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Successful Start of OSM Mapping Project!
Friday, 05 June 2009

OSM map of KruševoEven if GGBS no longer exists officially, our contacts and friendship with Kruševo continues.   From May 16-28 Heinz and Andrea Spiess visited our (need we now say "ex-"?) partner town in order to initiate a cartography project based on  OpenStreetMap (OSM).

OSM is an Internet based, worldwide geo-mapping project, whose aim it is to create an open-source, non-commercial detailed map of our entire planet.  The work for this is done by thousands of volunteers, each putting his efforts into mapping his or her "litte corner of the world"First steps with the new Garmin eTrex GPS devices and afterward see to it that it is maintained up-to-date.  An important tool for this work is a GPS device which allows recording a precise track log of the paths walked, biked or driven through. Such tracks then form the basis for the creation of the actual online map.

At its very last meeting the former board of GGBS decided to support this cartography project, even after the official end of the partnership, with a on-time contribution for buying the necessary GPS equipment.

 Active partners in this project are again our friends from Narodna Tehnika (NT) as well as Blagoja Blagaduša, the former president of the municipal council.  Since unfortunately in April NT finally lost their house to the former owner family sue to the national denationalization program (which was know to happen sometimes ever since the summer of 2004), it was not possible to hold the OSM workshop as planned at the NT Center.  Fortunately the Kuzmanoski (Mavro) family kindly offered on short notice to host the workshop in their house.  So the essential parts of the NT Center infrastructure (PCs, ADSL connection and WLAN) were moved and reinstalled there.  We now all hope that NT will soon get new permanent premises in which NT can contibue its activities.

Eingeben der Kartendaten im improvisierten NT-ZentrumAfter a short theoretic introduction to the world of GPS and the basics of the OSM mapping system, the participants of the workshop were soon to be seen all over the town, mapping eagerly the streets, lanes and passages with their little Garmin eTrex Legend Cx GPS units.  Andrea and I were concentrating our effors mainly on the surroundings of Kruševo, since we were also much interested to get all the side roads to the villages mapped. With Lydija's competent and kind help, we even managed to find the dirt road from Pusta Reka to Cer, which we had looked for in former year but never succeeded.

The goal of our trip was to get the OSM mapping project in Kruševo going.  This goal was certainly acheived and we are confident that the participants will push this project actively forward during the upcoming summer months.  Another positive point to mention is the fact, that OSM is not only being using used in Kruševo, but that that since beginning of May, a few other OSM enthusiasts in different regions of Macedonia have also become active mapping their part of the country.

Some photos of this trip can be found here


 Link: OSM map files for Macedonia for direct download to Garmin GPS units

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