User talk:ShareMap/ShareMap TileMill comparison
A drawing feature is really missing in Tilemill. I see a solution for some cases in OpenHistoricalMap, so we would have a central repository for historical stuff. Tilemill can run locally at each machine of the designers but could also run on a central server in Wikimedia infrastructure (Labs), so we would be able to store central all style definitions and all vector data. So it would be very easy to update a map, but a handling of different users still also missing in Tilemill.
Also if I don't like that the editor of sharemap is written in Flash, I must say that a the sharemap approach eems nearer to reality, faster to apply and easier for people without GIS background. On the other side gives Tilemill together with OpenHistoricalMap for exact high-resolution maps. --Kolossos (talk)
Thanks for reply. I will try to address your different questions:
so we would be able to store central all style definitions and all vector data. So it would be very easy to update a map
Thats very good news - in this case we will add feature to ShareMap to automaticaly export this vector and stylesheet data data to Wikipedia central repository. From technical view conversion of stylesheets to TileMill format is not an issue. Vector data in the fact can be already used because of KML export capability. In this case will be able to decide if he create tweaked stylesheet in TileMill to offer slightly better visual effect.
Also if I don't like that the editor of sharemap is written in Flash
Flash maybe is not ideal solution, but in this case we can think which solution will be better. Of course we can implement basic features in HTML5, but in case of more sophisticated functionalities (ie. raster map processing) this may be more difficault. Of course we can use most recent features of HTML5 but in this case we will limit editor users only for these who has the most recent version of browsers.
So if not HTML5 we can use in-browser flash or some installed solution - like OSM JOSM or TileMill. But in this case we should think - if there some users that are not GIS enthusiast but only article author will not happy to install any additional application on their computer . In many cases requirements of installation of any program will stop them from trying map creation.
Problem with Flash is that that it is not supported by mobile devices - but in fact the same is true for desktop program as TileMill and JOSM - as far as we don't have dedicated mobile application we'll be not able to create maps using our tablets.
I think that similiar justification was taken by OSM leaders when thy decided to create and then after few years recreate their editor Potlach in Flash. They just wanted to ecourage casual users that would like to add single road in their neighbherhood do this this within their browser without installing JOSM (which is outstanding cross-platform program in my opinion)
There is easy possibility to distrubute ShareMap not only as web application in Flash integrated into webpage but also as desktop application - but there is a lack of demand to such application - web enviroment better emphasis social aspect of map creation.
- Some people see also on desktop no future for flash. That's why the work on a replacement of potlatch by id-eidtor that work with html5. Id-editor comes like Tilemill from Mapbox, both are created under free license. They got an impressive amount of money for both developments, I hear 700.000$ for the editor, so that I can understand that these software packages are complex and not easily to adopt on our specific needs inside wikimedia. So let this be only one criteria in the discussion. --Kolossos (talk) 20:35, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
I can agree with you that if this system will be projected from the scratch maybe HTML5 will be better solution (but still I am not sure if at current technological levels it will be able to handle all the functions).
But from practical point of view - Adobe, owner of Flash made a statement that it will be developed by minimum 5 years from 2012. Many big vendors like Google are using Flash in their applications. It is used mainly in editing sections ie. YouTube video editor, but for example Google Maps Street View is still rendered with Flash and they plan to migrate not pure HTML5 but to WebGL. From user perspective using flash is not problematic (except mobile devices) because almost everyone has the Flash plugin installed or even bundled with hist web browser (in case of Google Chrome). At current stage rewriting project to HTML5 will cost enourmous quantity of programmer work and will not give anything visible for the user. At early project stage (about 1.5 year ago) User:Yug suggested that even if it is ok to have editing part in Flash viewing part should be available on HTML5 that is accessible from mobile devices - tablets, phones etc. And this was implemented - HTML version of ShareMap is using very modern and robust Leaflet mapping framework.
There is one more thing not mentioned before - animated map. As you know currently most of animated maps on wikipedia are just animated GIF this format has so many limitations, but there is currently no other way to embed animations withing Wikipedia (maybe movies are now counterpart). One of focus of ShareMap was allowing of creation of animated maps with timeline that will show some historical processes for example - example here - http://sharemap.org/public/Trams_in_Warsaw
- Animated maps are nice, but I see here no argument for flash. If I look at http://mapstory.org I stay at the point that at minimum the viewer should be flash free.
Animated maps are nice, but I see here no argument for flash. If I look at http://mapstory.org I stay at the point that at minimum the viewer should be flash free.
Totally agree with you - the only reason why animation is not yet available is lack of resources - animation is still experimantal part. But after some discussions with Yug and other wikipedians we have now one principle - user that not have flash (becuase he does not like it, he is using iPad etc.) must be able to view and ejoy site.
Is there an way to import Openstreetmap data directly over an interface like Overpassapi?.
The answer to your question is yes - ShareMap has a wizard that allow importing data from OSM using interfaces or more advanced users can write their own XAPI queries. For more general import NaturalEarth data are also exposed. You can see examples here - , , 
- The wizard is really cool. --188.8.131.52 19:05, 3 July 2013 (UTC)