The OpenStreetMap project has achieved remarkable successes in creating a free world map, and is growing fast. This talk gives an overview of what we do, why we do it, and what our data can be used for. The year 2007 has seen a lot of money thrown around for the acquisition of the world's two largest Geodata providers: TeleAtlas have been bought by TomTom for EUR 1.8 billion, and NavTeq by Nokia for EUR 5.7 billion. These transactions have revived the fear that the world may end up with a digital map monopoly, with users migrating to the provider with the most comprehensive data and then further strengthening its position by adding their own information. OpenStreetMap is the free and open alternative to commercial providers - where users collect GPS tracks and additional information and make that into a high-quality map. The Economist concluded an article about the aforementioned geodata big guns saying: "In time, such [OpenStreetMap] contributions could create a detailed, free map of the world. If so, TomTom's and Nokia's acquisitions would look very overpriced." This talk intends to give an overview about the technology, the methods and the community behind OpenStreetMap, explain what we've achieved so far, and of course why OpenStreetMap is twice as cool as anything you can buy for money. In true hacking spirit we will also demonstrate a few rather unconventional uses of our data.
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