A Year of Crowdsourced Map Making

2:10 am PHT

It’s been a pretty interesting year for amateur map making using crowdsourcing techniques. OpenStreetMap has been going strong while Google has released Map Maker just last June while Wikimapia followed up with their Beta website. I came across these two interesting and remarkably similar maps showing the extent of efforts in OpenStreetMap in the past year and Google Map Maker since its launch.

 OpenStreetMap activity in 2008

 Google Map Maker activity in 2008

The first map shows activity in OpenStreetMap, where brighter areas represent more recent contributions. Germany is leading in this regard. In Google Map Maker, the most prominent country is India, where the technology used in Map Maker was first used. (Read this O’Reilly Radar blog post from last year to know more.) As you can see from the map, the Philippines is well-represented in both OSM and Map Maker.

These two maps reminded me of this 2007-old world map showing all the points described by all the KML and GeoRSS that Google had indexed at that time. I’d been meaning to blog about this map for quite a while now and the two map making maps above provided a good segue.  :-)

There’s plenty of structure to be seen in the map above. For instance, the flight path between San Francisco and Los Angeles to Hawaii is pretty clear (even clearer than the one between New York and London). Europe is almost completely covered while India surprisingly is sparsely populated. If you’re wondering what that cloud of points surrounding the Philippines is, then this old blog post of mine would prove enlightening.

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