OpenStreetMap takes cartography to the people

Though it isn’t commonly known, the ancient art of map-making has grown from exploring uncharted lands to a swamp of royalties, license fees, and bureaucracy. Openstreetmap.comaims to democratize the map-making process by letting anyone upload GPS coordinates and manipulate maps for specific purposes, such as documenting bike trails or filling in detail in obscure neighbourhoods. Though Google and Yahoo offer free map services, they aren’t modifiable in a fundamental way. Currently OpenStreetMap has over 16,000 contributors, though its maps are primarily centered around the developed world. A notable exception is the group’s Baghdad initiative, which is the most detailed online street map of the war-torn capital currently online.