas, water and food. So I go through areas I plan to explore, find any sources of aforementioned stuff and if it’s there, but not yet added to OSM, I put it in and voila! No data needed personal updated maps for the shit I need to know about.

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Spent tonight with a Meetup group called Maptime which was an absolute hoot. Played with editing in OSM, looked at some Strava data as it can be streamlined and uploaded and basically babbled map nerd shit with some cool folks for a few hours.

It is rather rewarding to have thrown it all in to return to school to retrain for a new career field and see how huge it is, how fun it is and to see that I’m pretty damn good at it. It’s obvious my writing isn’t going to put food on the table so it’s good this is working out so far.

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