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Re: Announcing the Fedora Geo Spin

2009/1/21 Beartooth <Beartooth swva net>:
> On Mon, 19 Jan 2009 18:18:16 -0500, Yaakov Nemoy wrote:
>> I would like to announce the formation of a Fedora Geo Spin with tools
>> for integration into Open Street Map. For more information, please see
>> the following link:
>> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User:Ynemoy/Fedora_Geo_Spin
>        [....]
>        Can people without linux-savvy, cartography-savvy, nor
> electronics-savvy use OSM at all?? Will this spin, perhaps, enable the
> likes of us to use it in the same way we use Garmin, Delorme, and MapTech
> products under XP?

I don't know yet. Part of it depends on the tools that OSM people use
for doing their things. Some of the tools require you understand a bit
about cartography. This is similar to Wikipedia requiring writers to
have some decent writing skills in their languages. But this just
applies to writing for Wikipedia, as in it also applies to editing

I'm sure you can read wikipedia already, and there are a number of
tools that render the data in OSM, and make it readable to the layman.
There are also a number of tools that can take OSM information and
give you good route planning on top of it. These are as easy to use as
the developers make them, but a number of them are in Fedora already.
The ultimate goal is to consolidate these packages into a single Spin.

The second aspect is the overall user interface. There are a number of
tools people use to make decent interfaces for MID devices. The real
trick is going to be integrating them, so that people will have easy
access to the OSM related tools on their MIDs.

>        If so, is there a really elementary introduction to OSM somewhere?
>        Background : I've been looking for ten years for linux-native GPS/
> map software user-friendly enough for me to use for hiking and hunting --
> completely in vain, chiefly because my interest is topo maps, not road
> maps.
>        So when I first heard of OSM, I disregarded it because of the
> name.

Are you looking to be a producer of topographical data or a consumer?
OSM is run wiki style, meaning you can edit the database and put in
any information you want, including topographic information. If you're
looking to be a producer, take your topograhical readings, assemble
the data, and have a long chat with one of the OSM guys about how to
enter it in the database. If you're looking to become a consumer,
there are a few options, but they all rely finding a way to get the
topographical data in the database first. Try lobbying your local
wildlife agency that publishes this data to participate in OSM. Once
the data's there, you'll need a tool that can display it for you on a
MID or similar device. If such a tool exists that is open source, we
can look at including it in the spin, of course.

>        Knowing of your project, I've skimmed through the lists carried
> on Gmane, and discovered, although 99 44/100% of what I see is over my
> head, that it does include some topographic stuff (I can't yet really
> tell what.)

It's a hobby, you have to at least start somewhere ;)

>        I am not sanguine that it may be user-friendly enough for the
> likes of me, nor become so in what is left of my time; but hope springs
> eternal ....

This is one of my goals though. One of the first targets i have in
mind is Windows users who show up at a Mapping Party. The goal is to
provide something they can use out of the box to participate. There
will be people there familiar with the Gnome Desktop anyways, so they
will be able to show the participants where to find applications and

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