Maemo Mapper, OpenStreetMap and Wikipedia

Maemo Mapper is a map browsing and GPS navigation application for the Nokia Internet Tablets. So far this useful application has been in the legal grey area by relying on providers like Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth for its map tiles. This probably violates their terms of service and may cause problems later on.

This is why I’m very happy to see that Maemo Mapper can now be used with OpenStreetMap tiles. OpenStreetMap is a volunteer project for creating truly free street maps and other geographic data.

Currently there is quite acceptable OpenStreetMap data available for most major European cities, but the areas in between are still mostly “Here be dragons” territory. But since OpenStreetMap is an open project, we all can help. Now OpenStreetMaps look like the following in Maemo Mapper:

Maemomapper-Openstreetmap-Mapnik

To use these yourself add a new Map Repository with URL Format http://tile.openstreetmap.org/%0d/%d/%d.png. Hopefully this will become the default map source later on. (Updated: OpenStreetMap is now the default map source, starting from Maemo Mapper 1.4.3 release. Great work, Gnuite!)

Points-of-Interest from Wikipedia pages

Maemo Mapper has a useful feature called “Points of Interest” that can be used for marking and navigating to spots on the map.

To add touristic capabilities to this feature I created a quick Python script for populating the POI database with Positioned Wikipedia pages near you. It uses GeoClue for determining where the user is located, and then pulls nearby pages using the Geonames web service. If you want to try it, read my Internet Tablet Talk post.

Maemomapper-Wikipedia-Poi-Detail

Another step closer to the real-world Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Updated 14:33: Switched the OpenStreetMap tile source from Osmarender to Mapnik since the maps look nicer this way. I think it is also appropriate to note that OpenStreetMap can already produce better maps for some places than Google Maps does.

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