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Re: Announcing the Fedora Geo Spin

2009/1/21 Beartooth <Beartooth swva net>:
> On Wed, 21 Jan 2009 11:53:55 -0500, Yaakov Nemoy wrote:
>> 2009/1/21 Beartooth <Beartooth swva net>:
>> 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.
>        I've been known to do a certain amount of expository writing and
> make a living at it, but on very specialized topics; I wouldn't want to
> add anything to wikipedia. It's a reference tool to me.

Well, i meant it as an example, in terms of the difference in use cases.

>> 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.
>        Sorry -- what's an MID?

Mobile Internet Device. Anything that has internet and can be carried
in your pocket. If you have a laptop sized pocket, then a laptop is an

>> 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.
>        I have recent proprietary topo map software from Garmin and
> Delorme, and may yet acquire more from Maptech. Can I use those? (If I
> don't put them into the public database, which likely already has the
> same *topo* data from the same Coast & Geodetic Survey, it shouldn't
> violate their copyright, nor my license to it for my personal use. Things
> like rest stops and burger joints don't interest me; I'd prefer to delete
> them.)

This goes into two issues that we deal with in Fedora and in OSM
alike. The first is open formats and open standards, and the second is

If you paid for those maps, you are free to do what ever you want with
them, as long as you don't violate the copyright or the license it
came with. For example, if there is a tool in Fedora that can read the
Garmin format, then we can include that tool in the Geo Spin, and it
will be available for you to use.

On the otherhand, if the copyright forbids you from rereleasing the
data, then you have to make sure not to copy it into the OSM database.
Furthermore, there is very nebulous legislation about copying
information once it's in your head. If you memorize the map that
Garmin gave you, and then commited that to OSM from memory, is that
legal? We're not sure, but it's safer to keep that out of OSM. Do you
see what i mean here?

>> 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.
>        The F&W in Virginia (http://www.dgif.virginia.gov), where I live,
> and the one in Tennessee (http://state.tn.http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/
> gis/us/twra/), where my in-laws are, both already have maps, though I
> don't know what sort. (VA says it has designed its own (http://
> www.findgame.org/about.asp) and also mentions GIS (http://
> www.dgif.virginia.gov/gis/) -- something of which I know only the
> initials -- as does TN, in a couple places.) Maybe they're already usable?

It bears looking into. (Pun Intended.) Like i explained before, there
are two issues, the ability to initially read the data format, and the
copyrights to use it.  This is where lobbying comes into play.

To make this data useful to us, it needs to be readable by an Open
Source tool. If the only tools that can read the data are proprietary
tools that require licenses, then it is something you would need to
take up with those government agencies. They are essentially spending
tax dollars in order to support one corporation over the other. Here
you would have to lobby them to switch to an open format.

The bigger issue, and a hot one for OSM, is the copyright. Various
national, state, and city organisations around the world have been
releasing their maps and data under licenses approved by OSM for use
in OSM. When a governmental agency collects data like that to release
in the public domain for the public's best intreests, it's important
to do it under a copyright license that is in the public's best
interests too. Many organisations already release data in the public
domain. If these organisations don't, you might want to write them
letters, or gather a petition that they put the data in the public
domain or use one of the creative commons licenses. This would give
you the best of both worlds. The data would be free to be used by any
tool or computer program, which we can support in Fedora. It will also
be free to enter into databases like OSM increasing it's value.

>>>        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 ;)
>        Precisely. Where? Is there already a site for true beginners? Or
> might I perhaps best wait for the new spin, and work from that?
>        I'm strictly a user of Fedora (who wouldn't know a line of code
> if it bit me), but not a completely clueless one -- I've been running it
> since it was RH7. That might be worth a little bit.

So far, it's been nice talking to you about the possibilities of a Geo
Spin. I'm still not clear what exactly you're looking to do. What is
your goal here? Are you looking to get involved more in OpenStreetMap?
Editing OpenStreetMap? Using OpenStreetMap? Using Fedora? Testing OSM
tools on Fedora?

Since you're not involved in running mapping parties, sadly, i have
very little for you to do for the time being.  My initial goal is to
provide media a Mapping Party organizer can use to get participants up
to speed very quickly. I'm not sure you fit this description.
Nevertheless, i've published a kickstart file, and will publish
directions shortly on how to use it. If you would like to test it, i
would be more than glad to hear about your reactions. (Honestly, if
you've been using Fedora and RHL this long, it won't look much
different to you, it's just a Fedora desktop with a few extra
applications installed.)

>> 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 tools.
>        Hmmm ... I heard of these yesterday for the first time; I'll have
> to try to find out if any are scheduled hereabouts. Is there a central
> listing, like the one for LUGs? Google seems to get a lot of adventitious
> hits.



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