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Apparently, yesterday we had the first OpenStreetMap event in Taiwan!
We met in a café/restaurant equipped with power plug, wireless network and overhead projector and we had a bit of an introduction, chat and lunch.
Then we split in groups and exploited the fact that the newly built underground (KMRT) system is still free of charge, to spread around and map around the stations.
Finally, we reconvened at someone's house to see how to put the data together, draw roads, tag and upload.
Highlights of the day:
- How to turn a serial GPS into a data logger with 6 hours battery life [[!img 2008/osm-taiwan-gps-logger.jpg ald="Lloyd showing the homemade GPS logger"]]. Then attach it to your bike using magnets from broken hard drives. Totally rocks!
- Previous OpenStreetMap data was collected by only one person, who took the fancy new High Speed Rail from the opposite side of the country and joined the party. This also made discussion about standardising tags for Taiwan rather easy.
- A group of people appeared wielding a number of "totally insane in every regard" Garmin GPSMAP units: it turns out they are with a civil action group that goes around mapping historical trails, abandoned railroads, aboriginal routes and mountain crosses and so on. Apparently, they did not know about OpenStreetMap: hopefully they'll join in.
- The eeePC was very popular, and very handy for going around storing tracks, as you can just chuck it in one bag. JOSM runs fine, although it could really use an interface redesign to fit in the small screen. In fact, it could really use an interface redesign to fit in the standard 1024x768 screen of my laptop.
- We could not use the tracks made with the Garmins because we did not know we had to do "Setup -> Map -> Lock On Road = Off" and it was on by default. Now we know it for next time.
- Something like a SirfStarIII really helps in a city made mainly of very tall buildings with lots of steel and glass. My Sony-based cheap gps receiver that worked ok in the Bolognese countryside was next to useless here, continously losing the fix and producing a crazy zigzagging track of doom, only useful to figure out big long straight roads.
- Geocorrelation of digital camera pictures rocks! Who needs to store waypoints when you can just take pictures with the digital camera and have them show up as waypoints in JOSM? The trick of taking a picture of the GPS time and use that to compute time offset is great. Also, we found it easier to just fire up gpscorrelate to do the geocorrelation rather than figuring out how the tools in JOSM work.
Issues to address:
- There is a strong need for a
zh_TWtranslation plugin of JOSM; I'll try to find out how to do it and pass on the information to who can do it.
- Road names could be written either in English or in Chinese characters.
Currently English has been used for the
nametag because osmarender cannot render Chinese characters. There is some planining to create an OSM mirror in Taiwan which renders twice, and allows to choose the rendering language for the map. I will try to get a planet.osm extract for Taiwan that people can use to experiment with this; thanks to people in
#osmfor giving me names of people to contact. I will try later after Europe wakes up from this even-earlier-than-usual sunday morning.