Today there was the GTanzania party at COSTECH where there was the presentation on how to use Google Map Maker (www.google.com/mapmaker) and after the presentations, guests were involved to participate in doing practices by mapping different areas they know using Google Map Maker. From the party, comparison with the project I did in Tandale with Open Street Map, I have come to find the following differences between Google Map Maker and Open Street Map.
1. Using Google Map Maker you need to have only one page in the internet (www.google.com/mapmaker), after signing in then you are able to do all the editing and adding the data in the Google Map such as adding points, line or place, editing line, points or place from the drawn data.
Using Open Street Map you need the page on the internet to view the data you are adding (www.openstreetmap.org) and you need the other program called JOSM which is in JAVA form (downloadable) and use it to download, edit and upload the data to Open Street Map.
2. Google Map Maker is all about adding the data to it and you cannot be able to download the data at the moment until you are given the link to download which is of more secrets. So you cannot get the Google spatial data for the other usage such as Planners for Tanzania who normally need data for their planning activities especially for the community, only gets the IMAGES.
Open Street Map is the open source where anybody can download the spatial data in different formats eg. Shapefiles and use it in other software such GIS. So it becomes so useful for different people who want to use the Open Street Map data.
3. Google Map Maker is only based on the upper level people such as Students and Workers with the idea of mapping the places they know which actually based on the individual interests so the workers and students will be mapping their interested places such as their Company locations, their Homes, their schools, the Pubs they go, and so on. It doesn’t involve the community to show their problems such as lack of water, poor drainage system, road inaccessibility, solid waste management, ect.
Open Street Map involves the community and the community themselves are the ones to map their areas depending to what they see is the problem to them. Through that, the community are mapping to show their community issues such as two existing schools in the ward and their locations, only two roads are passable and their locations, solid wastes broke the drainage system and the locations, and for me I think this is more useful even for the government to know the issues that are facing the community.
4. Google Map Maker involves the people to map by using the satellite image and more of guessing because there is no site visit to get the location of the specific features which does not show exactly the spatial locations. In the attribute data, the Google Map Maker tells the mappers to map the area they know, so doesn’t involve the opinions from the owners of the property to provide the relevant information such as owner name, opening hours, contact information, ect
In Open Street Map, the community are going to the site with the mapping tools such as GPS to take coordinate of the specific feature, and use the pen and notebook to interview the owner of the property so that to have the attribute of the feature such as owner’s name, opening hours, service provided, ect so when mapping the feature in the Open Street Map the exactly information are filled as the attribute data.