Local Landscapes in OSM: the Shifting Economy of Mapping Place

by

Musings on Maps

A cry goes out over the internet, Crowdsourced OpenStreetMap Trounces Google Maps,” in a banner headline intoned as if intended to evoke the battle of David and Goliath.  It affirmed the victory of not a company, but of the members of a mapping community who slung myriad shots from the slings of multiple local mappers in Sochi,most of  whom we only know by their monikers, to topple trust in the corporate behemoth’s maps at the same time as the whole world was watching.  And the basis by their cartographical diligence is evident in the juxtaposition of two visuals of the ski runs at Sochi that we’ve been watching on TV, since we can easily contrast it to the terrain on which we’ve already watched so many ski events–and use them to track the skiers whose slalom courses we might was better placed in space.  The on-site demand for…

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