The Next Big Thing in Geo Software

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Data consolidated from a farmer’s plow’s GPS as it circled near Dmitriyev, Russia. Uncovering unknown territory is more and more rare, as GPS paired with the Web has made even the most remote or unusual routes accessible to the world. The free service of OpenStreetMap (OSM) has more than one million registered users contributing data from GPS, aerial photography and just regular traversing across every possible route in the world. OSM has more than a decade of consolidated data and is often referred to as the “Wikipedia for maps.” But the interesting part is that their data are considered their primary product, and not actual maps. Many sites are powered with OSM data—like Craigslist, Foursquare, Geocaching, MapQuest—organizations that want to use it instead of pricey Google Maps. But OSM also powers the beautiful maps produced by the startup MapBox. Here’s an example of a runner’s various routes (the thicker red lines represent the number of times he ran that particular route) using data from OSM. (more…)

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The Next Big Thing in Geo Software

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