Extra openstreetmap.cymru features

We’ve added a couple of features (well it was Carl really).

You can link to a particular place in Wales. Here’s Aberystwyth.

And you can embed the map in another web page.

AND you can put a pin on the map that you embedded on another webpage.

Here’s a map that shows you where our forthcoming Geospatial User Group workshop will take place.

Putting Cymru on the Map

ODI Cardiff node’s the score!

We’re all one step closer to listening to a Welsh speaking Sat Nav thanks to the Open Data Institute Cardiff, who are currently working on a ground-breaking initiative to populate the map of Cymru/Wales with its original, Welsh language names (with the possible exception of Swansea = Sven’s Sea, which was in fact originally a different geographic location from Abertawe = the mouth of the river Tawe).

This new map of Cymru can now be seen online at openstreetmap.cymru thanks to the ingenuity of the #MapioCymru project’s web designer Carl Morris.  This was shown publicly for the first time at Hacio’r iaith, where there was a groundswell of support from the tech & public sector experts who attended, which bodes very well in terms of a ‘Gwaddol’ / legacy for this #Cymraeg2050 project sponsored by the Welsh Government.

The next steps for this homegrown, ODI-Cardiff based project is for the people of Cymru to put their ‘square mile’ on the map. You don’t have to be square to register with openstreetmap.org

…but it does help if you’ve got a Google or Facebook account as then it’s all done in one touch.  And then you’ll be onto the newest New Frontier: technology!  You don’t have to be a Welsh speaker either, just as long as you can read your faithful friends, those bilingual roadsigns!

The project has been supported by a £19,900 grant from the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 fund which promotes Welsh in the community and Welsh language technology. Minister for the Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan said;

“We want the use of Welsh to be a routine part of everyday life so that speakers at all levels feel confident in using it in formal and informal situations. Displaying Welsh place names will allow Welsh speakers to use mapping technology in their own language and to embed a map with Welsh place names and events like concerts, fundraisers, etc. on their own website.”

#MapioCymru is one of many Cymraeg 2050 projects that will make it easier for people to use the language, whether face to face in the community and in the workplace or through digital platforms.”

In order to know more how to contribute to the online map of Cymru, please contact our Project Manager Wyn @dailingual Williams mapiocymru@dailingual.com tel Cardiff 707 469

Map i Gymru: building an OpenStreetMap in Welsh

The draft map

Have a peek at this map of Wales, with place names in Welsh.

https://openstreetmap.cymru

Many people have never seen place names in Welsh such as Aberteifi, Treffynnon or Aberdaugleddau on an online map – or indeed any map.

These names have been used for many generations until the present day, from conversations to road signs to media. The Welsh-language Wikipedia, known to its users as Wicipedia Cymraeg, has articles bearing these names.

Nevertheless they are not usually offered or recognised by the well known proprietary map providers.

In order to build a map in Wales’ own language we at the project have drawn from freely licensed OpenStreetMap data, server software, and documentation. These are all the work of many contributors around the world, and to these people we are very grateful. We are also very thankful to the Welsh Language Unit of the Welsh Government who have funded this early work.

Building on the map

This is a draft map running on a prototype server. It gives you the ability to pan and zoom. As the developer on this project I am very pleased with the results so far.

I will introduce another feature very soon – the ability to embed this map on any website.

Nevertheless you might spot omissions or glitches while it’s being developed, and some big areas for functional improvement.

As I write this we have received a bundle of very useful place name data from the office of the Welsh Language Commissioner, which is itself the fruit of years of dedicated work. This is comprehensive down to the level of villages, and licensed under OGL.

Improving the data

This section contains background if you are interested in improving OpenStreetMap place names and other data.

Imports of the OSM data happen automatically overnight. Some pre-rendering of map tiles is also done, to speed things up.

The ideal OSM data set for place names in Welsh would have a name:cy tag for every single item. We are not there yet.

In the meantime my system uses name:cy tags and some name tags.

name:cy has highest precedence. If you want to add a definitive name in Welsh to anything, edit the map on osm.org and add a name:cy tag. You will need to create a user account if you don’t already have one. Provided your submission is accepted by the community this will guarantee its inclusion on the next nightly update.

Many name:cy tags already exist.


The challenge with the existing data is that some names that we want to use are currently only available from the name tag. That is, many places do not have a name:cy tag.

Understandably OSM contributors haven’t tended to add an identical name:cy tag for Morfa Nefyn, Abersoch, and hundreds of other villages and places.


I’ve tried rendering different versions of the map using different criteria. Enabling all name tags somewhat ruins the ethos and magic of having a map in Welsh. Then huge tracts of Wales vanished when I removed the name tags again!

So I have set the system to use name for these types of places only:

  • ‘village’
  • ‘hamlet’
  • ‘town’
  • ‘island’
  • ‘neighbourhood’
  • ‘square’
  • ‘farm’
  • ‘isolated_dwelling’
  • ‘locality’


For other elements I also have a white list and black list, e.g. ‘Ysgol’, ‘Capel’ and ‘Eglwys’ are on the white list, among others. We will tend to want names containing those words.

name:cy currently overrides all of this however. Do please add name:cy tags via osm.org if you spot errors or gaps, and they will also be available to other projects around the world.

Use and applications in the near future

What you see now is just one possible app that uses the underlying map infrastructure to show a map of Wales.

Having a map like this introduces many exciting possibilities in:

  • learning
  • exploration
  • navigation
  • play
  • research
  • communication.

A map of Wales (mostly) in Welsh

Nid yw’r data yn hollol gywir na chyflawn eto! Cyfrannwch i’r diweddariad nesaf. Data ar y map Ⓗ Cyfranwyr OpenStreetMap

So we’ve delivered task one of the Mapio Cymru project. If you go to openstreetmap.cymru you’ll see a map of Wales. The places on there are (mostly) in Welsh. This map pulls data from the global OpenStreetMap database and then it looks for things (roads, villages, buildings etc) that have an explicitly Welsh name in the database (using the tag name:cy).

Lots of things have got this explicitly Welsh name. But many more haven’t.

For those we either don’t display the name (which is why the map looks a bit empty at the moment) or we take the “name” tag. The name tag might be in English, or it might be in Welsh or, occasionally, it might be in both. The rules we are using are a bit involved and we’re going to ask our developer Carl to explain what he’s been up to in another blog post.

But for the moment, have a look at this map. Any edits made on openstreetmap.org will be reflected on openstreetmap.cymru the next day. So if you are familiar with OpenStreetMap and fancy adding some name:cy tags please go ahead.

We’ll be doing some more work to help people understand how they can contribute to the map over the next few weeks.

ODI Cardiff's Mapping for Wales update

As we announced in November, we’ve received funding from the Welsh Government in order to produce an online Welsh language interface of OSM [Open Street Map].  

1st Progress report 

We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve already recruited a mapping infrastructure developer for our #MapioCymru project: Carl Morris has agreed to be our online developer for our pilot Welsh language interface for Open Street Map.

Carl has recently begun working freelance under his morris.cymru name after being one half of the successful Native HQ partnership.  He has an ocean of Welsh language experience and is keen to set his sights on the landscape of mapping Wales!

Croeso : welcome to the team Carl. : )

 

WE HAVE ALSO…

“…[met] with an officer of the Welsh Language Commissioner, who has a list of place names she approves with associated geodata…”

In line with our WG targets [see above], as soon as we received the news about the grant award in October we arranged to meet with WLC – who also process complaints pertaining to the Welsh Language Standards, which have in turn inspired many new Welsh language innovations.

We are also in touch with individuals who are already members of the GovCamp Cymru community & working at the Llyfrgell Genedlaethol / National Library  who look after the legacy for their Cynefin project.   Therefore, the first part of the work has been to see what’s already out there so there’s no unnecessary duplication of data.

WE WILL ALSO…

More to come soon, look out for our activity during January when we’ll be:

– publishing our Welsh language interface pilot
– attending haciaith and encouraging developers to make use of OSM
– starting to encourage organisations and communities in Wales to make use of the platform.

Let’s Map- io!

ODI Cardiff is working towards a Wales with a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Peer to peer accommodation: a Welsh perspective

By Ben Proctor, Core Team, ODI-Cardiff

From London to Cardiff

Our colleagues in The ODI in London are looking into how data can be used to help make better decisions in the peer to peer accommodation market (think Couchsurfing, Gay HomeStays or Airbnb).

They asked us to run a workshop in Cardiff bringing together a range of stakeholders. Similar workshops ran in London and Dundee. We had good representation from different parts of the Welsh Government, along with people from local government, the community sector and the Office for National Statistics. We also had two people who were hosts on some of these platforms in Cardiff.

 

 

The ODI team had undertaken a phase of Discovery and presented their initial findings. The slides that summarise the ODI initial findings are available (in English only I’m afraid) here 

 

What we learned

There is a clear lack of data related to this sector in Wales. No matter how you cut the problems or opportunities the absences or paucity of available data appears again and again. This effectively limits how far conversations can go because fairly quickly it becomes clear that everybody is speculating: is there discrimination on P2P platforms? It is unclear. Are P2P platforms supplanting or complementing traditional accommodation providers? It is unclear.

 

Though there was a recognition of the need for standardization of data to some extent, there was also a concern that too much standardization could reduce the value of data in local contexts. The hosts at the workshop were proud of and saw themselves as deeply embedded in their local communities. They saw peer-to-peer accommodation as a way to celebrate and promote real communities to tourists and visitors.

 

The participants at our workshop saw that peer-to-peer accommodation provides the potential to address social and economic problems in new ways: from providing temporary accommodation for homeless families to opening up the opportunity for tourists to experience Welsh culture directly. This is a potentially very exciting area for exploration.

 

Thank you

Thanks so much to everyone who gave up a couple of hours on a wet Monday morning to spend time talking about these issues.

 

Thanks also to Tech Tramshed. Your space was perfect for this workshop.

 

What happens next

Our colleagues in London are continuing their research. They will be prototyping some approaches to use data to make things better. If you’d like to find out more, they’d love to hear from you.

Visit  https://theodi.org/tags/peer-to-peer

Or contact myriam.wiesenfeld@theodi.org

 

Map i Gymru

A Map of part of South Wales
© OpenStreetMap contributors

We are celebrating here at ODI-Cardiff.

We’ve received a grant from the Welsh Government as part of Cymraeg 2050. The grant will mean we can set up a Welsh language tile server of OpenStreetMap and support communities to improve the data about Wales in the service.

OpenStreetMap is best described as Wikipedia for Maps. It’s a global mapping database that anyone can edit. The core database contains lots of information that isn’t always displayed on maps: because maps are developed for particular audiences or interests. (Like cyclists, or people who speak German )

Volunteers from across Wales and beyond have already added the Welsh names for many places into OpenStreetMap but these don’t normally appear on maps. So the first thing we are going to do is create a Welsh language map based on the hard work of these volunteers.

We’re also going to work with official sources of Welsh names for places and things to make sure that this information, where it can be, is added to OpenStreetMap.

And then we’ll be encouraging people across Wales and across the world to improve the mapping information, and the use of the Welsh language in OpenStreetMap.

We hope that this project will deliver:

  • a high quality, detailed, Welsh language map for Wales
  • an enthusiasm across Welsh communities to contribute to OpenStreetMap and see their hard work reflected back in the Welsh map
  • more organisations and groups in Wales using OpenStreetMap to deliver mapping services through the medium of Welsh

We hope to involve as many people as possible in this project. If you’d like to find out more and be kept up to date: join the ODI-Cardiff mailing list, follow us on Twitter, or send an email to the lead for this project: david.wyn@dailingual.cymru.

Come and work with data folk in Cardiff.

ODI-Cardiff is working to strengthen the data ecosystem across Wales. One thing we’ve heard from loads of people is that they’d like to meet other data folk in real life. But we’re all busy people who have to earn money and there’s a limit to how many meetups you can go to in any given week.

 

So here’s the plan…

 

We’ll all get together once a month. And do real work.

 

Thanks to our lovely friends at IndyCube we have access to co-working space in Cardiff (right by the station).

 

For free!

 

So on 26 September you can just turn up with a laptop (or some paper and pens, we won’t judge) and do some work. And lots of other people will do the same thing. And we will all be people who work with and are interested in data.

 

This isn’t networking, this is casual co-working. No-one will hand round business cards or give us their 60 seconds pitch. You don’t need to take time out of your work. You simply come and work with us for a day.

 

The wifi is rock-solid, the chairs and desks are comfortable, the coffee is surprisingly good. You might even strike up a conversation over coffee. Maybe this will be the start of a collaboration that will change the world. Maybe someone will show you how to make Tableau that thing you did once by accident but never managed to repeat. Maybe you could just benefit from some different scenery than your normal office for a day.

 

You don’t have to work with (or even care about) open data. Any sort of data is fine. You could be a developer, a designer, a data-scientist or an enthusiastic policy wonk. You might work for yourself or the government, or the man, it matters not to us. As long as you love data.

 

So that’s the pitch:

  • It’s casual

  • It’s work

  • It’s for people who love data

 

If this sounds like you then come along to the Jelly* on 26 September 2017  (we also plan ODI-Cardiff Jelly events on 24 October.

 

Assuming it goes well we’d like to do the same thing in North, (and hopefully) West Wales. Our good friends at IndyCube are onboard for that too.

 

Thanks IndyCube.

 

*Yes this sort of casual coworking has a name. It’s a strange name but it’s undeniably its name. http://www.uk-jelly.org.uk/

 

You don’t need to book but it will help us know who is coming and we might remember to remind you too.

How easy is it for voters in Wales to find out where to vote?

Gorsaf bleidleisio ward Canol Aberystwyth by Dogfael used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Where do I vote?

A small social enterprise called Democracy Club develops tools to make it easier for UK citizens to exercise their vote effectively. One of these tools is “Where do I vote?” Give it your postcode and it tells you which polling station you should go to. Where do I vote? is apparently one of the most Googled terms on UK election days. They have an elegant tool but they need the information on which addresses vote at which polling station. In Wales this information is held by local councils. Democracy Club asked all Welsh local councils to provide this data in time for the General Election in 2017.

 How did Welsh local authorities do?

 
Fourteen councils provided data (green in the map), eight councils did not (red in the map). The same data is in a table below. There were some problems with the Cardiff City Council data and a few specific areas of other councils.
 
Overall the 92,000 searches of WhereDoIVote? made for Welsh postcodes, 51,000 resulted in people being told their polling station. Which is nice for 51,000 voters but disappointing for the 41,000 people who didn’t get a result.
 

Litmus test

This is a good litmus test for how local authorities approach open data because:

  • Democracy Club is after a specific dataset, they understand the data and can help with any questions council staff might have (they make it easy for the councils)
  • if the council provides the data it will directly benefit their citizens
  • the council definitely holds the data (it needs it to send out the polling cards that so many people apparently mislay by polling day)

So if councils can’t give Democracy Club this data, it is a signal that they have quite a long way to go in understanding the power of opening datasets. We’re interested in developing a scorecard for Welsh local authorities in terms of open data. Should we include providing this data to Democracy Club in that scorecard do you think?

The data as a table

Council name All searches Found polling station Red or green in map
Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council 1719 1563 Green
Bridgend County Borough Council 3698 0 Red
Caerphilly County Borough Council 4716 0 Red
Carmarthenshire County Council 4074 0 Red
Ceredigion County Council 1935 1848 Green
City of Cardiff Council 18122 11714 Green
Conwy County Borough Council 2732 2730 Green
Denbighshire County Borough Council 2447 2392 Green
Flintshire County Council 4503 0 Red
Gwynedd Council 2336 2312 Green
Isle of Anglesey County Council 1679 0 Red
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council 1485 1477 Green
Monmouthshire County Council 2101 2101 Green
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council 4771 4740 Green
Newport City Council 6306 0 Red
Pembrokeshire County Council 1887 1887 Green
Powys County Council 1789 0 Red
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council 7773 0 Red
Swansea County Council 8851 8718 Green
Torfaen County Borough Council 2894 2818 Green
Vale of Glamorgan Council 3351 3350 Green
Wrexham County Borough Council 3259 3237 Green

The people of Wales should be able to benefit from open data in Welsh procurement

Colour photo of a fruit and veg stall. To the right a woman is examining the produce.
Fruit and Veg Stall by Nanimo

Wales has a National Procurement Service (NPS) which is there

“to enable the Welsh public sector to collaborate more closely in procuring goods and services”.

The NPS is in the midst of supplier engagement on a new framework to cover digital services. Given the existing UK frameworks for digital services this may or may not be a good idea. NPS feels the UK frameworks don’t address language issues and other requirements particular to Wales

The Welsh Government is “Committed to Open Data” according to its Open Data Plan. As far as we can see the NPS has no open data plan and the work on the digital framework is not considering the government’s open data plan at all.

This is a pity because open data and procurement are perfect partners. Open data can drive efficiency and transparency in procurement processes as well as having wider benefits.

A fit for purpose procurement process should address open data at least in the following areas:

  • performance against contract targets
    Suppliers should be required to publish their performance as open data. And the performance of previous suppliers should be published as open data. This will help customers and suppliers understand which are the challenging parts of the contracts and should lead to improved performance over time.
  • administrative (exhaust) data
    In order to deliver a service, lots of data has to be collected and used. This data is typically locked in the systems of suppliers but if it is published as open data has potentially high economic value.
  • reference data
    In order to deliver a service, a supplier may need to collect data for reference (to provide IT support a supplier will need to know where local authority buildings are). Ideally suppliers should use existing open sources of this data and they should certainly publish reference data that they create in the contract.
  • infrastructure data
    Many contracts let by public bodies in Wales have as their primary purpose the creation of data or information. These datasets should be open by default and published to a high standard.

Our colleagues in ODI headquarters have published a guide to open data and procurement. This is aimed at English and UK public bodies but its principles hold true for Wales.

We really shouldn’t be having to have this conversation in Wales. We should be talking about how quickly we can move the open data to five star status. We should be talking about what the open data tells us about public services in Wales. We should be using the open data to help us understand the impact on the wellbeing of future generations.

Let’s hope we can start having those conversations soon.