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Full-time HOT Mapping Visualisation Tool
Published at 27.11.2017 - Viewed: 543 times - Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (Worldwide/Remote)

Application deadline: Thursday, November 30, 2017
Place of work: Remote

1. Overall Goal
With this tech challenge the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is seeking an experienced developer and UX designer to create a Mapping Visualisation Tool, that can be easily used to automate the creation of downloadable and embeddable animations, showing the progress of mapping in OpenStreetMap (OSM) for an area of interest (AOI) over a given time period.

2. Background
Previously, visualising changes in OSM mapping over time has been accomplished by capturing individual snapshots of the AOI, at periodically, even spaced time intervals, which are then ‘stitched’ together into a timelapse animation. This process, however, is labour intensive and time consuming, with previous mapping visualisation projects taking several months to complete. Data visualisation efforts have been outsourced in the past, costing several thousands of dollars. Some of the best examples of these include the ‘10th Anniversary of OSM’ and ‘Indonesia Mapping 2013’ videos.

There are, however, several existing open source tools that can produce similar visualisations, such as the OSM History Renderer and OSM History Animation. The recent browser-based work carried out by Mapbox on the ‘Malaria Elimination Mapping Initiative’ is a great example of the envisioned outcome of this software development project. A browser-based ‘Mapping Visualisation Tool’ that can create videos of the mapping progress in an AOI, over a time period at user selected time intervals, that can easily be downloaded as a shareable file, or embedded into presentations and websites.

3. Scope of Work
The Mapping Visualisation Tool is envisioned as a web application, that allows the easy visualisation of map changes over time, based on a user specified time period and an AOI. This mapping progress animation should be downloadable into a file format that allows for easy sharing, as well as the ability to embed into websites and presentations.

4. System Requirements
The tool is expected to incorporate and make use of existing open source OSM services such as the Overpass API, the HOT Export Tool and OSM Analytics. The Export Tool provides a great framework and code that can be reused for selecting the AOI, as well as providing a general wizard style interface for users to go through the various steps of creating a mapping progress visualisation. The Export Tool also makes use of its own Overpass API, which can be extended to support this development.

OSM Analytics supports access to OSM history, at monthly and daily time intervals. In order optimise storage space and the hosting of full daily OSM planet files, the data should be organised by sequential ‘diffs’, that only include newly created data for each time instance. OSMA will be able to return yearly and monthly snapshots in real-time by directly querying cached instances, but instead will work asynchronously for animation requests at daily temporal resolution.

On the server-side, the tool will receive data in vector tile format, style it and compose it according to the user specified parameters. The animation creation will also be an asynchronous process, and the user will be notified by email when the results are ready to be embedded into other sites or downloaded as a file. In order to optimise bandwidth transfer and computing resources, the vector data should be pre-generated at each zoom level and rendered on the client side.

5. Deliverables
Code and documentation will be created and hosted in GitHub in a HOT organization repository. There will be three release phases expected during the contract (alpha, beta and live).

6. Timeline: see link

7. Contract Terms
The goal of this tech challenge is to hire a UX designer and a software developer to complete the work within 6 months. The first four months will be focused on designing and developing the application. The remaining two months will be a support and maintaince period. Payments will be issued based on deliverables. Ideally the designer and developer will be a team, having worked together in the past, however, we are also happy to consider pairing individual candidates together. All code will be released with an approved open source license to be defined at the beginning of the contract.

For more details check the linked posting.

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