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Ask Slashdot: Easiest To Use Multi-User Map Editing?

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the just-need-enough-highlighters dept.

Cloud 52

Lordfly writes "I'm part of an online group of local hobbyist, semi-pro, and professional photographers. I want to start an editable map that showcases interesting places to shoot photos — parks, old buildings, interesting infrastructure, etc. Ideally I'd like to be able to tag/organize the markers (public/private property), as well as add example photos for each location to give people an idea of what the place looks like.

I've used the Google Maps 'Create a Map' feature, but have found that sharing for other users to see/edit is a bit ... off. Also, given Google's propensity for dropping features without much pretext, it makes me wary to sink time and effort into a possibly ephemeral map. It does most of what I'm looking for it to do, but are there more robust alternatives out there I'm not finding?"

cancel ×

52 comments

Dude! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489301)

Rand McNally! Plus pencil!

Ask the OSM community. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489317)

This is a problem that OSM (open street map) has solved. Either use their service, our even create your own clone - their software is likely to be all open source, and their mapping data certainly is.

Re:Ask the OSM community. (1)

WarJolt (990309) | about 4 months ago | (#46489403)

Works on android too as a pretty good replacement for the Google maps api.. I've found it fo be a little slow at times and google maps api is a bit more mature. Gotta get your hands dirty and write some code.

Re:Ask the OSM community. (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about 4 months ago | (#46491661)

This is a problem that OSM (open street map) has solved. Either use their service, our even create your own clone - their software is likely to be all open source, and their mapping data certainly is.

Nice. I was going to say if everyone is collocated to use a big paper map on a wall. He did say they were "local". Sounds like he's trying to use tech he doesn't really need to solve a problem. But, that's most Ask /. questions these days, that and not knowing how to use a search engine to do your own research.

Re:Ask the OSM community. (1)

AndrewBuck (1120597) | about 4 months ago | (#46491865)

OpenStreetMap is not really suited to what he is doing since we are making a 'base map' which is just the underlying features, roads, buildings, etc. The personal notes the OP is looking for can however be added to uMap which is a tool one of the OSM people developed to make maps overlay on top of the map. I am not sure what the public terms of service are though or how long it will be available. It was developed for coordinating information about humanitarian disasters but it would work for that as well. Link is below.

http://umap.openstreetmap.fr/e... [openstreetmap.fr]

-AndrewBuck

Re:Ask the OSM community. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#46493983)

There are a number of services and applications that use OpenStreetMap as a back end. As mentioned, some of them are available on Android. Others are available for the desktop.

Mapbox is pretty legit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489337)

Sometimes you need to use their API to do what you want instead of just their point/click tools which can be a pain if you aren't a developer, but making custom maps is their business so it's not going ti disappear unless the whole company does

https://www.mapbox.com/

Try this one (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489345)

http://www.ea.com/simcity-4-deluxe

Trollish summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489363)

Why does the question sound more like a complaint than a list of requirements? And why perpetuate the myth that Google "drops products without warning/reason"? TFS also misuses the word pretext (and incidentally Google would never drop Maps). Most of that complaint came from the ~4 months of warning before dropping an RSS reader.

So while this could be a good Ask /. why does it come off as more like a troll?

What features do you need or want?

What is "off" about Google Maps? (And why use such an ambiguous complaint?)

Google.. (4, Insightful)

sotweed (118223) | about 4 months ago | (#46489425)

"why perpetuate the myth that Google "drops products without warning/reason"?

Well, you're right... that's a bit unfair. There's usually some warning, and occasionally even a reason.
But relying on their stuff is indeed somewhat risky.

Re:Google.. (4, Informative)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 4 months ago | (#46489867)

There's usually some warning, and occasionally even a reason. But relying on their stuff is indeed somewhat risky.

Why, how on earth can you say that?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Google_products#Discontinued_products_and_services [wikipedia.org]

Oh, Right. Now I remember...

Re:Google.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46490703)

This is not just Google; all proprietary software companies (and that includes Google) are going to have that problem in future. There is an entire category on Wikipedia for Microsoft's abandoned software [wikipedia.org] . The problem is that, previously they gave you an actual copy of the software so you could continue to use it. Microsoft is now going for a cloud first strategy [forbes.com] and trying to enforce things like Sharepoint on it's customers. This is going to make them worse than Google who at least guarantee you to be able to get all your data out of their systems.

Microsoft is probably even the best of a bad bunch. They at least have an IBM like history of knowing not to piss off their big customers. Other proprietary companies are getting bought out and closed down at regular intervals (just look at the list of things Facebook bought recently).

The only way around this is to make sure that you get the full source to cloud systems you use and that the are protected under something like an Affero license [wikipedia.org] . Then you have to, from time to time, have exercises where you take your latest backup and really prove you can restore it. The second best is to only use services where you can provably transfer from one supplier to another. Needless to say, very few CIOs are going to be doing something like this when they can be making out like bandits from the vendor "freebies".

Re:Google.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46490777)

Not only discontinued, but if a service changes its usage terms you may also be fucked up. I've found suddenly youtube accounts forcefully linked to gmail and g+ without opt out and am therefore migrating all my youtube to other providers (while always keeping a backup, of course).

Re:Google.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46490841)

And you fall right into the troll trap. What does this have to do with Google Maps or this Ask Slashdot? What are the features the asker wants? Why is the whole thing vague complaints about Google?

Also your link was just full of mostly stuff that was either not popular or folded into different new products

(Talk -> Hangouts)
(Checkout -> Wallet)
(Send to Phone -> Chrome to Phone....works with FF still)
(Health -> no one used it)
(Wave -> open-sourced)
(Buzz -> no one liked it)

And on an on... Really, the only major products they dropped were Reader, iGoogle, and Google Labs (this was the saddest IMHO)

Here's MS for comparison (they get a whole category on Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Here's Apple:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

To me, they all look pretty normal. But somehow Google gets a bad rep. There are certainly things that Google deserves a bad rep for (such as pushing G+ on youtube), but the "drops products" thing mostly started from all the upset Google Reader & iGoogle users.

Re:Google.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46490973)

Relying on any service is risky -- the difference is Google has Takeout so you can export your data if they shut something down. And the reputation that Google shuts a lot of things down is *mostly* false. The editorializing in this Ask /. is both somewhat suspect, and quite unnecessary for getting the question answered.

CMS plus google maps (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489377)

I have done this before for personal use using Drupal and some add on modules. Check out the location module, geofield module, and gmaps module. I am sure you can achieve the same result with several different CMS systems, but I found configuring with Drupal was very quick with the third party modules. Basically all I did was create a content type with a geofield (or location data). Each node can have access control, taxonomy tagging, commenting (discussion), image attachments, etc. I found it was very flexible and allowed me to expand as needed with search and other functions.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489391)

"Easiest to use"

I don't understand what that phrase means. I'm confused, this is Slashdot.

wikimapia is for this (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489401)

not sure how hard you're looking if you're aware of neither wikimapia.org nor openstreetmap.org but this is *exactly* what they're for

Well to start.... (5, Funny)

ssufficool (1836898) | about 4 months ago | (#46489449)

You will need a spatial database (I prefer PostgreSQL + PostGIS), but you might want to try SQL Azure with their supreme Geography types. Then I would create a WFS (web feature server) on top of that from scratch using a compiled c++ CGI backend running on NGINX. Then I would create some JSON web services to handle the back and forth in PHP5 on a separate server running Apache2, because you need that multi-tiered scaleability eventually, so start now. Then I would hobble together a javascript mapping API to interact with the WFS and JSON web services. After I reach a performance impact from the CGI doing on-demand rendering, I would create a server process in Python to generate and cache tiles to a web tile server, then rework the JSON and WFS server to serve those up in addition to the overlay of the more dynamic layers. Then I would flush that all down the toilet and do what the other guy said.

Re:Well to start.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489565)

You're an ass.

Re:Well to start.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489789)

Yeah, but he's the best kind of ass! +1 for teh lulz!

Re:Well to start.... (1)

Bazman (4849) | about 4 months ago | (#46490573)

I think you just described the OpenGeo suite from Boundless [boundlessgeo.com] except with less Java because enterprisey.

Another idea would be something based on Django with the GeoDjango functionality, a simple model for location with picture and whatever other attributes you want in your model, and job almost done. Buy some hosting and run it, or plug an Rpi into your home network and punch a line through your router.

ownCloud ODF support (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 4 months ago | (#46489453)

Recently owncloud started offering collaborative editing of ODF documents. I am not sure it can do .odg, but if it does, it may be used for maps. SVG suport would be even better, though.

Clippy (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489507)

I see you are planning to blow some buildings up.

ACME Mapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489515)

http://mapper.acme.com/ [acme.com]

It allows you to "mark" locations, and is pretty easy to use. You can also create links to pages/maps.

As a photog, one of the best features is the ability to toggle to USGS topo maps.

It won't do all of what you want, but may help.

Ushahidi (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489521)

Try Ushahidi, originally developed more for crisis management and political activitism it may be useful for you. There is also an online version at crowdmap.com you can play with. I have used it for various reasons from the downright comical to the extremely serious and I have not had any issues using it, once you get past the learning curve.

save the data, don't depend on anyone (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#46489573)

ANY company or service can go away or change.
That's why you keep a copy of the data, coordinates, etc. Then you can display that data with Google maps, openstreetmap, or a dozen other ways and you're not dependent on anyone.

If you keep a copy of your data, you don't need to decide based on one option having a 0.01% chance of going away versus another with a 0.02% chance.

Flickr makes it really easy (2)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | about 4 months ago | (#46489655)

Flickr does pretty much all of this. You can use a Yahoo account, a Facebook account, or a Google account to sign in.

Then make a Flickr group (it can be private or unlisted). Everybody can contribute photos to the shared group and geotag them. Then everyone else can see them on a map. You can also search for tags by keyword.

Done.

Re:Flickr makes it really easy (1)

elmer at web-axis (697307) | about 4 months ago | (#46489919)

Don't use flickr, getting the data out of them (as with photos) is a lesson in pain..

Integrating with mapping tools (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489831)

I think that Nokia's Here (formerly Navteq) has tools to let you do this. Not sure since I haven't tried, but they are still ahead of Google Maps for such stuff.

geonames.org (1)

codepigeon (1202896) | about 4 months ago | (#46489847)

I dont know if this will help you or not, but http://www.geonames.org/ [geonames.org] data is under the Creative Commons and provides webservices that you could write your own apps to take advantage of. From what I understand, you can add points to the database (if they dont already exist).

Here's how I did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46489857)

I explained how I built something similar here ---> http://www.joyofphp.com/how-i-build-boatrampdirectory-com-using-php-mysql-and-google-maps/

Oh, the outrage! (-1)

Shoten (260439) | about 4 months ago | (#46489921)

Also, given Google's propensity for dropping features without much pretext...

They have the temerity to change the software that they provide to the world for free without asking permission from you first? God, the BALLS on those Google people!

But all that aside, given that I see some recommendations for alternate (but similar) options besides Google listed above, I have a caveat. Bear in mind that any and all software/services provided on a free basis contain two potential issues: one, the product is you...and two, they may change the nature of said software/services at their discretion without warning or so much as a requirements document from you.

Re: Oh, the outrage! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46490877)

Oh shut up fuckhead.
Just because they're providing it free does not mean anyone looking for solutuons with a more certain future need twats like you berating them.

Try Mapbox (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46490061)

It's based on OSM but less rough around the corners. It's a hosted solution used by some pretty big players like Foursquare and Yelp.

I have a similar project in mind and they are my top alternative for Google Maps.

Google Earth Layer (2)

RugRat (323562) | about 4 months ago | (#46490201)

Ideal for me would be to have a Google Earth layer that when I edit, my edits appear on others who share the layer and vice-versa. Any solutions?

Related: Calender (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | about 4 months ago | (#46490213)

If we have many different groups posting events all across the state, what is best for not only showing them on a calender but also locations on a map?

Think Magic/Game Events!
Each event may have a different owner, or group of owners posting them.
It should be easy to view on the map for people to easily see what Events are close to them for any particular day.

Currently we're thinking multiple Google Calenders but it loses all coloring and requires everyone who wants to do a calender to have google. Plus, no mapping.

Make your own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46490321)

Make your own mapping software! We need more software when the old do not satisfy our needs 101% !

uMap (2)

metatechbe (1842248) | about 4 months ago | (#46490327)

Have you tried ? http://umap.openstreetmap.fr/ [openstreetmap.fr]

Re:uMap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46490907)

What about Wikimapia? http://wikimapia.org

Sauerbraten (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46490343)

Sauerbraten is great for collaborative map editing. ;)

ScribbleMaps.com (1)

tuxisthefuture (906335) | about 4 months ago | (#46490699)

I have been using the free service available at http://www.scribblemaps.com/ [scribblemaps.com] for a few years. Basically provides an editable Google Maps systems.

LocalWiki (1)

Deideldorfer (514118) | about 4 months ago | (#46491055)

This would be very easy if your community has a LocalWiki [localwiki.org] .

CartoDB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46491391)

How about http://cartodb.com?

mymaps replaced by maps engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46492037)

mymaps has been replace with maps engine, see https://support.google.com/mapsenginelite/answer/3024396?hl=en

Nokia\HERE does what you want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46492365)

Try using Nokia\HERE maps, they already allow users to tag geo-spatial coordinates on a map for stuff. So you can have a geographic tag of all your photos.

Startup doing just that... Multi-user map editing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46493997)

I'm founder of a startup called TerraHub (http://www.terrahub.io). We're doing multi-user map editing as part of our main offering. It's still in its early days, but we'd love to see you on the site!

check out ESRI online explorer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46494133)

This might be the easiest way to make maps. First you have to format your data but once its online, you can share it with anyone you want.

Story Maps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46495003)

Not sure if this would work, but what about Esri's Story Maps: http://storymaps.arcgis.com

GeoServer and the OpenGeoSuite (1)

spandex_panda (1168381) | about 4 months ago | (#46495013)

The easiest way is to set up GeoServer as part of the OpenGeoSuite [boundlessgeo.com] . The OpenGeoSuite sets up PostGIS and GeoServer and another application called GeoExplorer, which is a web-app that sorts out authentication and editing of spatial data, as well as simple styling.

That said, you can't just 'make a map.' You need to set up multiple tables, all with an appropriate schema, to hold all your different layers. That stuff takes experience, or will require you to iterate over time in order to get it right.

You could set it up in a Desktop environment first, use QGIS [qgis.org] for that. Edit data in PostGIS for best practice, or use SHP files for ease of use.

Try using the GitHub geoJSON ability (1)

theoa (88760) | about 4 months ago | (#46495505)

GitHub has built-in geoJSON mapa capabilities:
https://help.github.com/articl... [github.com]
Example:
https://github.com/benbalter/d... [github.com]
A GitHub organization may have multiple contributors.
There's forum and wiki support.

MapJam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496385)

Check out MapJam. It's a new startup centered around sharing locations (you can even link photos and videos to locations). http://www.mapjam.com

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