When a Signmaker Needs a Map for a Sign…

OpenStreetMap Project Logo

When you need a street map in a sign...

The OpenStreetMap project is a wiki for maps. As it is explained on its site, “OpenStreetMap.org creates and provides free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. The project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways.”

Since its inception in 2004, hundreds of thousands of users worldwide have contributed to OpenStreetMap’s database, and (theoretically) have produced maps that are more relevant and current than those offered by any other map provider.

This site will allow you to export a street map of any location in either a raster or vector format, which means you can easily add a directional map to a sign or brochure.

Today I want to point you to a valuable resource created by one of OpenStreetMap’s co-founders, Steve Coast (he moved on to other projects in 2010). It is called CloudMade and it is a service that translates the OpenStreetMaps data into forms that can be tapped by designers and developers who want to build sites and applications that contain map information.

Here > The CloudMade Style Editor…

Here > You can see some of the innovative ways developers and designer are using the information on CloudMade’s blog…

Here > The CloudMade website…

Here > the OpenStreetMap website…

Thanks to Chuck Green’s Design Blog for this article!