Exploring Wiki & Open Street Maps

Wiki is a useful open software as it allows many people to contribute. Today I had a look at https://www.openstreetmap.org and created an account and then went on to add some food places near my current address whilst staying in Bournemouth. Canford road already existed so it was easy to find the location then it was a simple step of moving along the map by dragging my mouse until I came to the block of shops and proceeded to add some onto the map starting with Subway. UGC (User Generated Content) platforms such as open street maps can be useful for anyone who is unsure of what is around and area, and as it is open to anyone it means there can be helpful points that have been missed easily added almost instantly. The software is very easy to use and surprisingly still has a lot to be added onto the maps for anyone who knows the area.

Before setting up an account it is an important point that it states if you are happy that your contributions will be through the use of a Public domain. For anyone who is unsure what this means the website provides a helpful link which explains;

OpenStreetMap’s license is a free share-alike license. I.e. you are more or less allowed to do what ever you want with OpenStreetMap’s data under the one condition that you agree that any modifications or additions again are under the same free license.

http://www.osmfoundation.org/wiki/License/Why_would_I_want_my_contributions_to_be_public_domain

I think the use of a public domain is a good idea as like I stated earlier it allows the freedom of anyone to edit areas to their knowledge without needing to wait for the new version to be published which can be very helpful for any new visitors to the area. My contribution to the open street maps was to add on some of the local restaurants around the Wallisdown area where I am currently living, shown below.

The steps are easy to follow although there is a quick walk through for those new to this UGC platform.

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Above: My contribution to open street maps

Another positive note to using UGC such as this is that if any mistakes are made or if you miss something in your labelling, it is still open for others to continue to edit and change according to the relevant information at the time, for example if Subway which I added was no longer there in a few years and instead was a different restaurant someone could easily change this within seconds. This links in very well with the theory of new media, as it allows everyone to have an equal contribution and also to learn from what others add which has a clear link with the new brief;Design for Digital media environments when exploring the idea of a participatory culture.

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