Book Review: OpenStreetMap ~ Be Your Own Cartographer

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If you’ve been interested in contributing to OpenStreetMap but aren’t sure how or where to start, Jonathan Bennett has written a reference book about the collaborative geographic data creating service.  Jonathan Bennett has been extensively involved with OpenStreetMap since 2006 and is a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation.  The book also receives the benefit of having been reviewed by Steve Coast, the founder of OpenStreetMap and Richard Fairhurst, an early adopter.

OpenStreetMap: Be Your Own Cartographer presents a comprehensive and straightforward look at the crowdsourcing project.  All aspects of being involved with OpenStreetMap as a contributor (or as a mapper as volunteers are known) are addressed int this book.  Bennett starts at the beginning with an introductory chapter that covers what OpenStreetMap is, why you should use it, and why you should contribute to the effort.  Further chapters explore gathering data via GPS, and covering all aspects of working with OpenStreetMap including collecting data, editing data, and creating customized maps.

Since OpenStreetMap data is freely available, an important section of the book addresses how to extract geographic data along with a chapter specifically on Osmosis, a Java application known as the  “Swiss Army Knife” of OpenStreetMap.

Bennett  wraps up OpenStreetMap: Be Your Own Cartographer with a forward-looking chapter on the future of OpenStreetMap which includes a change in the licensing agreement, MapCSS, and specialized editing applications.

The 360º coverage about the OpenStreetMap project makes this book an excellent reference volume for anyone wanting to become involved with this wiki-style geographic data collection project.  The book is available in both printed and ePDF from Packt Publishing.

OpenStreetMap – Be Your Own Cartographer by Jonathan Bennett



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