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First off I'd like to mention that I've never come close to anything-GIS until a few weeks ago when I thought of this. So please expect some layman's questions. I'm looking to create driving directions and public transport planning service for my hometown in Asia.

Currently, the city has decent coverage in Google Maps (I'd say about 70-80% accurate and recent) while not too great coverage in OpenStreetMap though - about 80% that of Google Map. I'm leaning towards using OSM data to go ahead mainly because:

  1. OSM data seems flexible enough and available readily that modifications/contributions could be done easily.
  2. Quite a fair amount of GIS tools support OSM data.
  3. I believe in contributing to projects like OSM.
  4. Current budget won't fit into getting a Google Maps license (if that's even necessary in the first place)

I've thought of a fairly naive blueprint for the project. Please do point out if anything is amiss or outright impossible.

  1. Serving maptiles

    • As much as I like OSM, the tiles aren't smooth for the eyes. Found a few solutions for this: MapBox, CartoDB or TileStream by MapBox.
    • Given that the city as well as the country's international internet gateway isn't anything spectacular, I'm more inclined to deploy TileStream at a dc inside the country. This means TileStream will most likely be the choice. I suppose the process will be OSM (import to postgresql) -> TileMill with OSM Bright -> Export MBTiles -> Tile Stream.
    • I'll probably go with ModestMaps for JS lib as I have some experience with it before.
  2. Updating OSM data

    • iD by MapBox seems great for editing OSM. I'm not sure how long do the updates take to make it to public OSM data. I think I'll need to look into modifying iD to immediately update the local OSM data then update it online for others to see as well.
    • I'm looking to trace the maps using Bing aerial imagery. If I can stretch the budget, I'll hire a few part-timers to drive through parts of the city.
    • Are there any other tools you'd recommend? I looked at qgis btw. It looks pretty great though a bit overwhelming for a first time user.
  3. Routing engines

    • This is ridiculously complicated for me right now. So I've found out I'd need at least two engines: a shortest/fastest path route engine (pgRouting, OSRM) and a multi-modal planner (OpenTripPlanner, GraphServer) for public transport. I probably shouldn't complain about not being able to find documentation/guides/references for certain projects as I'm not too familiar with all these for now.
    • No public transport data is available for the city. I'll need to talk to the few operators on ground and gather the info myself. No live feed whatsoever expected in the near future.
    • Which engine would be suitable in your opinion? Or am I even asking the right question?

Reading PostGIS in Action hoping it'll help me speed up. Anything else recommended for reading? I'm running this out of my pocket as of now. Probably can't hire a professional just yet. I do hope to talk to a few people with deep pockets in the near future. But it's just a thought.

If I didn't make any senese, it is because I am quite clueless at the moment. Hope to hear some insights from you guys.

Thanks much!

share|improve this question
which city? as there maybe alternative data sources. –  Mapperz Apr 9 '13 at 1:10
I'm sorry, what's your question? –  Geoist Apr 9 '13 at 4:42
@Mapperz - My city's case is very similar to that of Vientiane, Laos. Apologies as I can't reveal which city it is exactly for now. Any alternative data sources you'd want me to explore? –  loststack Apr 9 '13 at 13:29
@Geoist - I'm sorry. I wrote a jumbled wall of text. My main concerns are "Are there any other tools you'd recommend (for updating OSM data) similar to iD by Mapbox? iD is pretty accessible." And routing engines: "Which engine would be suitable in your opinion?" Thanks. –  loststack Apr 9 '13 at 13:31
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