Foundation grants $575,000 for new OpenStreetMap tools
The Knight Foundation has awarded a $575,000 grant to Washington-DC-based data visualisation and mapping firm Development Seed to work on new tools for OpenStreetMap (OSM). The Knight Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting quality journalism, media innovation and engaging communities. The award is one of six made by the Knight Foundation as part of Knight News Challenge: Data.
The funding will be used by developers from MapBox, part of Development Seed that designs maps using OSM data, to create three new open source tools for the OSM project to "lower the threshold for first time contributors", while also making data "easier to consume by providing a bandwidth optimised data delivery system".
The first of these tools will be a simplified web-based editor focusing on the common OSM tasks; the project currently uses version 2.0 of Potlatch, its Flash-based editor. The Development Seed developers say that the new editor will guide first-time contributors, while also helping advanced users be "efficient, precise, and focused". The other tools are a geographically aware task tracker to help coordinate tasks around OSM data, such as those for team mapping efforts, and a new geo data delivery system which will deliver OSM data in a tiled fashion.
Founded in August 2004 by Steve Coast, OSM is a community-driven project that builds free online maps that are not based on any copyright or licensed map data. Some prominent users of maps from OpenStreetMap are Wikipedia, Craigslist, Apple, and location-based social networking service Foursquare.
The Knight News Challenge: Data awarded $2.22 million to "breakthrough ideas in news and information" to six projects in all: Safecast global sensor network, LocalData, which provides tools for communities to collect various types of data, the OpenElections Project, the Pop Up Archive and Census.IRE.org, which provides the public with easy access to US Census data.
- Large Investment in OpenStreetMap from Knight Foundation, a MapBox blog post.