Annual Review – What I did on 2017?


2017 was a great year for me, as all the years. Sharing here on how it went. Yes. It is too late to write this now. It is because of the few lifestyle changes I am following. Its is OK to do many things slowly and drop few things. Am I right?

Health :

I was trying to reduce my ongrowing tummy for years. in 2017, took some serious, series of efforts.

  • Joined Zumba Dance class on Sep 2017. It is a thrice in a week class. I attend 2 classes, atleast.
  • Bought a cycle on October 2017 and went to office in cycle. It was around 40 km per round trip. Cycled for 2 months, twice in a week.
  • Exercised for 10-15 min every day, mostly.

With all these efforts, my hip size came to 34 from 39. It is a great improvement. Thanks to “Dude Academy” and Master Kannadasan for inspiring.

Got fever 4 times. Those bad days reminded how bad my health is. It is time to eat good food, and siddha medicines which gave enormous immunity in my school/college days. started to have the medicines prepared by my dad.

Stopped drinking cool drinks, fried items like pizza, burger etc.

Family:

  • Viyan got into a nearby school. He is in LKG now.
  • He sent hand drawn Deepavali Wishes post cards to all our friends.
  • Nithya learnt karagam, Poikal Kuthirai dances. She is performing in various event. She wrote a ebook on Javascript. Released a video on Bigdata and Elasticsearch
  • Brother Arulalan joined at meteorology department as scientist in Noida.
  • Brother Suresh got a government job.

Office:

Office works made me keep on learning new things. Elasticsearch, Spark, Druid, Python3, AWS api are some great things I explored. Completed reading one book fully on the technology I start to work.

Travel:

  • Went to Vienna, Austria for a wikipedia hackathon. Met many interesting people and blogged the event happenings of Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.
  • Went to Yelagiri for Nithya’s karagam dance on a government function.
  • Went to Kothagiri for marriage of Nithya’s friend’s sister.
  • Went to Kerala with Office friends and their Family.
  • Went to Pondicherry and visited science center, bharathiyar house etc.
  • Went to Melmalaiyanur with family.
  • Went to Beaches few times in the early morning. Those are really great times.
  • Went to DakshanChitra many times for Nithya’s dance practises.
  • Went to Sriperumbuthur as Nithya danced for Sri Ramanujar’s 1000th birthday celebrations.
  • Went to Kumbakonam and nearby places with office friends.
  • Went to few resorts with office friends.

Foss Contributions:

  • IITM and SSN College of Engineering, released a good Tamil Text-to-Speech system. Met IITM team and learnt how to install in linux. Automated and released it here.
  • In Vienna wikipedia hackathon, enabled LinguaLibre to upload voice files to wikipedia commons.
  • Helped to released a telegram bot to translate strings collaboratively for the english strings in openstreetmaps to tamil.
  • Helped to released a “Send to kindle” option for the ebooks in FreeTamilEbooks.com
  • Got some interest on adding interesting places to OSM. Used cycle to roam around tambaram and added many places with the maps.me app.
  • Conducted 2 hackathons for ilugc. one for tamil computing and one for wikipedia.
  • Conducted 1 event for ebook making training.

Society:

  • Found a social team “Agaththi” in Tambaram. Participating on their market for organic formers.
  • Filed few RTI in YouRTI.in for the issues in Tambaram and got few resolved.

Writing:

Wrote 57 blog post in this blog and 6 posts in Tamil in my tamil blog. This is low. Will try to increase next year. Writing a book on Python in Tamil. Hope will release by next year. But I have read plenty of books this year. I love reading than writing. Lazy me.

Books Read:

Thanks to PacktPub’s One free ebook per day, Kindle Unlimited Plan and All authors of FreeTamilEbooks.com for providing tons of great books to read.

With the Kindle device, I enjoyed plenty of hours in continuous reading.

Award :

Got an award for the contributions on Tamil computing on 2016 from The Tamil Literary Garden, Canada. Received Rs. 50,000 as prize money. Working on creating an organization with this money to do more contributions with more volunteers. Will ask for donations soon.

LifeStyle:

Was living a simple, minimalistic lifestyle.
Quited TV, Facebook and smartphone two years ago. Still able to live without them. Prioritized the life in the order of Health, Family, Office, Personal growth, FOSS Contributions.

Thus, the year 2017 was so great. It gave me great lessons via bad experiences too. Those are opportunities for me to learn about people and world.

Hope you too had a great year. Hoping that 2018 will be even more exciting for all of us.

 

Project-Idea : Custom data updater for maps.me mobile app


https://p.apk4fun.com/82/71/7c/com.mapswithme.maps-featured.jpg

Maps.me is a good mobile app (Free Software) for navigation and adding Places (POI – Point of Interest) to OpenStreetMap.org

It uses offline data, to provide smooth user experience. OsmContributor, OSMAnd are other few android app, to contribute to OSM by adding POI. But we can feel the lag on navigating the map as they fetch real time data on every move over the map.

Maps.me is super fast. But because it uses only offline data. The maps.me provides updates for the data once in a month or twice.

We can see the POIs added by us. But, when we run a mapathon kind of events, many volunteers will be roaming around a city. Sometimes, they come to a street, where the POIs are added by someone else already.

When you are using maps.me for adding POI, we can not get the POIs added by other volunteers immediately. We have to wait for the updates provided by the maps.me team.

This leads to repeated adding of same POI many times. Even verifying for the same POI using other app is boring.

Checked for the maps.me team for providing options to update the data whenever required. But it is not on their roadmap.

Discussed this with “OpenStreetMap Asia” telegram group. Erwin Olario replied with few ideas.

  1. Maps.me uses mwm format for the data
  2. https://export.hotosm.org/en/v3/exports can export data in mwm format
  3. https://export.hotosm.org/en/v3/learn/export_formats#mwm gives steps on how to download latest data and use with maps.me

All we need now, is a mobile app to download the desired data from hotosm and place in the proper path of maps.me

We can develop this as a separate mobile app and distribute to all.

If this is done, anyone using maps.me can click another app, and update the osm data whenever required.

Reply here / Contact me if you are interested in doing this as a Free/OpenSource Project.

My mail id – tshrinivasan@gmail.com

 

Update – 1

 Ilya Zverik has provided a daily snapshot for each country, but sometimes, it’s not available: http://direct.mapswithme.com/regular/daily/

 

 

Event Notes – Mini Mapping party at Kanchipuram


I went to my home town Kanchipuram, India for Christmas holidays. We had a good active Linux Users Group called KanchiLUG there few years ago. We still have few members there doing nice works there.

Decided to have a mini mapping party at kanchipuram on Dec 25, 2017. sent a mail to our mailing list and asked people to join the party.

https://www.freelists.org/post/kanchilug/OpenStreetsMaps-Mapping-Party-Dec-25-101

We had one volunteer replied. T. Dhanasekar. We met on dec 25 10 am. Created an account for him in openstreetmaps.

We both dont use smartphone. I borrowed my wife Nithya’s phone. He did not get any. I dont have a motor bike there. I already took his bike. Hence, we decided to roam around the city together and add interesting places to OSM.

I explained maps.me app and how to add POI. We found many schools, temples, shops, clinics etc and added them. For few POI’s, we did not find suitable types in maps.me

Will ask the maps.me team to add more types.

In 2 hours, we added 75 places. There are still tons of places to add at Kanchipuram. We will add them in upcoming days.

dhana-osm

Openstreetmaps Mapping Party at kanchipuram, Dec 25,2017, 10-1


At kanchilug, we planned to have a openstreetmaps mapping party.

Date : Dec 25 2017,10 am – 1 pm

Starting place : 10c,csm street, pilliyar palayam, kanchipuram.

We can have some intro to osm, maps.me, osm contributor android apps.

Then, we can roam around the city to add Point Of Interest (significant places) to osm using those apps.

If you are new to openstreetmaps, see the video in tamil by prasanna of puduvailug.

https://t.me/joinchat/ECzDrhF4lwRGjtDoIePKIQ

Created a telegram group for tomorrow’s mapping party.

Join there.

We can discuss for any quick questions on party.

For those who don’t have smartphone like me,

You can join the telegram using web browser in your laptop/desktop

Visit

https://web.telegram.org

Login with your mobile number and join the group mentioned above.

You can read all the discussions any time.

See you there on the party.

Project Idea – Mobile app to add POI using openstreetmaps


My friend David Rajamani is looking for an android app to be developed as a module to be used with other application being developed.

User should login with oauth from another app.

Then he should point a place the map displayed and add details about that place.

The data should be sent to openstreetmaps.org and their own database.

Maps.me android app can be taken as example and can be converted as module or pluggable into another app.

If you are interested in doing this project, mail me on tshrinivasan@gmail.com

Thanks.

Morning ride in bicycle for openstreetmaps.org


Today, got up early and thought of riding bicycle for fun.

Thought of adding few point of interests to openstreetmaps.org while riding.

From east tambaram, ride to camp road, till agaram then village and came back.

It was 14 km in total. Took 2.5 hours as it was slow ride to explore the roads and nature. The route is clean, less traffic and village areas give much peace.

Agaram then is a small village. Found a library, water tank, few temples, a lake, etc.

Used maps.me android apps to add POI. Added bus stops, temples, banks, ATMs, marriage halls, water towers, schools, hospitals on the way to openstreetmaps.org using maps.me app. Added few photos via mapillary app.

Happy to see that most of the main and sub roads in chennai are already drawn. Thanks to the contributors.

We have many ways to contribute to collaborative open knowledge bases like writing articles to wikipedia, writing code for any open source software.

we can do them all with our computer, on our chair itself. But, this openstreetmaps.org make us to come out of our home, our comfort zone, roam around the streets.

Bicycling and openstreetmaps made my morning useful.

Meeting Minutes – July 2017 meet


Indian Linux Users Group, Chennai is my homeland. The monthly meetings always give great ideas and thoughts. Most of my project ideas are being initiated here. Kaniyam.com and FreeTamilEbooks.com are childs of the thoughts discussed here.

We meet, every month, second saturday at IIT Madras – 3-6 pm. Last saturday, we had a meet. Here are the notes.

Joshua explained about Yocta project. This is used to build tiny GNU/Linux distributions with only the minimal required tools and libraries. We can create many recipies and use them to design our own OS.

Yocto project க்கான பட முடிவு

He explained the build tool bitbake and demonstrated the processes.

Few links to know more about it.

https://www.yoctoproject.org/about
https://www.slideshare.net/rossburton/the-yocto-project
https://www.slideshare.net/coldnew/build-your-own-embedded-linux-distributions-by-yocto-project

Khaleel explained about OpenStreetMaps.org  . He demonstrated how to add new roads, Point of interests and how to edit other’s works. He explained how the project started, why it exists and why it is important to contribute for it.

File:OSM Logo.svg


We can add missing details about the streetname and POI for chennai.

Use these applications to contribute using mobile.
1. maps.me
2. OSM contributor

Using the app, “StreetComplete” we can add missing street names easily.

We can plan for an online or offline mapathon event to learn OSM
contribution someday this month.

Few links:
http://openstreetmap.org/
https://www.slideshare.net/keng/20130507-opendreamandosmatmekongictcamp
https://www.slideshare.net/ckreutz/maptivism-maps-for-activism-transparency-and-engagement

I distributed few old “Linux for you” books to the participants.


After the talk, few of us went to gurunath restaurant. Discussed about bitcoin, blockchain, chennai colleges, having hackathon and trainings etc. Baskar selvaraj requested to have more offline events like we were doing few years ago. Remembered contributions of our long time members like KG, Raaman, Bharathi etc. He shared all the fun happening at colleges on the events he conducts. It will be really great if we start more events. Let us plan them and start as soon as possible.

Thanks for all participants and speakers.

Here are few photos
https://goo.gl/photos/y7nEuEvoNBGZTBVr9

StreetComplete – Android app to add Missing Street Names in OpenStreetMaps


I am thinking of bringing OpenStreetMaps.org in Tamil. Imagining a world, where a GPS device or smartphone, showing paths in Tamil and giving instructions in Tamil to the driver.

To achieve this, we need all the street names to be filled in OpenStreetMaps.org

I checked for the streets in my area, Tambaram, Chennai. Found that there are many street names are missing. Editing the street names on the browser seems difficult for the lazy me.

Was looking for any alternate ways to add streets in OSM. Found the Open Source android app “StreetComplete“.

Cover art

It simply shows the streets that dont have a name and ask to enter a name for it. Thats all.

  StreetComplete (Unreleased)- screenshot thumbnail

  StreetComplete (Unreleased)- screenshot thumbnail

  StreetComplete (Unreleased)- screenshot thumbnail

   StreetComplete (Unreleased)- screenshot

From the description of the app.

 

Help to improve the OpenStreetMap with StreetComplete!

This app finds incomplete and extendable data in your vicinity and displays it on a map as markers. Each of those is solvable by answering a simple question to complete the info on site.

The info you enter is then directly added to the OpenStreetMap in your name, without the need to use another editor.

As it says, it is really simple to add details like street names, road types, shops opening hours etc.

Install this app in your android phone and help OpenStreetMaps to have all the street names. It will lead to various super projects like “Maps in our language” and more.

Help to to build truely open maps.

Few links to explore:

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/StreetComplete

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.westnordost.streetcomplete

Source : https://github.com/westnordost/StreetComplete/

How can we add more data to OpenStreetMaps easily?


File:OSM Logo.svg

When exploring on creating maps in Tamil using OpenSteetMaps found that the current data available on OSM is not equivalent with Google Maps.

We can not copy data from Google Maps and import to OSM as it is a big copyright violation. Yes. We dont have control over the data for the area where we live.

We can do the following.

  1. Look for the data sources who may have the data about the streets, villages, cities. I think think the government departments like Postal, Revenue,Rural development, Public Works may have these data. How can we ask them to share the data in public? Will a RTI help on this? Do you have contacts with the leads of these dept? Please help to get map data from them.
  2. Add the data manually. Edit OSM just like how we are adding content to wikipedia. Drawing roads, marking important places is easy. Watch the below video for a demo.

    By this way, we can add any data manually, edit, improve the existing data. But editing on the browser is not possible for many.

    It will be nice if we have a mobile app to add data to OSM. When I had a smartphone, few years ago, searched for a OSM mobile app. Cant find any app, which helped to edit OSM.

    I dont use smartphone nowadays.

    If you have a smartphoe, can you search for the apps, which can help to edit the OSM easily?

    The app should be very simple. The user should should open the app. It should capture the latitude, longitude from its GPS or mobile tower. Then it should ask for the name of the building,  building number, type of the place, street name, area name,city name, if required a photo, etc. Once the user entered these data, it should be synced on OSM. Contribution should very simple as filling few forms only.

    If we have such app, we can create communities/volunteers to add data to OSM with their smartphones. Just open app, fill data. They are done.

If there is no such easy editing app for OSM, it is high time to create such one. If you are a mobile developer, please create such app and help to build the Openstreetmaps as content rich.

Wondering how the Google, Apple, Bing maps collected data. What kind of mobile app they used, what ate the data they collected. If you have worked for these maps, please share more details about them. It will help a lot.

There may be other easier, better ways to add data to OSM. Please share the details or connect with the communities.

Let us build content rich Open Street Maps.

 

Image source : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:OSM_Logo.svg  – CC-BY-SA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OpenStreetMap just got a better editor


OpenStreetMap(OSM) just got a better editor to edit the maps. Just sign up, zoom in to your location, start editing, BOOM.

Now, I agree Google Maps are bit sofisticated, but OSM are used by apps like FourSquare, Flickr, Apple maps, many others and definitely it has a huge benefit as a developer and as a normal user who wants to get/update information about his location/business.

Any information that you add into Google is owned by Google, and shown on a service that could in theory be withdrawn at any time (see Google Reader).

Any information you add into OpenStreetMap is licensed freely for people to reuse as they like, so if you’re adding information about your business into OSM, it’s got the potential to be promoted much more widely than if it’s just in Google Maps. The information in OSM will always be available to use as it’s not dependent on any one commercial entity.

http://www.openstreetmap.org/

Start Mapping your street Now.

Image Sources:

http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/scale8x/sites/socallinuxexpo.org.scale8x/files/imagecache/medium/OpenStreetMap.png

http://revoseek.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Apple-Uses-OpenStreetMap-Instead-of-GoogleMaps.jpg