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Zenbu OpenStreetMap

October 22, 2012

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is the torch bearer for Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) projects on the web. It has over 500,000 users and very usable maps in most parts of the world. Like any collaborative project the data is strong, or even amazing, in places where users have dedicated time but patchy in many other parts. Zenbu is no different in this regard.

What is the difference between Zenbu and OSM?

  1. Focus
    • OSM is primarily about the map, with POIs (Points of Information) as a helpful component of the map.
    • Zenbu is primarily about the POI, with the map as a helpful visualisation tool.
      This might seem like a minor difference but it is at the core of each product and the direction it takes.
  2. License
    • OSM has a ODBL license
    • Zenbu has a Creative Commons Attribution license
      oth licenses allow access to the data for free. The Zenbu CC by A license is significantly less restrictive in what you can do with it as there is no ‘share-alike’ clause. One outcome of this is that Zenbu data can be pushed into OSM but OSM data can not be pulled into Zenbu.
  3. Size
    OSM has a significantly larger user base and coverage internationally. In New Zealand Zenbu has a far more authoritative set of POI information.

I’d like to see the Open Street Map of New Zealand be as good as it can. We’re working to enable systems for people to easily re-purpose Zenbu content onto OSM. Stage 1 of this is complete now with a mapping of the Zenbu Categories to OSM categories. There are a few more steps to go to make this more accessible,

There is a lot of work going on at the moment to build tools to import NZ government spatial data, from Land Information NZ, into OSM.!forum/nzopengis. We’ve been in touch with the team at Koordinates who are working on this and hope to have more to report soon.



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