[kwlug-announce] Meeting Monday: OpenStreetMap

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Fri Sep 5 23:37:41 EDT 2008

Wow. September already. Can you feel the gloom encroaching? September
is supposed to be the time for new beginnings -- the relaxation of
summer over, the frosh yelling froshy slogans in the street, the kids
off to school for another 10 months of incarceration. It's a time of
fresh starts and hopes just waiting to be dashed on the shoals of
reality. And some of us -- even those who supposedly have life
direction -- are feeling a little... lost. Where are we? How did we
get here? Where are we going?

Richard Weait has the answers to these questions, and in this month's
long-awaited OpenStreetMap presentation he will tell us the answers.
It is a project with the ambitious goal of producing and organizing
liberated map data that can be used with all of the flexibility and
freedoms of open source software. In some sense it is the ultimate
existential project: those of us without direction can look it up, and
those of us who find ourselves in uncharted territory can pull out a
GPS and collect data to be integrated into the project's data. Richard
will share the philosophy of OpenStreetMap, how it works, why he
thinks it is superior to traditional mapping data, and how we can
contribute. He has even promised to show concrete evidence that people
can make their livings using the project. This presentation starts at

Richard also points out that some nice German people made an animation
of the process in mappihg Toronto:

Last month, FLOSS Fund contributors raised $51.00 for Quanta Plus, the
web development environment. This month's nominee is an obscure little
project called the Apache Software Foundation, which develops a
webserver you may have used once or twice. If you are so inclined, you
can make a contribution to the Apache Software Foundation at the
meeting, or by contacting Andrew at acant at alumni.uwaterloo.ca . 

Also of interest this month: Software Freedom Day is on September 20.
There are rumblings that Waterloo-oriented events are in the works,
but I don't have details. To learn more about Software Freedom Day,
visit http://softwarefreedomday.org/ 

In Drupal news, Khalid asked me to publicize the October KW Drupal
User Group meeting, which is happening on October 3rd. This meeting
features a special presentation by James Walker, a Drupal rockstar who
will teach us about developing modules in Drupal. Khalid says that
people who attended the Django presentation a while back are likely to
be interested in this one as well. 

In calendaring news, our very own Lori Paniak has taken it upon
himself to collect information about FLOSS-related events in Southern
Ontario. See http://kwlug.org/node/611 for more. 

Oh yeah. There's this little event called Ontario Linux Fest.

I guess it would be cute to close this rather long missive by telling
you that I don't know where this month's KWLUG meeting is. But that
would be a lie, because the meeting will be held at:

The Working Centre
43 Queen Street South
(Between King and Charles streets)

There are maps (albeit not OpenStreetMaps) on the website. There is
free gas-guzzler parking in the back lot after 6pm, and free bike
parking in the back bike rack always. Also, you can park your
existential angst at the door. 

- Paul

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