WikiProject Falkland Islands/PressRelease

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Falkland Islands Press Release

Initially based on the Isle of Man mapping party press release, later edited to include ideas from an article in Free Software Magazine

A press release was sent out on 5th November 2007. A copy of the release that was sent can be downloaded from http://www.phillipsuk.org/osm/

Volunteers Needed to Help Map the Falkland Islands

Release Date: <to be added>

The OpenStreetMap (OSM) project wants to map the Falkland Islands, but it needs help. The project was started to enable people to use maps in creative, productive or unexpected ways. The use of traditional maps is hampered by legal and technical restrictions that severely curtail their use. The aim of the OSM project is to create free geographic data, like street maps, that can be used by anyone, anywhere.

OSM contributors use a variety of contributed and public domain sources to create their map data. Yahoo! allows the project to use it's aerial imagery, and this is currently being used to trace roads, airports, etc in the Falkland Islands. However, this imagery is not detailed enough to add detailed information, such as the streets of Stanley. For this, local help is invaluable. Locals can edit the data, adding details like street names and road types. Those that own GPS units can trace streets, then upload their traces for use in the project.

Map data produced is available to anyone from www.OpenStreetMap.org, one of the leading projects in the open-source mapping field. Currently, OSM has mapped a large number of roads in the UK and across Europe and the project is rapidly expanding into new territories. The project would like to complete the map of the Falkland Islands, allowing it to be used as a showcase to further promote the project and to help both tourism and local organisations benefit from freely available map data. Most on-line web sites currently have little or no data on the Falkland Islands, and OSM would like to help remedy this situation.

ADD SCREENSHOT OF CYCLE MAP HERE Collaborative mapping is an emerging and rapidly growing activity that has developed alongside other activities like geo-caching, that is being driven in part by technology (cheap GPS equipment and on-line collaboration tools, like www.OpenStreetMap.org). What makes projects like this one stand out is their ethos on knowledge production and ownership. Under open source models the rights of authorship are de-centralised and the ownership of knowledge is seen as a common resource that can be distributed and re-used. Opening up map making in this way has real potential to empower people to create their own knowledge and encourages re-use of cartographic resources in novel and creative ways. For example, OSM map data is being used to create a map dedicated to the needs of cyclists, showing cycle routes and emphasising cycle paths over main roads. The picture to the left is an example map from the project, whose web site is at www.gravitystorm.co.uk/osm

As an open organisation with no membership requirements, OpenStreetMap welcomes the participation of anyone, young or old. Further information, and the current map, can be found on the project web site at www.OpenStreetMap.org For more media enquires contact Russell Phillips at russ -at- phillipsuk.org or (+44) 7794 182446.