Over the last year The University of Cambridge has worked towards switching its online and paper maps to OpenStreetMap. Previously it had a system based around an Adobe Illustrator file. The new project has comprised
- detailed surveys of its estate, the 31 independent colleges and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (Addenbrooke's), contributed to OSM
- development of a website, index and API
- development of a "control panel" for managing and updating the map
- custom rendering of OSM data so that the style is similar to its previous house style
This case study will show in some detail how this has been done, looking at the surveying technique on the ground, the schema used to enter data in OSM, how the index was constructed and the challenges involved in producing the paper map (especially its index).
Cambridge, like Oxford and a few other universities is not a campus university, but its estate is spread out throughout the city in several hundred properties and departments, and the colleges are likewise all over the city, so a map of this kind is effectively a map of the city and its environs.
The rate of change is also quite high. Departments regularly move and/or change their names or otherwise re-organise. Large scale development is happening now on the University's West Cambridge site and at Addenbrooke's, and large new sites in North West Cambridge and northern Cambridge are in the planning pipeline and will start construction in the next couple of years. So the system has needed to be able to support change and expansion.