Quite frequently I refer to WikitravelWikivoyage for information on places which are not covered by my guidebook, but a key-element that is pretty much always missing is: maps. Of course there is OpenStreetMap, but when I see a listing in a Wikitravel article, I also want to know where it is. So someone else came up with a great idea, based on two facts:
- The listings in Wikitravel articles are mostly in a xml-format, i.e. machine-readable.
- Most names of these objects are also found as entries in OSM data.
Thus, he created a set of scripts and magic that is able to semiautomatically generate a map to a wikitravel article and put all the listings there, so that these can be easily located. The project is based on osmarender for rendering of raw osm-data into an image, thus the name osmatravel. Unfortunately there are some issues and the project did not receive any attention since 2009 making it practically unusable.
What’s next? During my time working on the project I discovered some limitations. The main one is that osmarender just uses xslt and maps don’t look as nice as mapnik ones. However, mapnik requires a database to work, which is a drawback concerning easy setup and usability. Another main problem is data quality since some articles don’t use the xml-listings yet or the names don’t quite match the OSM ones, thus before being able to actually produce maps, cleanup needs to be done. I imaging though that the ideas could be used to implement a webservice that automatically generates the svg-files for articles. This would make it much easier for people to actually make use of this project.