€15.000 Funding for Software Development - Proposal/Bimonthly Report for Dec 2008

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Bimonthly report for Software development for December 2008

Since the last reporting in June 2008 things have drastically been changed.

New coordinator for this project

In the last 2 months the coordinator ship for the NLnet Openstreetmap funding has been transferred from Martijn van Exel to Gert Gremmen .

The original project definition

Regarding the original project as defined in the “OSM subsidieaanvraag” and for which partial reporting has been delivered in June 2008, it can be concluded that no‐one is available to accept funding for this project. The project as described in the memorandum of understanding and of which progress was reported in the bi‐monthly report of June 2008 is in full development (partially due to the funding of travel expenses reported recently), however in a very distributed form, where no specific coordinator can be held “responsible” for the progress and results. The API 6 will thus be concluded in December 2008 without financial support but the aforementioned travel expenses. With hindsight, we can conclude that the relatively small amount of funds allocated to travel and accommodation reimbursements for the May 2008 'API 0.6 Hack Weekend' helped catalyze the design and development process leading up to the upcoming API 0.6 implementation. This is a big step towards achieving long‐standing wishes for the OSM platform, mainly concerning enabling easier rollback of changes and meeting other technical requirements for a growing user base. This leaves the question, if the Subsidieaanvraag should be abandoned, being superfluous, or that the funds can be used for other projects. OSM Netherlands has concluded that now the main targets of the project API 0.6 have almost been achieved, there is room for new projects that wholly or partially fall within the original project description.

New Project

The OSM database is of a proprietary design. The interface and usability of the platform (including) the new API 0.6 are incompatible with common protocols in the existing GEO‐world. In addition the database lacks features for scalability and features as load balancing. Developments in open software architecture are opening viewports on faster database access and higher performance on new platforms. This opens a possibility to realize almost real time rendering of modified data. The availability of immediate map feedback will encourage users to update databases and thereby contributes highly to the goals of OSM. Three of our members (possibly 4) have written a project plan (see attachments) that will open a road towards a high performance server platform that incorporates the mentioned interfaces makes use of state of the art software to achieve almost real time rendering performance. The project incorporates 125 hours of programming effort and will be rewarded Eur. 50.—/hour. If the results of the project are satisfactory, a follow up project next year is likely. Some indications are already present in the current proposition. This will use about 6250 Euros of the total budget and taking into account the costs declared in june 2008 an amount of Eur 6813 remains to be spent.

“Kruimel” subsidie (crumble grants)

As most of the OSM contributors have limited possibilities to accept paid work (study, full daytime contracts etc) , I have suggested to spent the remaining sum to small encouragement fee’s for contributors that realize limited goals towards the realization of the OSM goals mentioned in the previous documents. One may think of smaller 1 day projects like better web interfaces, realizing customized rendering scheme’s for specific purposes ( such as a request from buienradar.nl) and integration of web‐editing functions. The requirements for funding these projects are different the large projects, but do better fit to the limited efforts that most of the OSM‐ers are able to contribute and willing to accept liability for. Qualification demands will remain the same, such as a decent project plan, milestones and specification of deliverables. In our next report I will try to collect a few proposals and their concise project plans.

Mobile editor

The plans for a mobile editor are difficult to realize. Most mobile platforms use proprietary software as operating system and for obvious reasons require certification of application software before install is allowed. The costs of certification do inhibit wide spread software development. Our conclusion is this project is waiting sufficient open source hardware to be realized. Within the framework of this year’s NLnet grant we have decided to abandon this project.


Original funding 15.000,--
API 0.6 travel contribution june 2008 1.936,--
New server project 6.250,--
Remains grant for 2008 6814,--
Gert Gremmen--GertGremmen 20:15, 3 December 2008 (UTC)