Open Data Day 2014 - What can we do with the OpenStreetMap data?

Hi OpenStreetMappers,

There will be an event on February 22nd called The Internal Open Data Day, the point of this event is to gather citizens in cities around the world to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.

In Thailand there is an event registered in Chiang Mai, and I have been asked if I could come and do some projects based on OpenStreetMap data. About 20-30 people are expected to attend, but more might come as the event is open to everyone. There will also be other projects based on other sources of open data. Not all projects will be technical and no technical skill is required to show up.

I am not entirely sure what kind of projects I can do, but I’d love to hear your suggestions and I’d like it even more if you would like to attend or even help out.

A mapping party have been suggested, but I’d like to have some other ideas as well - I’d rather work with the data of OpenStreetMap and show what things can be done with it, that is not possible with closed sources such as Google. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to come up with anything we could possibly accomplish in a day or where Thailand have enough data. One of my impossible ideas have been to present statistics on how much land in Chiang Mai is being converted from farmland to residential - but we haven’t mapped it all yet, and we therefore have no historical data either. We might be able to do this in 5 years though :).

I will post a link to an invitation to Chiang Mai event as soon as one is ready - I’ll also give examples of a few more of my ideas, but right now the restaurant I am sitting in is kicking me out.

Best regards,

I might attend but have no idea what I could accomplish or how I could help. I’m not much of a hacker and don’t have access to any “interesting” datasets ;-(

Please come, if I find nothing better to do, I might teach you (and others) examples on how to work with the OSM data. In your case I know you are also interested in learning more about scripted updates.

The event will be somewhere near the Nimmanhaemin area. CAMP at May and Punspace have been mentioned as possible locations.

I think some people from other mapping parties around Chiang Mai will show up as well, and I am sure we could teach them a little about OSM and tagging.


I’m flying in to CNX for the event, please put up GPS coordinates, possibly a photo of the front of the venue and the start time when you have it. I look forward to meeting everyone.

Best regards

I’ll put it on my calender. The temptation to learn about scripting did the trick. Another topic I would love to explore, maybe not at this meeting but at some time, is how to create a Garmin compatible map of Thailand, like Lambertus’s but with a custom TYP file for Thailand, while I’m working in an area — that is, one containing up-to-the-minute additions. These take a week or more to show up in Lambertus’s downloads.

Please send location details, coordinates, etc., when you can.

I’ll post as soon as I know. How long do you expect to stay?

I’m flying in 21 evening, flying out 23rd morning.

Infrastructure detail is aspect that isn’t usually available in most commercial mapping services. The lines and connections of the electrical network are quite interesting, but their mapping is still largely incomplete. Drainage systems are also of great public interest. There are likely other GISystems which deal directly with these aspects, but as a free source it should be interesting to see what OSM can show.

I was thinking about water flow, but we just don’t have enough details to do anything interesting yet.

Right now I am thinking about doing a Humanitarian OpenStreetMap event, that seems to be a popular thing for Open Data Day - and it is also quite important work. For the more technical minded, I might give a few examples on how to work with the data using Python.

The event will be held at Punspace/OpenDream on February 22 from 09:00 to 17:00. Everyone is welcome, there is no registration required and no entrance fee - you can show and leave as you please.

Though registration is not required, it would still help us with planning if you could let us know.

You are all encouraged to bring your laptops so you can more easily participate in projects.

This is the place on Google Streetview:,98.972735&spn=0.001742,0.00284&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=18.793622,98.972443&panoid=aOpYoRflcCjFHkXbUsigYw&cbp=12,198,0,5.95


For the Facebook people, here is the event:


We’re doing National Parks and forest reserves, here’s a document which we’re using to coordinate all the data for the hackathon.

Please make sure to use data sources which are compatible with OpenStreetMap’s license and contributor terms.

Without further permissions only Public Domain sources qualify.

Data has to fit under OSM contributor terms which allow change of license. OSM also can’t guarantee most attribution requirements of other licenses.

“Don’t copy from other maps” also includes other data sources.

It might be tempting, but please resist from the temptation of importing unsuitable data. When you read the regular reports of the data working group and remember the redaction at the license change you will get an impression on how much harm it can cause if data has to be removed after other mappers built on that foundation.

Hi Stephan,

These sources are all royal decrees which are non-copyrightable.

Best regards

Hi all,

It was nice meeting so many interesting people today.

The gathering was productive for me personally. Keng and Mishari, both native Thai speakers, discovered some interesting data hidden in the website that I have been playing with since I got back home. I know the URL seems to indicate this data is “secret” but I have some information that might bear on the issue of usability.

The data I’ve looked at so far is of several types. There are shapefiles, KML files as well as a nice bundle of high quality jpeg images of 1:50,000 scale topographic maps. Unfortunately, this website is limited to national parks, bans and amphoes in Tak province. Nevertheless, it is just possible we would be able to use this data legally and perhaps to locate similar websites for the other provinces.

Firstly, and very interestingly, many of the topo maps were created by the U.S Government in cooperation with the Thai government. At first glance the maps looked very familiar. That’s because they bear a very close resemblance to maps I’ve studied and owned all my life — maps made by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). There are disclaimers on some, but not all, of the maps that state, and I quote:

The following statement also appears on the maps I’ve looked at so far:

I think this is enough to motivate further inquiries of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) to see just how available this data is. In the United States any data produced by the USGS is available for unlimited and unrestricted use. I suspect the same applies to the National Imagery and Mapping Agency. There are phone numbers and addresses on each map advising users to call NIMA in Bethesda, Maryland, to report errors, make comments, etc.

Secondly, the KML files I located are outlines of the national parks in the province. When downloaded and opened in Google Earth, it is easy to see that those outlines are practically identical to the park boundaries you can see in GE. The screenshot shows of a portion of Khlong Wang Chao NP as seen in Google Earth. The green lines are the border one sees when the park’s main node (incorrectly named Khlong Lan NP) is selected. The red line adjacent to that one is the line from the KML file I got from the Tak archives. Either Google got their data from the Thai government or the Thai government got their data from Google. If it’s the former case, I believe we might be able to get permission to use it also. The approximate center of the screenshot below is at 16.368153N, 99.093551E

I’m excited to think a possibility exists to use some of the data Keng unearthed.


Are you planning on getting in touch with NIMA?

Yes, but I might wait to start this project until I get back from Laos. We are leaving Saturday and will be away for at least 2 weeks. I will make a few calls eventually and report on I come up with.

Awesome, good luck with it.