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Steve Coast: Starting OpenStreetMap was a ride of my life.

Submitted by on 8.11.2012 – 07:38No Comment

Steve interned at Wolfram Research before studying computing science at University College London (UCL). With Nick Black, he set up ZXV Ltd, a technology consultancy in 2006. In 2008 this became CloudMade after investment by Nikolaj Nyholm and Sunstone Capital. Steve resigned from CloudMade in October 2010, although he is still a shareholder. On 23 November 2010 Steve announced that he had accepted a position as Principal Architect at Microsoft’s Bing Mobile.

What do you think that has changed the GIS/Cartography in last decade the most?

Web based mapping and the slippy map have fundamentally changed the access to maps for everyone with a computer over the last decade or so.

What do you think that will change the GIS/Cartography in next decade the most?

My hope is the realignment of the value chain around map data will generate a lot of innovation over the next 10 years. This will happen as people switch from proprietary to open mapping solutions like OpenStreetMap

You were 23 years old, when started OSM, would you do it again? Why/Why not?

Absolutely, it’s been a wold ride. You have to be open to opportunity and be willing to make a leap when a new things opens up. OpenStreetMap has created many opportunities for me and other people around the world, I don’t see any downside there.

Do you use paper maps or GPS/tables why hiking?

I do, I will use whatever is available. For example when flying I use paper maps made available by the FAA in the USA.

Are there any plans to include augmented reality into mobile map apps?

Not within OSM, but app developers all over the place are doing that.

Could you name 3 most significant inventions, in your opinion, in GIS/Cartography ever?

  • Theodolite
  • GPS
  • Internet

Do you think that the area of copyright protection in cartography and GIS is adequately addressed in the framework of international conventions?

If you add in the ODbL then yes. A lot of people have spent a significant amount of time to provide a useful framework with which to openly share data and the result of that is the ODbL

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