From Creating Maps to Using Maps

While last Friday’s Mapping Party was more about creating maps and map data using OpenStreetMap, today’s event was focused on using those maps and map data – to explore how they are being used, what cool apps have been built around them and how they are making a difference, if any.

The first app we demonstrated was MeroBhadaMeter – an app that uses OpenStreetMap data to display real-time taxi fare and route taken by a taxi in its journey. It can also be used to estimate taxi fare from one place to another prior to making the actual journey. Participants of the event were excited and appreciative of the usefulness of such a handy app, especially in a city like ours, where taxi meter rigging is a hassle that its citizens face regularly.

testimonial OSMAndOSMAnd is another cool app that is powered by OpenStreetMap data. Participants learnt about the app’s basic features – search, turn-by-turn voice navigation, location-sharing and other cool stuffs that make this app such a useful tool in one’s cellphone.

Today, we just managed to demonstrate two apps powered by OpenStreetMap data. In doing so, we barely even scratched the surface. But the point is to give just a glimpse of how OpenStreetMap data is useful for everyday life. MeroBhadaMeter helps prevent our citizens from getting ripped off their hard earned money by rigged taxi meters; OSMAnd, for example, might help a lone biker find a petrol station that much quicker when he suddenly runs out of petrol in the middle of nowhere next time. However, these are just a couple of examples. Apps built around OpenStreetMap data are being used for a zillion other stuffs that make our lives easier in one way or another. If you have not tried one of these cool apps, go ahead and try them! There is something for everyone. MeroBhadaMeter and OSMAnd are good places to start.

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