Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Beginning to learn about open mapping projects


I've been thinking it'd be fun to try to make a park map without setting foot in the terrain. I've got easy access to lidar data to create a good base map. I could use local government air photos (which are accessible online) and do some spot field checking with Google street view. I've no idea how good a map I could create, but I thought it would be a fun experiment.

Another interesting no-specific-field-checking-required approach is the OpenOrienteeringMap. My understanding is that OOM pulls data from OpenStreetMap and creates a view of the data as either a simplified street orienteering map or a map that looks a bit like a real orienteering map.

Playing around with OpenOrienteeringMap inspired me to learn a bit about OpenStreetMap. That's been on my "list of things to do" for a year or so. I finally spent some time reading about it.

OpenStreetMap has a decent street map of Lawrence:

View Larger Map

But, the Lawrence map is very sparse in detail. Some other areas have much better detail. Check out the Sanford campus in Palo Alto:

View Larger Map

I'm a bit surprised that Lawrence doesn't have much detail in the OpenStreetMap. The University of Kansas campus has a few names and streets, but nothing in the way of detail. The Haskell Indian Nations University is just as empty.

It might be fun to remedy that lack of detail in Lawrence. So, I created an account at OpenStreetMap and added a couple of features as a way of learning a bit about the process and editing. There is something satisfying about making an edit and seeing the change. I really need to learn a lot more about it and make a dent into the lack of information on the Lawrence map.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 11:11 AM


How do you manage to access to the lidar datas?
MKG (from France, sorry for the poor english)
MKG, for the areas around where I live, I can download the data from:


The lidar data around here was collected through a government contract and is available for free.

Info about my experiments with the data (keep in mind that I'm not very knowledgable about computers) is at:

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