Just emailed out this message .. reproduced here for further distribution. Forward and get involved!
Greetings! Hope you are well!
I’m sending out this message to briefly look back at what’s happened in OpenStreetMap Palestine, and announce a new mailing list [firstname.lastname@example.org] to take mapping in Gaza and the West Bank forward. You’re receiving this message because you may have contributed mapping time, donated money for aerial imagery, helped get the word out, discussed, or simply provided moral support. Thank you! Or maybe you were cc’d in one of the flurry of emails organizing OSM mapping in Gaza back in January! In any case, you’re invited to *join the new discussion list*. Please forward to anyone who you think is interested.
WHERE WE’RE AT
Dozens of volunteer mappers, Yahoo Aerial Imagery, Digital Globe Imagery, open data, and a wiki. In rapid time, Gaza is almost to 1.0. There’s still some place name labelling and POI and corrections to do, but it’s very close. JumpStart International, in partnership with PCBS and ARIJ, are hard at work. Please join in and edit, especially if you have direct knowledge of Gaza — get in touch if you need any editing guidance.
In the process, agencies like UNOSAT and EC JRC have started selective release of their data sets .. a great start to open geodata exchange. The OpenStreetMap Wiki has an extensive (perhaps the greatest) collection of Palestinian geodata on the internet, all collected rapidly through crowdsourcing.
At the same time, JumpStart International has been rapidly mapping the West Bank, and looks to be on track to release the first complete public domain map of Palestine very soon. It’s phenomenal, exciting work. Keep track of progress, and read fascinating accounts of the work there, on JumpStart’s weblog.
My blog posts for good measure..
A complete map is just the start. One of the very first tasks will be to import JumpStart’s map into OpenStreetMap. We’ll need experienced OSM mappers help.
We raised 4k GBP to purchase recent satellite imagery over Gaza. It’s been put to good use, but there’s so much more that could be done to get its full value .. for instance, agricultural land use is readily identifiable. If you want to work on digitizing the imagery get in touch; we can’t make it completely publicly available due to licensing, but will give access to any OSM mappers who are interested.
Mapping data is nothing unless it’s used and updated. The geography of Palestine changes rapidly, and knowledge of those changes is crucial. The uses of the data are many — for planning, for travel, for media reporting, for business, for education. The best way to maintain, promote and use open geographic data has proven to be through a strong community. We are the beginnings of that community in Palestine .. please be welcome to join talk-ps and work for a Free and Open Palestine.