Optimising map rendering for recreational use

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Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Li Xia
Hey everyone, have an idea about map rendering and want to get your thoughts.

One of the challenges is in rendering a useful map for recreational use is displaying roads, tracks, trails and to some degree water lines at appropriate zoom levels in more remote regions where the density is lower compared with urban regions.

In my opinion, most map service online services or offline vector engine experience the same issue. Here are some illustrations of the issue, by comparing Google / OSM / Raster map of the same region:




As you can clearly see, at that zoom level, there's no deal on either OSM or Google maps, where as the raster map is useful. yes you can zoom in on Google or OSM, but with a smaller viewing port, orientation is more difficult and you loose that overview which is try handy for trip planning.

By using a tag specific for rendering purposes, this issue can be overcome. Rendering engines can take advantage of these tags to "optimise" rendering of various regions.

The tags are fairly self explanatory. By tagging a road with render_as:trunk, this feature can be rendered at the same zoom level as a trench road. Each class of road will have it's own tag so if a highway:territory should be rendered at the same zoom level as a primary, then tag render_as:tertiary.

What do you guys think?

Cheers 

Li.


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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Ben Kelley-4

Hi.

I think tagging for the renderer is a bad idea.

Essentially you are talking more about render hints, but I think that becomes a matter of preference pretty fast. Especially when OSM data can be rendered in a number of ways.

I think it is worth considering what about a road makes you want to render it as a different type of road.

  - Ben Kelley.

On Nov 1, 2012 3:01 PM, "Li Xia" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey everyone, have an idea about map rendering and want to get your thoughts.

One of the challenges is in rendering a useful map for recreational use is displaying roads, tracks, trails and to some degree water lines at appropriate zoom levels in more remote regions where the density is lower compared with urban regions.

In my opinion, most map service online services or offline vector engine experience the same issue. Here are some illustrations of the issue, by comparing Google / OSM / Raster map of the same region:




As you can clearly see, at that zoom level, there's no deal on either OSM or Google maps, where as the raster map is useful. yes you can zoom in on Google or OSM, but with a smaller viewing port, orientation is more difficult and you loose that overview which is try handy for trip planning.

By using a tag specific for rendering purposes, this issue can be overcome. Rendering engines can take advantage of these tags to "optimise" rendering of various regions.

The tags are fairly self explanatory. By tagging a road with render_as:trunk, this feature can be rendered at the same zoom level as a trench road. Each class of road will have it's own tag so if a highway:territory should be rendered at the same zoom level as a primary, then tag render_as:tertiary.

What do you guys think?

Cheers 

Li.


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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Li Xia
Hey Ben and others,

Yep, spot on, rendering hints but only related to zoom levels. I realise that it's matter of opinion what roads to be rendered at what levels etc and why rendering hints are not considered "factual data" and not preferred.

Changing the road classification is an option but are likely to cause side effects. For example, tagging what is a territory road as a primary so that it will be rendered earlier on in the zoom level has the potential of polluting the data, making it less useful for other purposes such as routing etc. 

Another positive of the rendering hints approach is that the tags themselves are completely optional so it's up to the rendering engine to take advantage of them. If ignored, it's like they

Also these tags are only really needed in more regional / outback areas, such as the Great central rd, Tanami track, French line etc so it's lightweight and won't add much size to the database.

I plan to start a new project for mapping off road and regional areas of Australia and these rendering hints will certainly make a huge difference in rendering. There are already quiet a few of interested in this project and was planning to start a new project page on the Aus Wiki to coordinate this effort. We were hoping to include the rendering tags among the guild line and hope you guys agree.

Li


On 01/11/2012, at 3:31 PM, Ben Kelley wrote:

Hi.

I think tagging for the renderer is a bad idea.

Essentially you are talking more about render hints, but I think that becomes a matter of preference pretty fast. Especially when OSM data can be rendered in a number of ways.

I think it is worth considering what about a road makes you want to render it as a different type of road.

  - Ben Kelley.

On Nov 1, 2012 3:01 PM, "Li Xia" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey everyone, have an idea about map rendering and want to get your thoughts.

One of the challenges is in rendering a useful map for recreational use is displaying roads, tracks, trails and to some degree water lines at appropriate zoom levels in more remote regions where the density is lower compared with urban regions.

In my opinion, most map service online services or offline vector engine experience the same issue. Here are some illustrations of the issue, by comparing Google / OSM / Raster map of the same region:




As you can clearly see, at that zoom level, there's no deal on either OSM or Google maps, where as the raster map is useful. yes you can zoom in on Google or OSM, but with a smaller viewing port, orientation is more difficult and you loose that overview which is try handy for trip planning.

By using a tag specific for rendering purposes, this issue can be overcome. Rendering engines can take advantage of these tags to "optimise" rendering of various regions.

The tags are fairly self explanatory. By tagging a road with render_as:trunk, this feature can be rendered at the same zoom level as a trench road. Each class of road will have it's own tag so if a highway:territory should be rendered at the same zoom level as a primary, then tag render_as:tertiary.

What do you guys think?

Cheers 

Li.


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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Daniel O'Connor
In reply to this post by Li Xia

What do you guys think?

It's non trivial to do it this way, but:
  • Define a relationship between zoom level and number of ways/nodes within the bounding box
  • Sort the ways in a weighted fashion - roads first, land boundaries second, etc
  • Zoom level max, with 10 nodes to render: well, that should likely render everything
  • Zoom level max - 1 with 1 billion nodes to render - roads only
To actually set up the balance between zoom and what to render would be hard, but I think that's a better approach than render hints. Alternatively, after implementing it, you could add a 'render weighting/interest' attribute to a lot of ways, which would be like a render hint but also suitable for other purposes - ie: routing or search.



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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Ben Kelley-4

You can change how mapnik renders by defining different styles for different zooms.

Essentially with render hints you are saying that you would like this way to look like a different type of way. If this does not map to some verifiable attribute of the way then it becomes your preference.

Presumably there is something about the road that leads you to want it to look differently. Why not tag the physical (and verifyable) thing that is different, and change your style definition when you render it?

Is it the surface? The importance? The width? The destination?

  - Ben.

On Nov 1, 2012 5:13 PM, "Daniel O'Connor" <[hidden email]> wrote:

What do you guys think?

It's non trivial to do it this way, but:
  • Define a relationship between zoom level and number of ways/nodes within the bounding box
  • Sort the ways in a weighted fashion - roads first, land boundaries second, etc
  • Zoom level max, with 10 nodes to render: well, that should likely render everything
  • Zoom level max - 1 with 1 billion nodes to render - roads only
To actually set up the balance between zoom and what to render would be hard, but I think that's a better approach than render hints. Alternatively, after implementing it, you could add a 'render weighting/interest' attribute to a lot of ways, which would be like a render hint but also suitable for other purposes - ie: routing or search.



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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Li Xia
In reply to this post by Li Xia
Hi John,

Why would it be limited to just 1 purpose? Any rendering engine can take advantage of these hints?

Li.

On 01/11/2012, at 5:11 PM, John Smith wrote:

> On 1 November 2012 15:01, Li Xia <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> What do you guys think?
>
> what you are really after is a custom rendering that suits your
> purpose, it's not the easiest of things to do, but it's not rocket
> science either there is a number of people on this list that would be
> able to help you


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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Li Xia
In reply to this post by Daniel O'Connor
Thanks for the suggestions, I couldn't agree more for static rendering. However this approach has some massive draw backs in terms of performance. Any suggestions in this region?

Li.

On 01/11/2012, at 5:13 PM, Daniel O'Connor wrote:


What do you guys think?

It's non trivial to do it this way, but:
  • Define a relationship between zoom level and number of ways/nodes within the bounding box
  • Sort the ways in a weighted fashion - roads first, land boundaries second, etc
  • Zoom level max, with 10 nodes to render: well, that should likely render everything
  • Zoom level max - 1 with 1 billion nodes to render - roads only
To actually set up the balance between zoom and what to render would be hard, but I think that's a better approach than render hints. Alternatively, after implementing it, you could add a 'render weighting/interest' attribute to a lot of ways, which would be like a render hint but also suitable for other purposes - ie: routing or search.




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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Li Xia
In reply to this post by Ben Kelley-4
Importance is of most interest. In regional areas where density is much lower, rendering lower class roads earlier on in the zoom level would improve the usability of the map much more.

Li.


On 01/11/2012, at 5:32 PM, Ben Kelley wrote:

You can change how mapnik renders by defining different styles for different zooms.

Essentially with render hints you are saying that you would like this way to look like a different type of way. If this does not map to some verifiable attribute of the way then it becomes your preference.

Presumably there is something about the road that leads you to want it to look differently. Why not tag the physical (and verifyable) thing that is different, and change your style definition when you render it?

Is it the surface? The importance? The width? The destination?

  - Ben.

On Nov 1, 2012 5:13 PM, "Daniel O'Connor" <[hidden email]> wrote:

What do you guys think?

It's non trivial to do it this way, but:
  • Define a relationship between zoom level and number of ways/nodes within the bounding box
  • Sort the ways in a weighted fashion - roads first, land boundaries second, etc
  • Zoom level max, with 10 nodes to render: well, that should likely render everything
  • Zoom level max - 1 with 1 billion nodes to render - roads only
To actually set up the balance between zoom and what to render would be hard, but I think that's a better approach than render hints. Alternatively, after implementing it, you could add a 'render weighting/interest' attribute to a lot of ways, which would be like a render hint but also suitable for other purposes - ie: routing or search.



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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Li Xia
In reply to this post by Li Xia
Hi John,

Why would it be limited to just 1 purpose? Any rendering engine can take advantage of these hints?


On 01/11/2012, at 5:11 PM, John Smith wrote:

> On 1 November 2012 15:01, Li Xia <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> What do you guys think?
>
> what you are really after is a custom rendering that suits your
> purpose, it's not the easiest of things to do, but it's not rocket
> science either there is a number of people on this list that would be
> able to help you


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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Li Xia
In reply to this post by Daniel O'Connor
Thanks for the suggestions, I couldn't agree more for static rendering. However this approach has some massive draw backs in terms of performance.

Another idea was using routes to define the importance, what do you guys think about this approach?

Li.

On 01/11/2012, at 5:13 PM, Daniel O'Connor wrote:


What do you guys think?

It's non trivial to do it this way, but:
  • Define a relationship between zoom level and number of ways/nodes within the bounding box
  • Sort the ways in a weighted fashion - roads first, land boundaries second, etc
  • Zoom level max, with 10 nodes to render: well, that should likely render everything
  • Zoom level max - 1 with 1 billion nodes to render - roads only
To actually set up the balance between zoom and what to render would be hard, but I think that's a better approach than render hints. Alternatively, after implementing it, you could add a 'render weighting/interest' attribute to a lot of ways, which would be like a render hint but also suitable for other purposes - ie: routing or search.




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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Li Xia
In reply to this post by Ben Kelley-4
Importance is of most interest. In regional areas where density is much lower, rendering lower class roads earlier on in the zoom level would improve the usability of the map much more.

Li.


On 01/11/2012, at 5:32 PM, Ben Kelley wrote:

You can change how mapnik renders by defining different styles for different zooms.

Essentially with render hints you are saying that you would like this way to look like a different type of way. If this does not map to some verifiable attribute of the way then it becomes your preference.

Presumably there is something about the road that leads you to want it to look differently. Why not tag the physical (and verifyable) thing that is different, and change your style definition when you render it?

Is it the surface? The importance? The width? The destination?

  - Ben.

On Nov 1, 2012 5:13 PM, "Daniel O'Connor" <[hidden email]> wrote:

What do you guys think?

It's non trivial to do it this way, but:
  • Define a relationship between zoom level and number of ways/nodes within the bounding box
  • Sort the ways in a weighted fashion - roads first, land boundaries second, etc
  • Zoom level max, with 10 nodes to render: well, that should likely render everything
  • Zoom level max - 1 with 1 billion nodes to render - roads only
To actually set up the balance between zoom and what to render would be hard, but I think that's a better approach than render hints. Alternatively, after implementing it, you could add a 'render weighting/interest' attribute to a lot of ways, which would be like a render hint but also suitable for other purposes - ie: routing or search.



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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

David Bannon-2
In reply to this post by Li Xia
 
Li, another complication worth thinking about. In theory, when we map a road, the highway tag needs to relate to the purpose of the road rather than the condition. This is a topic that has been under discussion for the last week or so. And renderers really only seem to be interested in the highway tag, ignore tags such as 4wd_only and tracktype (for other than highway=track).

So, for example, roads such as the Tanami track or Plenty Highway are technically, primary roads. And therefore rendered at quite a broad zoom level. I got all upset about this as I am worried that potentially visitors see a nice thick line and assume its a nice road. (In fact they are great roads but not for the ill equipped!).

I have been pushing the idea if we are to stick to the politically correct idea that highway is about purpose and not condition, then we need a reliable way to warn people reading the maps AND importantly, people building rendering engines what the condition might be.

Please see the discussion page on http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Australian_Tagging_Guidelines and http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:tracktype

I have suggested extending tracktype to, a) have additional levels of difficulty and b) clarify that this grading really does apply to all roads, not just highway=track

I do think that this might be a better way to achieve what you want too. But the real issue is the mainstream renders and the routers won't think about it unless its widely adopted and used. As they say in the ALP, disunity is death !

David




----- Original Message -----
From:
"Li Xia" <[hidden email]>

To:
<[hidden email]>
Cc:

Sent:
Thu, 1 Nov 2012 15:01:11 +1100
Subject:
[talk-au] Optimising map rendering for recreational use


Hey everyone, have an idea about map rendering and want to get your thoughts.

One of the challenges is in rendering a useful map for recreational use is displaying roads, tracks, trails and to some degree water lines at appropriate zoom levels in more remote regions where the density is lower compared with urban regions.

In my opinion, most map service online services or offline vector engine experience the same issue. Here are some illustrations of the issue, by comparing Google / OSM / Raster map of the same region:




As you can clearly see, at that zoom level, there's no deal on either OSM or Google maps, where as the raster map is useful. yes you can zoom in on Google or OSM, but with a smaller viewing port, orientation is more difficult and you loose that overview which is try handy for trip planning.

By using a tag specific for rendering purposes, this issue can be overcome. Rendering engines can take advantage of these tags to "optimise" rendering of various regions.

The tags are fairly self explanatory. By tagging a road with render_as:trunk, this feature can be rendered at the same zoom level as a trench road. Each class of road will have it's own tag so if a highway:territory should be rendered at the same zoom level as a primary, then tag render_as:tertiary.

What do you guys think?

Cheers 

Li.


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Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Nathan Van Der Meulen
In reply to this post by Li Xia
As a traveller, I can certainly see merit to "pushing" a certain road to being rendered in a specific way.  Most vector maps (OSM, Google, Apple, Navteq etc etc) have a big empty space in the centre.  IMHO it would be very handy to be able to see some of these tracks rendered at a much higher (alt.) zoom than current, yet still see their road classification (suggestions for up-classing a track won't work as it may well suggest that a 4wd track like the French Line or Gunbarrell is a decent road!).  Given that many of these tracks are 500-100km in length, the current zoom level you need to be at to see them makes visualising them a chore.

It certainly would be handy if OSM rendered unpaved roads differently to paved roads.

Nathan


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Today's Topics:

  1. Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use (Li Xia)
  2. Re: Rendering hint suggestions (Stephen Kelly)
  3. Re: Rendering hint suggestions (Li Xia)
  4. Re: Optimising map rendering for recreational use (David Bannon)
  5. Re: Adelaide Metro using OpenStreetmap/OpenTripPlanner
      instead of Google Transit (Daniel O'Connor)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2012 19:47:03 +1100
From: Li Xia <[hidden email]>
To: Ben Kelley <[hidden email]>
Cc: OSM Australian Talk List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [talk-au] Optimising map rendering for recreational use
Message-ID: <[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Importance is of most interest. In regional areas where density is much lower, rendering lower class roads earlier on in the zoom level would improve the usability of the map much more.

Li.


On 01/11/2012, at 5:32 PM, Ben Kelley wrote:

> You can change how mapnik renders by defining different styles for different zooms.
>
> Essentially with render hints you are saying that you would like this way to look like a different type of way. If this does not map to some verifiable attribute of the way then it becomes your preference.
>
> Presumably there is something about the road that leads you to want it to look differently. Why not tag the physical (and verifyable) thing that is different, and change your style definition when you render it?
>
> Is it the surface? The importance? The width? The destination?
>
>  - Ben.
>
> On Nov 1, 2012 5:13 PM, "Daniel O'Connor" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> What do you guys think?
>
> It's non trivial to do it this way, but:
> Define a relationship between zoom level and number of ways/nodes within the bounding box
> Sort the ways in a weighted fashion - roads first, land boundaries second, etc
> Zoom level max, with 10 nodes to render: well, that should likely render everything
> Zoom level max - 1 with 1 billion nodes to render - roads only
> To actually set up the balance between zoom and what to render would be hard, but I think that's a better approach than render hints. Alternatively, after implementing it, you could add a 'render weighting/interest' attribute to a lot of ways, which would be like a render hint but also suitable for other purposes - ie: routing or search.
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-au mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-au
>

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Message: 2
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2012 18:49:07 +1000
From: Stephen Kelly <[hidden email]>
To: John Smith <[hidden email]>
Cc: Li Xia <[hidden email]>, OSM Australian Talk List
    <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [talk-au] Rendering hint suggestions
Message-ID:
    <CAN3=Ykz+dP45cAi++hSDHkRf+[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

most renderers have smarter algorithms than just get rid of every 'x' nodes
- they do it more like- reduce the number of nodes so that the feature
deviates by less than 'x' distance / angle


On Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 6:46 PM, John Smith <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On 1 November 2012 19:32, Li Xia <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > The issue is one of performance, and sorting data no the fly is an
> expensive operation.
>
> there is already apps that do off line rendering, they pre-process
> data, and usually drop the number of nodes to 1/10th etc
>
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Message: 3
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2012 19:55:03 +1100
From: Li Xia <[hidden email]>
To: John Smith <[hidden email]>
Cc: [hidden email], OSM Australian Talk List
    <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [talk-au] Rendering hint suggestions
Message-ID: <[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

Other than skobbler, which is more for turn by turn, i've never seen anything that can render a regional map to the standard we are chasing.

Nodes are already been reduced dynamically by marking each node at compile time with a level of importance.

Issue isn't reducing nodes, it's more related to at which zoom level each road class is been rendered. Issues lies in the difference in density. A config that works well for metro areas doesn't work in regional areas.

Li.


On 01/11/2012, at 7:46 PM, John Smith wrote:

> On 1 November 2012 19:32, Li Xia <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> The issue is one of performance, and sorting data no the fly is an expensive operation.
>
> there is already apps that do off line rendering, they pre-process
> data, and usually drop the number of nodes to 1/10th etc




------------------------------

Message: 4
Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2012 19:46:39 +1030
From: "David Bannon" <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [talk-au] Optimising map rendering for recreational use
Message-ID:
    <[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

?
Li, another complication worth thinking about. In theory, when we map
a road, the highway tag needs to relate to the purpose of the road
rather than the condition. This is a topic that has been under
discussion for the last week or so. And renderers really only seem to
be interested in the highway tag, ignore tags such as 4wd_only and
tracktype (for other than highway=track).

So, for example, roads such as the Tanami track or Plenty Highway are
technically, primary roads. And therefore rendered at quite a broad
zoom level. I got all upset about this as I am worried that
potentially visitors see a nice thick line and assume its a nice road.
(In fact they are great roads but not for the ill equipped!).

I have been pushing the idea if we are to stick to the politically
correct idea that highway is about purpose and not condition, then we
need a reliable way to warn people reading the maps AND importantly,
people building rendering engines what the condition might be.

Please see the discussion page on
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Australian_Tagging_Guidelines and
http://wikiopenstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:tracktype

I have suggested extending tracktype to, a) have additional levels of
difficulty and b) clarify that this grading really does apply to all
roads, not just highway=track

I do think that this might be a better way to achieve what you want
too. But the real issue is the mainstream renders and the routers
won't think about it unless its widely adopted and used. As they say
in the ALP, disunity is death !

David

----- Original Message -----
From: "Li Xia"
To:
Cc:
Sent:Thu, 1 Nov 2012 15:01:11 +1100
Subject:[talk-au] Optimising map rendering for recreational use

Hey everyone, have an idea about map rendering and want to get your
thoughts.
One of the challenges is in rendering a useful map for recreational
use is displaying roads, tracks, trails and to some degree water lines
at appropriate zoom levels in more remote regions where the density is
lower compared with urban regions.
  In my opinion, most map service online services or offline vector
engine experience the same issue. Here are some illustrations of the
issue, by comparing Google / OSM / Raster map of the same region:

Google [1] 
OSM [2]
Raster map [3]
As you can clearly see, at that zoom level, there's no deal on either
OSM or Google maps, where as the raster map is useful. yes you can
zoom in on Google or OSM, but with a smaller viewing port, orientation
is more difficult and you loose that overview which is try handy for
trip planning.
By using a tag specific for rendering purposes, this issue can be
overcome. Rendering engines can take advantage of these tags to
"optimise" rendering of various regions.
The tags are fairly self explanatory. By tagging a road with
render_as:trunk, this feature can be rendered at the same zoom level
as a trench road. Each class of road will have it's own tag so if a
highway:territory should be rendered at the same zoom level as a
primary, then tag render_as:tertiary.
What do you guys think?
Cheers?
Li. 


Links:
------
[1]
http://www.mud-maps.com/li_temp/1211/Screen%20Shot%202012-10-25%20at%204.42.31%20PM.png
[2]
http://www.mud-maps.com/li_temp/1211/Screen%20Shot%202012-10-25%20at%204.42.26%20PM.png
[3]
http://www.mud-maps.com/li_temp/1211/Screen%20Shot%202012-10-25%20at%204.42.22%20PM.png

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Message: 5
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2012 21:11:34 +1030
From: "Daniel O'Connor" <[hidden email]>
To: Alex Sims <[hidden email]>
Cc: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [talk-au] Adelaide Metro using
    OpenStreetmap/OpenTripPlanner instead of Google Transit
Message-ID:
    <CAJsZyFA837MkNDC7xBMcxKuYN=[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

On Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM, Alex Sims <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Adelaide Metro, the umbrella brand for public transport in Adelaide on
> their new (beta) website at
>
> http://www.adelaidemetro.com.**au/ <http://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/>
>
> are using OpenTripPlanner and OpenStreetmap for journey planning. Nice to
> see OpenStreetmap getting more, albeit unacknowledged exposure.
>

Are they pushing data into OSM? Or do we know if the installation has data
services available? (Good to see the bus stops are URIs!)

I remember approaching them several years ago, asking about data extracts
of timetables/stop locations/etc to do mashups - I met with them, but I
felt it went poorly at the time.

It's interesting to see this as basically an about face!
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