Steve Coast from Open Street Map came by a little before 2 yesterday with the sad news that the airline had misplaced his luggage containing all of his gps devices and handouts. Luckily, among us all, there were a few gps gadgets to use, so Jason and Steve were able to amble around all the foot trails of Irving Park. We split up into pairs and went off with paper maps to annotate. I was paired with Caton, who discovered Platial through the new Nearby iPhone app, and who found out about the mapping party by reading our blog. We recorded some bus stops, convenience stores, a parking lot, traffic medians, and, most excitingly, a brand-new one-way street.
When we got to Tiny's, Steve opened up OSM and taught us how to redraw the map and add all the points of interest we'd recorded on paper. The basic interface for using OSM is fairly easy, but you have to learn the lingo a little to tag things properly. It's a bit of a rush changing the map. I recorded a bunch of medians on Martin Luther Kind Boulevard and it was a powerful feeling marking them.
Caton and I were marking things on the paper map and also adding places to Platial using Nearby. I could easily imagine a mobile OSM interface, at least for points of interest. Something that had drop-down menus of some kind for tagging would be great.
Open Street Maps is an inspiring project. I'm glad to have gotten the opportunity to contribute something and I look forward to doing more in the future. Here are some pictures from our stop at Tiny's.