Tuesday, March 18, 2008

OpenStreetMap terminology

OpenStreetMap for those who do not know the project, is a free editable map of the whole world. Its data is freely licensed, it is build by volunteers and it is very much a work in progress.
OpenStreetMap has its own terminology, and given its origin it is British. The maps can be quite good providing you with sufficient information to plan your route.. There are routes for pubcrawls and other innovations :)

As OpenStreetMap intends to provide a map of the world, the people that make these maps have to literally put themselves on the map. In the Netherlands we have been blessed because maps have been made available to the project. A friend of mine is not yet on the map..
It is clear that the terminology used in Italy is not the same as in the UK or the Netherlands. It makes sense for an Italian to have Italian terminology available to him and Dutch would do me nicely.

At a meeting of the Digitale Pioniers, I met people of OpenStreetMap and we agreed to include their terminology in OmegaWiki. I have now entered the words that have the key "highway" and invite you all to come to OmegaWiki to add translations in your language.

Special in this data is that i have added the definitions provided by OpenStreetMap as alternate definitions as well. In this way they have been marked as definitions provided by OpenStreetMap.

All the OpenStreetMap terminology in OmegaWiki can be found here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Less is more

There are two types of content in OmegaWiki; there are the standard MediaWiki namespaces with the standard MediaWiki content and there is the OmegaWiki specific content. The specific content contain database records, they are the DefinedMeanings and Expressions.

As they are handled completely differently, it means that the functionality available to these types of data is different as well. Particularly the "move" functionality has given us problems in the past. This broken functionality has now been removed from the screens.

Firefox 3 beta 4 is significantly faster

OmegaWiki is a web application that requires a lot from a system. I am really happy to report that the latest beta of Firefox gives me a significantly better performance on the same hardware. I reported in the past that the Firefox beta did a good job for me, but this time the performance is noticeably faster on a page like Nederland.

Firefox provides cutting edge technology and really makes a big difference to me. Now when you want OmegaWiki to perform even better, you can choose to move to this latest software. The other good news is that the spell checkers that are relevant to me are now available as well...

Saturday, March 01, 2008


OmegaWiki has a technical problem; there are certain records that have problems and that crash the database. There are solutions to this problem and some are being tested at the moment.

This week I was in Bamberg at the Otto-Friedrich University, and discussed this with Martin Mai. He has now build a monitor that checks if OmegaWiki is still alive. This works fine. We now have permission for the Bamberg Nagios service to run a script when OmegaWiki is no longer alive.

This will solve one of my biggest worries which is the availability of the OmegaWiki service.