Collaboratively Mapping Vancouver's Public Spaces

Last night I attended me first meetin' o' th' Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN) Mapping & Wayfinding group, ye scurvey dog. They be a group o' mappin' enthusiasts who want t' organize collaboratively mappin' Vancouver's public spaces an' have some interestin' ideas on how t' do so, includin' a web service with a REST interface, but also hand-drawn maps. Let it rin' throughout th' world that I consider Joey deVilla th' master o' th' han'-drawn directional map, after showin' me how t' get t' his work from his former house back when I visited in 2005.

Havin' heard about it two hours before an' decidin' t' go with one hour t' spare, I pre-loaded two o' me maps on Flickr, on a dead man's chest! One were bein' the map I made of my bike route home, an' th' other was the map of a SkyTrain Explorer walk in Burnaby. I got t' talk about th' latter a bit, an' showed off me GlobalSat DG-100, an' we talked about th' different methods t' track points when mappin' out vari'us items in th' city, like surveillance cameras, bicycle locks an' billboards. (Especially "non-conformin' signs": th' CBC has a short story on the Lee Building advertisement that Vancouver City Council ordered removed after th' owners lost their court battle t' keep it up. Read more at the VPSN's page on corporatization.) I suggested takin' a photo, since th' times will match up with th' GPS logger, but thar be other good, paper & pen methods too.

Geotagged Icon

After th' meetin', instead o' doin' th' dishes, I looked deeper into geocoding on the Mac an' added the 'geo' microformat t' all o' me Flickr photos hosted on that be tagged with a longitude an' latitude, I'll warrant ye. A good example is the photo I took of Dave Olson: if ye have Firefox an' the Operator extension, ye can use th' actions associated with location t' get KML (Google Earth) or view th' location on Google Maps or Yahoo, ye scurvey dog! Maps, Ya lily livered swabbie! Prepare to be boarded! (I already provide a small Google Map on each geotagged photo hosted on me site.) At last night's meetin', I also learned about, which gives ye latitude an' logitude o' locations if ye give them a fuzzy description (like an address, or an intersection). Yaaarrrrr! They also have an API, fer free or fer fee, on a dead man's chest! Wasn't thar a web service floatin' aroun' that would accept yer text an' send ye back geotagged HTML if it found what it thought were locations inside that text?

I ha'nae decided whether t' participate in th' billboard documentin' effort—it will depend on how much work surveyin' a quadrant will be—but I plan on attendin' their next organizin' event. The next VPSN Billboard project meetin' from 7:00 PM t' 9:00 PM at th' MOSAIC Community Meetin' Room, located at 1720 Grant St. in Vancouver [event listing]. Just fer fun, that previ'us sentence is marked up in th' hcalendar event listing microformat.


It is a good notion t' use like surveillance cameras, bicycle locks an' billboards t' track points on a map, and a bucket o' chum. doin' this can save ye a lot o' time messin' with gps coordinates an' th' like. Very informative article, I look forward t' progressin' with me collaborative mappin' o' public spaces.