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Saturday, June 11, 2011

OSM, GIS-LAB.info and QGIS for EDUCATION

Current situation map (click to enlarge)
I decided to acquire a diploma of The Baltic University in Sustainable Town Planning (master course). We had a practical task to study a district of St. Petersburg of our choice. Spatial planning is inconceivable without maps. But for every map you need a source and if the information in this source is incomplete you have to add it yourself.

A noise pollution map (click to enlarge)
The plan was borne quickly. I already had a GPS (because if you are a geographer it isn't cool not to have one); I was aware of the OpenStreetMap existence and already used its data provided by GIS-LAB.info as a complete project for QGIS. All I needed is to take look at the district at OSM, add needed information to OSM and simply download ready to use base map from GIS-LAB.info.

Of course it wasn't that simple (there were tagging issues in OSM, missing objects in ready to use projects, and the project had to be significantly customised), but in the end chosen district became one of the most detailed in St. Petersburg and I was able to create cool maps ;-)

As a conclusion I would suggest for the spatial planning lecturers to use this practice of OSM utilisation through contribution for the student's practical tasks: they will improve their GPS skills, their work will be useful for other people (OSM will became more comlete), also students will learn something about Creative Commons licenses and will learn how to attribute their maps properly. 



Map for development (click to enlarge)

1 comment :

  1. great to see someone using these data as it was planned

    ReplyDelete