I was out today for the open source mapping event in Manchester, organised as part of the wider project to create free mapping data under the auspices of http://www.openstreetmap.org/ About  40 people turned up and took to the streets in an experiment in ‘citizen cartography’. Armed with a cheap GPS, camera, pencil and laptop volunteers spread out by foot, bike and car across the centre of Manchester to create GPS tracks; and by the end of the weekend had a good base for a test case city centre mapping guide for the Futuresonic International Festival to be held in the city 20-23 July, which Drew Hemment is organising. See detailed results from the weekend here.

Interesting discussions with Chris Perkins and  Martin Dodge from the University about possible linkups with the WEA Community Grid for Learning. I’m convinced that this has great potential for developing a range of community learning projects and scenarios. They are ahead in the use of GIS in North America as I found out when researching Digital Nations in the making, but things could be taking off here. When I asked Steve Coast from OpenStreetMap.org what was his aim, he answered simply: “To map the world.” Well why not?

Mapping Manchester among Sunday walkers in Piccadilly.

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