Pre-Conference: DIY Mapping for Libraries


This half-day hands-on workshop will take attendees through the process of creating and publishing an indoor map using free mapping tools, jumping off from work Peter Rukavina has been doing as Hacker in Residence at Robertson Library, University of PEI.

OpenStreetMap is a street map of the world that, like Wikipedia, is collaboratively developed by its users. There is a growing community of OSM users turning their attention to indoor mapping, and the tools and techniques being developed can be leveraged by libraries to map interior spaces to support wayfinding and space planning efforts.

How did it go?

Seven people attended the workshop: 5 were Provincial Library Service librarians from Prince Edward Island, 1 was a public librarian from Dieppe, NB and 1 was a librarian at the Health Sciences library in Halifax.

Many of the participants were new to the Mac, so there was a learning curve in getting comfortable with the one-button mouse and Mac OS X, but this wasn't a huge issue. All of the participants were new to mapping and GIS, and so things proceeded at a faster and more furious pace than I originally imagined, as we had a lot of ground to cover.

By the time we were done 3 hours later, we'd covered the basics of OpenStreetMap, editing in the web-based iD editor, editing in the standalone JOSM editor and using the PicLayer plug-in for JOSM to georeference building floor-plans which could then be traced to create indoor maps.

The biggest technical challenge was Java-related. First the version of Java on the workstations in the Modern Language Lab needed to be updated, and then, halfway into the workshop, it turned out that JOSM needed to be launched with a flag to allow it to use more memory (participants were getting out-of-memory errors), which required downloading a standalone version of JOSM (instead of using the easier-to-launch .jnlp version) and launching it from the command line.

Slides for the workshop are available as a PDF.

Schedule info