10 years of OpenStreetMap

In 2004 one man set out with a bicycle and a GPS recorder. Back then creating a map of the world from scratch seemed crazy to many people, but even so, people joined the effort. A few people at first, but 10 years later OpenStreetMap has grown to a global community with over 1.7 million registered members, with around 3,000 members editing the map every day. This map built by hundreds of thousands of people what is now used for serious work: for example Médecins Sans Frontières works with OpenStreetMap to help its doctors in West Africa keep track of the current ebola outbreak. 25 million miles of roads in every country in the world have been mapped. Here is a look back (developed by mapbox.com) at how the most detailed map of the world started.

or the Video prepared by ScoutbyTeleNav

Routing on OpenStreetMap.org

Good news for OpenStreetMap: the main website now has A-to-B routing (directions) built in to the homepage! This will be huge for the OSM project. Kudos to Richard Fairhurst and everyone who helped get this up and running.


You might be thinking, “Why would this be huge? Isn’t it just a feature that other map websites have had for years now?” Well, the first thing to note is that the philosophy of OpenStreetMap is not to offer a one-stop-shop on our main website, but to create truly open data to empower others to do great things with it. So there has already been fantastic OSM-based travel routing for many years, on excellent websites such as OSRM, Mapquest, Graphhopper, Cyclestreets, Komoot, cycle.travel… the list goes on and on.

But all of those things are on other websites and apps, so people don’t always realise that OpenStreetMap has this power. What this latest development has done is really neat: the OSM website offers directions which are actually provided by third-party systems, but they are included in the main site via some crafty JavaScript coding. So as well as being really handy in itself to have directions available, it helps “first glancers” to see all the things they can do with OSM.

But that’s not what makes it huge.

What makes it huge is the difference it will make to OpenStreetMap’s data by creating a virtuous feedback loop. One of the main reasons we show a “slippy map” on the OpenStreetMap homepage is because people can look at it, see a bridge that needs naming or a building to add, click “Edit” and fix it straight away. That feedback loop is what allowed OpenStreetMap to build up what is now the most complete map of many regions around the world.

But we have a saying: “what gets rendered, gets mapped” – meaning that often you don’t notice a bit of data that needs tweaking unless it actually shows up on the map image. Lots of things aren’t shown on our default rendering, so the feedback loop offers less incentive for people to get them correct. And that goes doubly for things that you never “see” on the map – subtle things like “no left turn” at a particular junction, or “busses only” access on a tiny bit of road, or tricky data issues like when a footpath doesn’t quite join a road that it should join on to. Now that people can see a recommended route directly on the OSM homepage, they have an incentive to quickly pop in and fix little issues like that. The end effect will be OSM’s data going up one more level in terms of its quality for routing. This will empower everyone to do great things with geographic data and getting from A to B.

So find yourself some directions today!


Submarine Cable Map

A submarine communications cable is a cable laid on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean. The first submarine communications cables, laid in the 1850s, carried telegraphy traffic. Subsequent generations of cables carried telephone traffic, then data communications traffic. Modern cables use optical fibertechnology to carry digital data, which includes telephone, Internet and private data traffic.

Modern cables are typically 69 millimetres (2.7 in) in diameter and weigh around 10 kilograms per metre (7 lb/ft), although thinner and lighter cables are used for deep-water sections.[1] As of 2010, submarine cables link all the world’s continentsexcept Antarctica.

TeleGeography’s Submarine Cable Map has been updated for 2015. The latest edition depicts 299 cable systems that are currently active, under construction, or expected to be fully-funded by the end of 2015.

Cable Map

See a larger version or visit the interactive version of the 2015 Submarine Cable Map.


This year’s map pays tribute to the pioneering mapmakers of the Age of Discovery, incorporating elements of medieval and renaissance cartography. In addition to serving as navigational aids, maps from this era were highly sought-after works of art, often adorned with fanciful illustrations of real and imagined dangers at sea. Such embellishments largely disappeared in the early 1600s, pushing modern map design into a purely functional direction.

To bring back the lost aesthetic that vanished along with these whimsical details, TeleGeography referenced a variety of resources in the design process. One of the most invaluable was Chet Van Duzer’s Sea Monsters in Medieval and Renaissance Maps book, which provides arguably the most complete history of the evolution of sea monsters and map design from this period. Our final product is a view of the global submarine cable network seen through the lens of a bygone era.

Cable Map

Main Projection

The map depicts routes of 278 in-service and 21 planned undersea cables. Capital cities for each country are also provided.

Cable Map


The map provides latency from the United States, United Kingdom, and Hong Kong to several other countries, presented in milliseconds of round trip delay.

Cable Map

Lit Capacity

Inset infographics provide lit capacity data from 2002-2013 for the trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, US-Latin America, and Europe-Asia via Egypt routes.

Cable Map

Cable Installation

Inset illustrations depict steps in the cable laying process, including the receiving of a submarine cable on shore and the coiling of cable within a ship’s tank.

Cable Map

Dangers to Cables

The map is adorned with images of common causes of cable faults, including fishing vessels, anchors, and trenches on the ocean floor, as well as cable maintenance vessels responsible for repairs. In homage to vintage maps, it also includes ornate illustrations of mythical sea monsters.

Cable Map

The map is printed on Yupo, a high quality synthetic material, and measures 36” x 50” (0.9144 m x 1.27 m). The map is available flat and shipped in a tube (recommended for framing or hanging on a wall) or folded (for more convenient storage and transportation). Heat mounting is not recommended.

Source: https://www.telegeography.com