Brum laid bare on OpenStreetMap
First UK city with full-fat coverage
Birmingham has joined Berlin, Canberra, Paris and Vienna in falling in its entirety to the cartographical skills of locals who've "completely digitally remapped" the city - in the process elevating it to the first British location to enjoy full-fat coverage on OpenStreetMap.
The press release explains that the map was created "by local people, with local knowledge, who take pride in how their neighbourhoods are represented". They're described as "a dedicated band of 100 volunteers has been collecting GPS data whilst cycling, walking, and riding the buses and trains", and who've pinpointed "15,000 residential roads, 6,000 footpaths and 9,000 other roads" as well as "over 700 bus stops, 300 pubs, 200 traffic lights and 300 postboxes".
Andy Robinson, secretary of the OpenStreetMap Foundation and "a prolific mapper in the West Midlands", enthused: "It's very satisfying to see a complete city mapped in OpenStreetMap. Four years ago when this project was created we were looking at a blank screen and most commentators thought we were crazy."
According to the OpenStreetMap Foundation, the UK-spawned project has to date attracted 85,000 volunteers worldwide, who've so far "mapped almost 14 million miles of road globally". There's more info available here. ®
The street in Birmingham where my sister lives (not cited here for the sake of her privacy) is not named on the map, even at the highest resolution. And most of the houses on it were built before 1900, before you ask if it's a brand new road.
not hopeless UI
To the anonymous who was trying to "add a road" - I'm glad you didn't manage to add your road, you were probably doing it wrong.
A good UI helps people who know what they are doing to do it well. You clearly didn't, and I'm glad you failed or you would likely have subtracted from the quality of the map. Clearly the UI succeeded here in preventing you from adding a road.
re: hopeless UI prevents additions - FAIL
Yeah, right. 90,000 people are using OSM on a near daily basis, so I guess the UI really prevents everyone to contribute.
Of course if you don't like to read stuff on the wiki on how to map stuff, or view the videos on showmedo, youtube and other sites, you're probably better off sticking to openstreetbugs to mention "bugs" in the data.
Yes, contributing to OpenStreetMap is a bit more complex than editing Wikipedia, but it's not impossible.
(anyone who finds any sarcasm or irony in this post may keep it)