… an interesting tool that allows a visual comparison of the coverage of various maps, e.g. google maps vs. open streetmap (OSM). Based on people’s enthusiasm, in many (local) places the OSM coverage is much deeper/exacter. However, with respect to quality necessary for routing and navigation applications, OSM in its current status will not be sufficient.
Comparing google maps (left) and open streetmap (right)
The tool for comparison is available at
it points at Techno-Z, home of Salzburg Research. One can see that buildings, local paths, etc. are covered much better in OSM than in google maps. Still, this is what we as human users interpret; software/machine readability can be – and is! – quite different.
January 19th, 2009
… The sixth conference on alpine space, orientation and navigation took place November 20-21, 2008, in Salzburg. FFG (Dr. Klaffenböck) and Salzburg Research were the organisers. Some 60 people attended the event.
The program can be found here.
November 21st, 2008
Today, we had a successful review of Semway, a project dealing with adding high-level semantics to navigation systems so that they are (more/better) suitable for pedestrians. Karl Rehrl is Semway’s project manager.
What I like about this project: it innovates something that we believe is already working (i.e., navigation systems) in a radically new way so that we can use navigation systems also as pedestrians, or as hikers, ski-tourers, etc. As humans we simply do not navigate according to geo-coordinates but much more with landmarks; we can walk through parks, along rivers, etc.
The main issue I see is in providing/generating semantically enhanced content (btw: the same is true for many semantic web applications as well) so that Semway’s features can be exploited. Besides technological approaches such as text-mining (from existing sources) and others, a community-based approach as is done in openstreetmap.org would be an option.
Atomic Austria is industrial partner in Semway; the project is mainly funded by FFG/BMVIT.
August 8th, 2008
… www.openstreetmap.org is a pretty cool initiative, aiming at developing free, editable maps. Fundamental concepts include
- it is a community driven process
- the IPRs stay with the person who edits the (part of) the map
- you are not allowed to copy from existing material
- coverage of main locations is really good, e.g. most of Germany, in Austria mainly Vienna (with Linz coming up fast)
- openstreetmap provides an open concept, i.e., basically you are not editing streets (albeit the name is “streetmap”) but lines (with links), polygones and therefore shapes. You add “semantics” by providing tags
- various editors exist, e.g. a flash-based built in editor (by the name of Potlatch) but also external ones such as josm or OSM mapper, and others.
- potentially this could be threatening Navteq or Teleatlas …
Someone should implement an OSM navigating software!
July 22nd, 2008