Location: Lat. 37.8002, Lon. -122.4038

A key element in the Metaverse, the convergence of the digital world with real, is Geographic Information Systems (GIS). So this weekend I took the chance to participate in my first OpenStreetMap mapping party. OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a free editable map of the whole world that allows you to view, edit and use geographical data in a collaborative way from anywhere on Earth. The data is under a Creative Commons license, contributed by OSM members, and collected by portable GPS devices, aerial photography, and a variety of free sources.

Led by Sarah Manley (a great hostess) from CloudMade, the gathering was full of volunteers surprisingly from all around the country. After a brief presentation to OSM, I signed out a Garmin eTrex GPS unit, and hit the town. The unit was set to record my position every second so I became a nerd on a mission. This was my first time with a GPS unit, other than one in a car, and I wanted to collect coordinates on everything of interest around the city. In addition to helping OSM collect more data on San Francisco, I also took the chance to flag exact coordinates on some people, places, and events I came across on my day.

Sarah was accommodating for my request for the GPX (a light-weight XML data format for the interchange of GPS data) file and I am now plotting my mapping experience on a version of X3D-Earth that uses OSM data.

(videos of X3D Earth from Byounghyun Yoo, research fellow at NPS)

I currently have my over-sized 3D avatar (body scan from SIGGRAPH) moving along the same route using the GPS coordinates I recorded. This being my first 3D geo-blog on a digital globe, I have decided to include images of those I met, 3d models of places I went, and links to events I saw. I will post a video of this mixed reality journey on my MetaverseOne Channel on Youtube when complete.

I look forward to the next SF OSM party and encourage all interested in GIS/GPS to do the same in your area. Support this great open initiative that is mapping our world one coordinate at a time.

Check out Sarah Manley's blog here.


Russ Nelson said…
Glad you had fun, Damon! It was great to meet you. I'll make sure that others know about the spinny globe you pointed me to.

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