Luftdrachen, OSM und Presse in Polen

User Balrogg und co. machen immer mehr Luftbilder für OSM per Luftrache+Kamera.

Nun landete OSM in der größten Tageszeitung des Landes:,34862,10593718,Tak_powstaja_zdjecia_z_latawca__Konkurencja_dla_Google.html

Kaum jemand kann das hier lesen, aber die Botschaft des Artikels ist eindeutig:

Ernsthafte Konkurrenz für Google - OSM ist cool, macht mit!

Aber wie funktioniert denn das mit dem Drachen? Da müssen doch überall Stromleitungen und Hindernisse sein, oder?

Auf jeden Fall Gratulation zu dem tollen Artikel! :slight_smile:

Super Idee, aber edwin versteht bestimmt kein Wort:,34862,10593718,Tak_powstaja_zdjecia_z_latawca__Konkurencja_dla_Google.html%26hl%3Dde%26client%3Dopera%26hs%3DAoW%26rls%3Dde%26channel%3Dsuggest%26prmd%3Dimvns&,34862,10593718,Tak_powstaja_zdjecia_z_latawca__Konkurencja_dla_Google.html&usg=ALkJrhiDPW7PA1KOqtchOPEDxRz3loo_8w

Falls gewünscht, mache ich einen Abstract von dem Artikel.
Stromleitungen sind natürlich ein KO Faktor: Man muß sich also zuerst die Gegend ansehen und prüfen wo es geht, und wo nicht…
Die automatische Übersetzung ist wie immer - zum totlachen…

Gibt es diesen Artikel vielleicht auch irgendwo in Englisch?

Diese Übersetzung ist ja nicht wirklich zum lesen geeignet.

Leider noch nicht.
Ich werde morgen Nachmittag das was nach meinem Bauchgefuehl relevant ist, uebersetzen

Guten Tag OpenStreetMap Freunden! :slight_smile:

Due to my poor German That will be my only words in that language, so please excuse me writing in english on this forum… :wink:

Marek Kleciak asked me for polish->english translation of recent article in Gazeta Wyborcza about
OpenStreetMap… so here it is :slight_smile:
BTW, I have one tiny comment regarding one topic mentioned in this article, but I put it after the text

This is how the kite aerial imagery is made. Competition to Google

Tools: balloon filled withe helium, photo camera.
Skills: strong arms.
Reward: few hundred pictures taken from 1 km above.
Goal: to make a free and open map of the world.

Kite is in violet-yellow colour. It is called Icarus and it looks completely different than traditional diamod-shape frame. This type of kite is called flowform - pieces of nylon are sewn together and are lifted by wind like a paraglider. Folded Icarus fills the backpack of Andrew Zaborowski - 28 years old programmer. Soon, In a few moments, we will let the kite to fly, just right above the Pole Mokotowskie. But first, Andrew ties little photo camera to the ropes. He then sets auto mode - the pictures will be taken every 3 seconds. Violet-yellow shape sails away to the skies.
-It’s about 250 meters above - estimates Andrew. -But it has stable position and moves smoothly.

Germans mesure the curbs

First kite aerial prictures was taken in XIX-th century. One of the pioneers of this new type of photography was George R. Lawrence who took shots of San Francisco from above, right after the earthquake. Andrew read about it on one of the internet forums. He wanted to do the same and began to experiment. He wanted to take pictures from above, to determine the precise position of houses, streets, bus stops. And all of this for one reason: to co-create huge, digital map of the world - Open Street Map (
-It works like WIkipedia - he explains. -Every user can edit it, add anything of his interest: restaurants, internet cafes, ATMs. OpenStreetMap community from one town in Germany mesured every curb on every street. Then, they put it on the map, to provide useful information for disabled people.

There is over 370 thousand users worldwide who edit the map.
-We have few dozen users in Poland, there are few in Warsaw - explains Andrew. -But our capital is quite well mapped. OpenStreetMap is a live entity. People updates the database quite often, they mark instantly which streets are currently under construction, etc.

‘OpenStreetMap Polska’ foundation was also founded.
-We organize the mapping parties. It is an event when we gather data from certain area. Our first mapping party was in Table Mountains (Gory Stolowe). Later on ‘Przystanek Woodstock’ Festival. We also organize workshops for local communities around the whole Poland - enumerates Andrew.

The Icarus kite is closer to clouds than the earth. It is a sign that it exceeded the allowed by the law height. Whole left-bank Warsaw is an aeroplane landing zone, and the kite is aircraft by law definition.
-My friends recently let the kite fly too high over the Ursynow district and the police intervened. They detected the kite on their radar - tells Andrew.

After an hour we bring down the kite. It is a wearisome process. One has to have strong arms and gloves on hands, because the rope cuts the skin easily. But the reward is valuable - 576 pictures taken from 1km above. You can clearly see Rakowiecka street and Niepodleglosci avenue to Madalinskiego street. Townhouses around many Mokotow backyards form geometric shapes. Cars are as little as match heads.

Citizens gather the data

Three weeks later, October. In front of shopping mall Sadyba Best Mall you can notice small group of people helding some devices in hands. The mapping party workshop has just begun. The workshop is organized by Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt: Polska - the NGO that aims to analyze the economical and cultural impact of modern technologies on the society. The worshop is conducted by Andrew Zaborowski and Adam Mencwal - also the programmer, and until recently the lecturer at Technical University of Lodz. They have chosen Sadyba because OpenStreetMap still have empty spots there.

One of the participants of mapping party are: Agata - the student of archeology and hungarist, Ewa - DTP operator, Marta - she digitalises books, and Anna who also organizes workshops, but focuses on seniors. There is also Adam Zajac who is from Integracja Stołecznej Komunikacji Foundation (“Siskom”) who is working on his ‘barrier map’ project. It is a digital map of Warsaw that contains places that people on wheelchair are unable to cross.
-We use OpenStreetMap as a base layer, because it is more accurate than other map sources, at least in Warsaw. The advantage of OpenStreetMap is that it also has underpasses marked.

In fact, compared to other internet map providers, OSM is far more detailed - not only location of the given place is saved but also other detailed information. For example information about fuel stations contains working hours, fuel prices , etc.
-We want to make a map of the whole world, but we want to make it as easy as possible - explains Andrew Zaborowski. - Therefore we try to teach local communities how to map their neighbourhood on their own.

In contrast to commercial map providers, OSM can contain unofficial place names. np Kazurka Hill in Ursynow district.
-I call it civic cartography - says Adam Mencwal. -Because every citizen, every non-specialist, even kid can prepare good quality map data.

Vandals puts the fuel station

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 by 24 years old Britton - Steve Coast. His main driving force for doing that was inability to access the government cartographic data. This data was unaccessible for ordinary citizens. And that suppresses scientifical and economical progress - claims OSM community. Therefore the map founded by Coast is distributed on free licence. Everyone can use it, until information about source of the data is given. By the way. thanks to OSM, govenment of Great Britain finally declassified some data.
-It was big event - recalls Andrew. -In Poland, citizens still have to pay for access the government data. And even twice! First, government pays for aerial imagery from our taxes. Secondly - to use this data you have to pay again. Thanks to OpenStreetMap, there is a hope that we can get rid of these dinosaurs!

Openly licenced data is distributed so far only by governments of United States and Australia. In Poland, this idea is promoted by NGO ‘Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt: Polska’. Its team consist of sociologists, lawyers, economists and programmers. They postulate idea of ‘open government’ - the new way state should be organized. Their main goal is to increase citizen engagement in decision process. Citizens’ knowledge and determination supported by modern technology and new ways of communication could lead to more efficient problem solving. For this purpose - government should share any data with its citizens.

In contrast to other map providers, OpenStreetMap provides data free of charge even for commercial purposes. That allows building new, innovative services.
-That spins the economy. Lets take the GPS navigations: They could be much cheaper and broadly accessible if the manufacturers didn’t have to pay dearly for the data - convinces Andrew.

Steve Coast founded company that earns by providing services using OSM data. In Poland, still only a few enterpreneurs decided to go the same way. One of the pioneers is Adam Mencwal who invented and now implements innovative mobile app that uses OpenStreetMap data. This app is dedicated for pedestrians and tourists, and soon it will be available for every smartphone.
-Here is how it works! - Adam takes his tablet out and runs the application. For first impression it shows only simple camera view - paveway, trees, people. - But lets suppose we are looking for nearest ATM - explains Adam. - Few clicks and voila!

Suddenly, little square appears overlayed on top of the scene recorded by camera view. It shows precise direction to nearest ATM, it works like a point of a finger. We move the device around but we see through the camera that it constantly updates the directions to point exactly at the physical place where ATM is. This new type of navigation guidance is called Augmented Reality.
-But technology that will truly revolutionize navigation and that will make this type of services widely accessible will be transparent displays. In future this kind of displays will be put in glasses and in car windshields - foresees Adam. And he quickly adds: - I have tons of ideas. It’s my response to crisis. I am not “Indignant”. I believe the only way to fight away poverty is through our own enterpreneurship. And for my enterprise OpenStreetMap is crucial because it gives me the advantage of low costs.

UFO hovers above the Warsaw

We are divided on two groups. Every group walk along different side of the sw.Bonifacy street. We use so called GPS tracker that is very helpful for mapping purposes. It is a device with size of the cellphone that records our trace. This device is not neccessary, until we have the precise location (or camera pictures) of object we want to put on the map. But during our walk we have to remember a lot of information: location of phone booths, ATMs, pharmacies, college, italian restaurant, underpasses, speed limit signs, florist, etc., and every housenumber we pass by. Therefore tracker is a must have. And fortunately, nowadays every smartphone has apps that assist in such a mapping activity.

Next day we meet at Minska 25 street in headquarters of Centrum Cyfrowe to upload the recorded data to OpenStreetMap database. Andrew and Adam shows how to do it.
We can upload GPS traces recorded by our trackers the day before. We can also upload single point to the map.
-Unfortunately, sometimes we encounter acts of vandalism, when someone uploads false data. For example, recently I noticed that someone put fuel station in the middle of the junction. - says Adam Mencwal. -But few hours later, when I decided to revert this joker edit, someone already did that before me. Our community is vigiliant and often checks and updates the map.

-But in commercial maps there are also errors - adds Andrew - Moreover, it is common practice that commercial providers do. They do that on purpose, to quickly find the plagiarism. We call that false data ‘easter eggs’

In the afternoon we go to Zlote Tarasy. We enter the shop that has many party accessories - Funny hats, Halloween stuff, zombie masks, plastic vampire fangs, etc. They have also hellium balloons. Andrew chooses the biggest one (90cm diameter) covered with some christmass theme. We buy four of them and we go out, right on the lawn in front of Palac Kultury. Andrew ties photocamera to the balloons. Few moments later, the balloons goes right up to the skies. But our happy moments are short. The thin plastic rope breaks apart and balloons sail far, far away…

  • So soon, we can expect news about UFO hovering above the Warsaw… - someone jokes to break the gloomy mood.
    -It is sixth photocamera that flown away. Last time, when my kite broke I chased it on my bike through the middle of the city. But what I miss the most are these pictures - sighs Andrew
    He looks at the balloons that flies further and further away and that are now high above the spire of Palac Kultury. - We will miss you!

The Augmented Reality solution mentioned in this article is called ARNav and it is currently in its betatest phase.
So I invite everyone of you to test it and subscribe at to get access to this app.

To remind you what ARNav is - at its current state of development it is simple Point of Interest browser showing
directions in Augmented Reality mode. The Points of Interest are fetched from OpenStreetMap.

As the next milestone we want to develop turn-by-turn navigation (thanks to CloudMade services) in AR mode.

In further future, we want our AR engine (that now mainly downloads data) to become ‘uploader’, new kind of OSM
data editor that will allow edits in AR mode. We want sourcecode of this editor to be released on opensource licence.

Moreover, ARNav recently got to the semifinals of prestigious LeWeb startup competition!
So if you want to support our team ( and THE ONLY solution at LeWeb that uses OSM data :slight_smile:
I will greatly appreciate voting on us! :

Best regards

Adam Mencwal
OpenStreetMap Polska Foundation board member
CEO of

Thanks for the nice translation Adam. Real a great article :slight_smile:

Jetzt müsste das nur noch jemand ins Deutsche übersetzen.
Dann bekommt eventuell auch Edwin wieder Lust einen Drachen steigen zu lassen. :slight_smile: