Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Free map of Wokingham

So Ed is getting even more antsy about OpenStreetMap's poor coverage of Wokingham. Well Andy and I went for a quick blast on the way back from a meeting in Reading yesterday and we reckon we've got it licked. It was a bit of a rush so we had to use some out-of-copyright mapping as a base but we don't reckon anyone will notice. Happy now?

Friday, January 25, 2008


So after the "fantastic" "response" to last week's appeal I'd like to unveil our new co-author.

To qualify for Fake SteveC status you have to exhibit three characteristics: familiarity with the suffix "tard", ability to summarily dismiss others' bogus arguments, and overuse of the word "awsome" (one "e", please). Frederik qualifies on the first two counts and, well, he'll learn to be awsome. Also it's good to finally have the author of an editor on the team.

Frederik has been a coder since, like, 1969 so I'm hoping he might be able to explain to me the workings of Potlatch which is written in ALGOL or something. Also he doesn't take any shit from anyone which is the true hallmark of a real OSM fundamentalist (see also: TomH, morwen, and this crazy New Zealand guy who insists on posting incomprehensible shit about tags at 23.30 GMT every day, despite repeated appeals to stop) When I step down from being El Presidente in like 2017 or something I know OSM is going to be safe in these guys hands.

Oh yeah. Ed. You remember that completeness stuff you were talking about? Siooma, baby. Siooma. (Thanks to b3ta.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Safety in numbers

My fantastic company ZXV is doing a Week of OpenStreetMap at the moment. It's like a Google Summer of Code but shorter, not sunny and we don't have the beanbags. Or the money.

So one of our aims is to fix the bits in OSM where only one person knows how it works. We're moving stuff from obscure languages like MUMPS which has been around for 40 years, to Rails which has been around for like three-and-a-half so is totally more future-proofed. Our guys do tend to have accidents and Ed has been muttering sinisterly about "be an awful shame if something were to happen to your developers" so we need to take care.

Anyway it got me thinking about other points of failure. Now again the big G has this sorted, they're run by three people who never travel on the same plane, and even Ed's blog is written by two people.

I figure I should apply the same technique to my own blog and hey, it's all crowd-sourcing too. So if you want to be part of the geospatial industry's foremost fake blog, leave a comment and I'll get back to you. Safe.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ed Parsons, original gangster

SO this weekend Real Ed gets all paleo on my ass and instantly blows all his neo cred in one blog posting.

See here. Now if you're going to criticise OSM you can do it for many things but "completeness" and "accuracy" are such old-school arguments they could only really come from someone who's still at heart an Ordnance Survey guy. I mean we demolished the completeness argument years ago when I got our stats guy Andy to whip up this graph:

and if anyone tries to argue further I just say "Isle of Man" very quietly and that usually shuts them up.

Anyway I posted a friendly reply from El Coasto, complete with smiley, and Ed gets even more snippy and starts threatening that we're going to "lose credibility". So then I had to unleash da hounds and the whole OSM crowd piles in. Right now I've called a temporary ceasefire but I'm warning you, Parsons, any more shit like this and I'm going to let crschmidt loose on your comments section.

Truth is Ed doesn't quite get Web 2.0 yet. If I were being harsh I'd say he's still a 1.0 kind of guy but this is Google we're talking about, so let's just call him Web 2.0 beta.

Meanwhile, while Ed is busy not mapping the Isle of Man, our guys yesterday - just one day - did world's first Welsh-language webmap and the world's first cycling satnav, neither of which I see Google doing any time soon. Now I don't really understand this Garmin shit but I see the file in question is called GMapsUpp. GMapsUpYours more like.

Anyway must rush. Ed's basically being cocky because his maps are guaranteed a namecheck at MWSF today and ours aren't, so I figured I might take a leaf out of Gizmodo's book. You know, Ed, (other) Steve's going to be totally not happy when he finds out your intemperate blog posting fscked up his keynote. Have fun.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Haven't posted much over Christmas, I've been busy travelling the world and setting up companies and well, you know how it is. If you want to catch up with my fake frequent flyer points you can do so with the DOPPLR! stuff in the sidebar.

Anyway you all loved my Tard Army post, so I've reworked it for the Geowanking list. I had to simplify it a bit because the wankers aren't as smart as the OSM crowd - there are just three types of tards in this version. But you'll recognise the theme, and I'm proud of the "you won’t need money" reference which is pure Stallman. If you missed the VGI workshop don't worry - I'll be reprising it for the SOTM keynote speech.

Incidentally, SteveJ was at one of the break-out sessions at the VGI do and, well, I'm not actually allowed to tell you what's going to be in the MWSF keynote, but you should definitely search Localizable.strings in your jailbreak iPhone for the string OpenStreetMap. I'm just saying, is all.