Melbourne Cycle Map Hackfest

We are pleased to announce a series of evening hackfests (6-9pm, March 6th, 13th, 19th, 27th) to create an Open Bicycle Map of Melbourne with Open data mapping tools.  We’ll need data geeks, cartographers, programmers, graphic designers, sysadmins and most importantly Melburnians to help us design and produce a beautiful paper map useful to all Melbourne’s cyclists.  We’ll be teaching and using the Open Source TileMill tool to produce an amazing map with lots of cool data, e.g. which corner in the CBD has the most cycle accidents 🙂  In short, this is your chance to learn how to map open data using a very cool open mapping tool!

The tasks of the evening are simple:

  • a) Identify the tools needed to create a map from OpenStreetMap data
  • b) Design a beautiful map style, to make the cartography as professional as possible
  • c) Lay out the most useful parts of the map into a compelling, two-sided design
  • d) Assemble the tool pipeline to produce an image ready to go to printers

The final aim of these four workshops will be to:


Why do we want to make this map?

  1. Melbourne has been a-changing (and will continue to change, a good thing) – we just need all those changes from the past year put down in single piece of paper
  2. There is lots of great open data in OpenStreetMap we can use to create a rider friendly map.
  3. This effort is the first of a dozen ‘Open Knowledge’ projects that the Melbourne chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation is undertaking this year, e.g. one for each month in 2013 (subscribe to this blog for more).
  4. We like maps and we like data and getting together with a community of like-minded Melburnians who want to share their knowledge about Melbourne is great fun.
  5. We think this map expertise will be the base of several other ‘Open Knowledge’ projects will do around adding data to maps, e.g. historical walk map through Melbourne, culinary food trails, etc…

When is this series of #datahack events?

There will be four evening hackfests, where we will provide beer & pizza for anyone attending:

  • 6-9pm Wed March 6th: Introduction to TileMill and Mapping skillz for 4 years of age and up…
  • 6-9pm Wed March 13th: Streetmap data layers, editting, tagging, importing data layers…
  • 6-9pm Tuesday March 19th: Graphic design layout, cartography, beautifying…
  • 6-9pm Wed March 27th: Printing, distributing, activism, next steps.

Who should attend?

Anyone and everyone who would like to know more about Melbourne and how to map data onto a map that every citizen can use.  We don’t know what will come of the day, but if enough of us get together we are confident that by the end of the day we’ll have a map that we can all use in our day-to-day – or at least all have a much better understanding of Melbourne and what cycle routes go through it.

Where is this hack-a-thon?

This event will take place at the offices of the Data Point team (The Age Newspaper’s HQ) in Media House (next to Southern Cross station) see the #OKFNau tag for further announcements.

PLEASE RSVP (or you don’t get pizza/beer!): or on twitter @DFFlanders

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