Tuesday, February 1, 2011

#OpenStreetMap + #Maperitive + @MapQuest = BoulderBikeNetwork

I like cycling. I like OpenStreetMap. I discovered Maperitive a few months ago and thought I would try my hand at rendering my own custom-styled map tiles. I don't have a PostgreSQL database nor do I currently have the time to learn it. It turns out, that I don't need to if I am working on a city-scale project.

Together with Maperitive's scripting language and some Python scripts that I wrote, I have put together a framework that anyone can implement fairly easily to create their own tiles for a localized area and then host it on a web server (I am using Amazon S3 for my tile server). I hope to publish my steps in the next month or two.

And then not too long ago I discovered that the MapQuest Open Initiative made bicycle routing freely available based on the OpenStreetMap data. How cool is that! So now I can ride my bike while surveying for OSM and if I tag the paths correctly, everyone can route on them properly within a few days of me uploading the data.

You can see my BoulderBikeNetwork sandbox area at https://s3.amazonaws.com/boulderalf/boulderbikenetwork/google_map.html

Note: just today I saw this map http://www.cyclelicio.us/map/ that does alot of similar things that I have been thinking about. It is exciting to see the many uses for the OSM data!