In all but name… what about OSM for the world?

In all but name… what about OSM for the world?

Can you match the quote with the speaker?

“It’s absolutely possible for a bunch of smart guys with the technology we have today to capture street networks, and potentially the major roads of the UK and minor roads”

“If you don’t make [lower-resolution mapping data] publicly available, there will be people with their cars and GPS devices, driving around with their laptops .. They will be cataloguing every lane, and enjoying it, driving 4x4s behind your farm at the dead of night. There will, if necessary, be a grass-roots remapping.”

“You could have a community capability where you took the GPS data of people driving around and started to see, oh, there’s a new road that we don’t have, a new route .. And so that data eventually should just come from the community with the right software infrastructure.”


Ok, so my obvious point is that several high profile folks have OpenStreetMap on radar, for various political, technical, and business purposes. But another major factor of OSM is not mentioned often. Even if OSM is leveraged successfully to open up geodata to some extent in these arenas — the TeleAtlas/Navteq business model, the Ordnance Survey in the UK, the INSPIRE directive for the EU — there remains a majority of the world without digital mapping of any kind. Due to low market demand, or government disinterest or disorganization, the places most in need of cartography are lacking. This is the “developing world”, even Eastern Europe, India..

The technical infrastructure being developed within OSM is cheap, reproducible, and collaboratively organized. Similar to mobile phones, GPS and OpenStreetMap is a leapfrog technology, and represents the best opportunity for these places to acquire the tools to communicate and deliberate about space.