I-Our Maps

In the same way that maps ‘define’ places, map companies also own them.  If you want to get a detailed map of your house for a planning application or want to a map of footpaths for a walk, you have to purchase it; the physical map also contains a temporary lease on the copyright to represent that place on paper.  Business and personal enterprise is strangled by these legal restrictions and intellectual copyright over these claimed ownership of places.  We need a map that is created by the people, for the people – without restrictions on it’s use and without the harness of update schedules and professional surveyors.

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a collaborative project to create a free editable world map.  Anyone can register to become a member and start creating and editing maps, and the maps are available for free under a Open Source (Creative Commons) agreement.  As you can see below, Stroud is well represented at this level.  However as you zoom into the map, you’ll see that streets are missing, and there some inconsistencies and other features missing.

At the moment you’ll have to click this link because WP doesn’t support OSM to be embedded in the page.

The first stage of the project to is to update the OpenStreetMap in our area to provide a definitive, free base map of the Stroud area.

The best thing about this is mapping parties.  Like Colombus and Magellin before us we’ll go out into the wilderness of Stroud with our surveying kit (handheld GPS units), and fill in the gaps that OpenStreetMaps hasn’t quite reached.  We’ll use the editing tools that OSM provides to edit our GPS tracks and finish up with a definiative map base that’s our map base (and if we want to include things that are useful for us – we can!)

Once we’ve got a brilliant, complete and accurate map – we’ll promote this to local businesses, community groups and anyone who has a requirement for quality local maps.  These best thing is that they’ll be able to use and distribute them as they see fit (and they’re not trying to sell us stuff like Google)!

We’ll also try and use these maps during the later phases of the project………


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