I’ve been involved with Openstreetmap for 3 1/2 years now, and there is only a very small contributor base in New Zealand (most of whom got involved through personal contacts). I hear from members of the German OSM community about the thousands of contributors they have and the OSM groups in every major city, and wondered why we don’t have that in NZ. There are already some resources for NZ contributors: a Google Group – which some potential contributors refuse to join, because … well, because it’s Google – and a few pages on the OSM wiki. However, these are rather dry and technical, and only appeal to those who already get/are involved in free software/open data, etc at a philosphical level – they don’t cater much to those who don’t know about Stallman/Lessig and the ideological underpinnings. So, starting in the next few weeks, I will be launching www.openstreetmap.org.nz, and holding associated regular meets in Auckland.
The site will be basic, with the following content:
*What is OSM?
*What is OSM New Zealand?
*A New Zealand-specific map. This takes lots of resources to render and host, so it will use tiles hosted elsewhere, probably a custom Cloudmade style
**Dual English/Maori place names
**Unusual geographic features – volcanoes, other geothermal activity
**Anything else specific/unusual to NZ
*How can I get involved with OSM?
*NZ-related news such as upcoming meets, mapping parties, the status of imports, etc.
As a start point, I’ll be copying the www.openstreetmap.de website, which is available and (of course) released under some liberal license. As more people come on board, perhaps a better web dev than me will help improve it.
The meets will aim to be once a month, and now that Tangleball is running, there is a ready-made venue. The LINZ import web application will probably be the subject of the first meet. From there, there are other topics that may be interesting:
*The Zenbu import
*Using Potlach (the online editor)
*Using JOSM (the more advanced editor)
*Creating mapnik, osmarender and kosmos rendering rules
*How to collect mapping data
*Using a GPS to record tracks and waypoints
If you’re interested in helping out, be it web dev, graphics design or ideas, let me know either by email, in the comments below or on the Google Group.