Transitioning from Google Map Editor to OpenStreetMap

After using Google Maps for quite a while, I enjoyed areas that had buildings populated on the map, Google does a very good job of this, however since Google Map Maker closed, I felt somewhat disenfranchised with their mapping system, It became a lot harder to edit their maps and the experience is just not as good as Map Maker was.

screenshot showing local shops and residential estate on google maps
A Google Maps screen capture of my neighborhood.

Then one day I discovered OpenStreetMaps and the simplicity of their map editor filled the hole in my heart that Map Maker left. I found that Open Street Maps iD editor was both friendly to use and better than Map Maker, the iD editor had a much more intuitive interface and the wiki made the transition generally easy and enjoyable.

screenshot showing local shops and residential estate on open street map
An Open Street Maps screen capture of my neighborhood.

As with any change, there was a little bit of a learning curve but the wiki was informative and allowed me to transition from my amateur interest in the topic of cartography into a full-blown contributor to the eco-system. I also have started using the JOSM editor a little and have found that its tools have made contributing much easier for bulk operations and mainly use the iD editor for tidy-up or casual map corrections or contributions.


Why Open Street Map?

Contributing to a closed system like Google maps was never really a problem for me using my local knowledge to correct open times and add photos to locations, but once I discovered Open Street Maps, I sort of feel like there’s no going back. There are a lot of reasons I like Open Street Map,

  • Its Open, the maps can be used in any application, the license only requires that OSM is credited when your application is public. (Copyleft Attribution-Share-Alike)
  • Its used in a lot of applications that I use already, updating the map on OSM will improve those applications too.  🙂
  • Editing polygons seem to be a lot easier than Google Map Editor.
  • Using an Open system would be preferable over something that in the future could potentially become a closed source or paid for.

I intend to update my local area, as Open Street Maps relies on community contributions it is apparent that it has not been updated in a while. Watch this space.

Raspberry Pi – PHP permission File Problems Solved!

I recently installed php, but when I was unable to save files, I was very stuck, and that’s why I’m posting it here, I want to tell anyone who Googles this problem to find this solution.

 

The problem was when I used an fopen and fsave within php, the file would always ‘die’ as in the open or die within php. The solution is below

Firstly I looked for the Environment user in phpinfo() in my case it was
[box type=”shadow”]www-data[/box]
and then I simply typed this
[box type=”shadow”]chmod 777 -R www-data /var/www[/box]
that, in its simplicity is the solution, but I am thankful that I have found the solution!

To create a phpinfo you need to create a file in your root and insert the following code

and save it as phpinfo.php or whatever you choose, I saved it in my root but you can save it wherever you want, then I browsed to the environments section and that gave me the necessary information for me to create the solution.

Why this works

The problem was that php did not have enough permissions to write to the folder. by giving the user www-data full permission i.e. 777 it can now read write and execute without a problem!

here is what php looks like when you do phpinfo

phpinfo() user sample on Raspberry Pi
phpinfo() user sample on Raspberry Pi

you can check a file exits and is editable with this code http://stackoverflow.com/a/13297218

Now you’ve finished you can celebrate! here is a song (this is mainly so i can test embedding :P)