Dirt Road Database

There’s a brand-new website from the evil geniuses who brought you the world famous Ride Lugged blog:

Dirt Road Database

The Dirt Road Database is a gmaps-mashup type thing to share the locations of dirt roads that are nice to ride bicycles on.

I like the idea. I’m not thrilled about using gmaps-mashups generally[1], but OSM isn’t quite in a state where this would work….yet.

Anyhow, if you are looking for dirt roads in your neighborhood, or want to tell the world about your favorite dirt roads, check out the Dirt Road Database.

[1] Richard Fairhurst’s talk, Why Mashups Suck (and Cartogrpahy matters) is an excellent discussion about this.

5 thoughts on “Dirt Road Database”

  1. What’s missing from OSM for this? Is it a technology thing or limitations in the database or what?

    Just interested as to why people aren’t yet instinctively thinking OSM instead of Google Mashup.

  2. Andy, I guess maybe it’ not OSM that’s not up to this, but we don’t yet (as far as I know) have a way for people to trace over our map and tag those traces like gmaps does.

    Maybe this is easy to do in openlayers, and I’m just ignorant?

    I don’t think OSM has enough of publicity for regular people to instinctively use it instead of gmaps mashups.

    When I get time (hehe) I want to try to re-implement mashups like gmap-pedometer.com and bikely.com using OSM.

    I still use gmap-pedometer all the time to plan bike rides and hikes, and it would be much nicer to have the cyclemap tiles under there instead of the gmap ones.

  3. That’s fair enough. I think you’re right that there isn’t much of a community around OSM/openlayers at the moment – I’m certainly only concentrating on upstream things (from tagging through to generating the map) and hoping other people will eventually fill the gap with “cool” sites.

    From http://openlayers.org/dev/examples/draw-feature.html I can see that there’s a drawing interface, but I don’t know how easy it is to save drawn stuff and basically replicate all the google mashups with OSM/openlayers. I hope you get a chance to do osm-pedometer soon though!

  4. i would gladly go to an open app like OSM if it was A. as easy to use for the individual B. had as good of features C. allowed open editing. I would really like something that allowed the database data to be dumped into a site like routeslip, so you could easily plot your ride based on the dumped notations. I am not and creative commons or anything. Its a practicality thing. Note: we’ve moved to dirtdata.org to start a media wiki interface.

  5. Johnson, I was only lamenting the fact that OSM doesn’t currently meet requirements A,B, and C for non-geeks like Andy and I.

    I want to write something similar to routeslip/gmap-pedometer that works with OSM, I just haven’t had the time lately.

    We’ve got wonderful bicycle-specific cartography from Andy’s cyclemap project (http://bonius.com/maps/cyclemap/) I just need to build the functionality on top.

    Someday, we will have the greatest, open source, bicycle mapping web thingamajig in the world!

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