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.

OneDrive Unlimited Storage for all, sorta, mostly everyone!

OneDrive (Formerly SkyDrive) has once again upped its storage capacity from 1TB to unlimited storage. The upgrade is rolling out to its subscribers “over the coming months”, but users can try to get theirs earlier by signing up to some promotional ads.

This may be to one-up Google Drive or Dropbox.

 

So who is eligible and how do I get it?

If you don’t currently have Office365 you can still get Unlimited Storage. This bit of information was hard to find, but after contacting support, I figured that out.

  • In order to get OneDrive Unlimited Storage you must have office 365 Home, whether you already had it or not this gives you 5 PCs or Macs and 5 Tablets aswell as Smartphones and Online Office.
  • You need an Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscription.
  • With that each user gets 1TB each for up to 5 users.
  •  With that you ALSO get 60 minutes of Skype Calls.
  • If you’re an Office 365 subscriber, you don’t have to do anything.
  • For Office 365 business customers, unlimited storage for OneDrive for Business has been added to the Office 365 roadmap and will begin rolling out in 2015.
  • source.

This type of business model must have been well thought out, the reason that I can think of is that users are not reaching their quotas, which makes sense. Google offers a 100GB for $2 a month, but 1TB is still significantly better, and available over 5 users, so 5TB for $10/mo, frankly. I’m sold.

OneDrive