Friday, July 25, 2008

We always knew...

We always suspected that China wasn't the best place to be for mappers. But nothing prepared us for this chilling first-hand account of Chinese hardship!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


On behalf of the OpenStreetMap Foundation I today wish to offer the most sincere apologies to the good people of Accra. I take personal responsibility for the environmental disasters that were brought upon them by malice, ignorance, or plain use of Potlatch, effected by the OpenStreetMap public over the course of the past months and years.

Flotsam of all kind is being washed up on Ghana's shores, with Accra being hardest hit because it is closest to the source of the problem, only a few hundred kilometres off shore. Bits and pieces of roads, buildings, the interior decoration of a whole supermarket, and most recently a good thousand of unaccompanied nodes and two barrels of m*shed potatoes, are carelessly dumped to sea, turning the area into the world's rubbish bin.

I have personally surveyed the damage and told them the Foundation would throw all its weight behind efforts to improve the situation. (I've also made plans to notch up the Foundation's weight a few stones by replacing one of the skinny guys with someone from the States but I can't tell you more right now, it's supposed to be a democratic process you know.)

So, folks, this totally has to stop. No more using lat=0,lon=0 for tests. I promised it to the Ghanans. They were so impressed, they even named one of their towns after El Coasto. So please. At least use -0,-0 instead, which is on the other side of the world (or so I'm told).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Flowers. Peace & Love

Oh well. I'm sorry. So the prospect of having to shuttle into dreary Limerick from my California mansion had me a bit depressed there. I had just e-mailed my letter of resignation to Cloudmade, said goodbye to my captive audience (that's you!), and suspended my accounts on Flickr, Dopplr and the dozen other new age services I'm on. I was about to nuke the opengeodata blog and prepare my final message to the 23 OSM mailing lists, but got distracted trying to find the right words for my friends at talk-de when Nick's henchmen bundled me into a helicopter and gave me something that made me see flowers.

Conference was good, lots of flowers in Ireland. Thankfully Nick had prepared a few slides for my keynote on Sunday. Escapes me what technical stuff our Ukrainian wizards are building but Andy fed me the right keywords so I managed. People threw flowers at me.
And Ed: I'd still be hating you for not buying the IoM data from us last year, if it hadn't been for all the flowers.

Anyway, so I'm about to head back to the West Coast, on my mission of trying to get them tigertards to map the occasional park and footway. With fuel at 4.50 bucks per gallon you'll have to at least think about using footways, I tell them. They're a bit slow in accepting English superiority but I'm the lead dog in this territory (spot my markings, ha). I asked Nick when I'll be allowed back to the London office but he said there's many other countries to evangelise in after I'm done with the US and there wasn't anything useful I could do at home anyway...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Unnecessary with the wisecrack commentary

So, my friends, it's time for me to leave you. I know you were looking forward to my SOTM report. I know you're gagging for more instruction on how to crowdsource bikeshed painting, for more lolmaps and l337 People's Map exploits, for graphs with rockets and APIs with clue. But, well, some things are beyond parody, and I feel my work here is done.

But end of statement doesn't mean end of FSC. Oh no.
This kinda shit's our calling, had no choice
Doin' it for free like the Village Voice
So when "disruptive" shades to "mischievous" shades to "trouble-making"; when you're taken out by a stray bullet seemingly from nowhere; when some unseen bit of code suddenly appears and bites all your best-laid plans in the ass... look for the swashbucklin' silhouette of Fake SteveC disappearing round the corner.

Love you all. Have fun.