Some Questions from a Beginner about a Community Project


a couple of friends and me want to do a little project. We want to display public civil informations on a map. We want to publish all this under public domain.
So you get a better idea, of what we plan, here some ideas.
Our community has lots of data published like, traffic density, polution, respirable dust, voter turnouts and what party was elected, average house and rent prices aso.
So our idea is to take these informations and put each of those informations on an extra layer onto the map.

However we are facing some problems related to that. We all worked already with GoogleMaps, but due to the public domain aspect of this project we decided to use OSM.
Unfortunately we didn’t find something like a manual, just lots of tutorials showing how to add data to the database (all great - but not something we really need).

So lets talk about the technical aspects. Here are the questions.

  1. Since we only use regional data (the city we live in), we think we just export the data of this area to our servers and update the data once a month. This way we can reduce the traffic for OSM and we are able to take care of the downtimes ourselves. So is it possible to download just a part of the world map and still be able to display it?

  2. As we understood, adding a layer can be done by JOSM - is it possible to add new layers, for the local map as well?

If you could help us with these questions we would appreciate this enormously - links are also very welcome ;). The problem at the beginning is always that you don’t know what you are looking for so Dr.Google is just of a limited help.

Thank you very much.

I believe that the best way to display your information is by using OpenLayers. Just an idea:

Set up the base server using . Do a monthly download of the smallest extract from that covers your area; GeoFabrik is a good source.

Display each type of information as an OpenLayers overlay. It might be polygons / filled polygons created by OpenLayers - if the data is not too large to overwhelm a browser.

It should be possible to automate the updates from each source so that it doesn’t require much additional labor to keep current.