Mapping your own free data

Christopher Schmidt has put up an excellent screencast on Mapping Your Data where he walks through getting free data from the CIA world fact book, and carrying you through to generating web-based 'slippy' map in OpenLayers. Along the way he uses the powerfuli,f somewhat cryptic, QGIS and the very difficult, but even more powerful WMS.

It's a great tutorial, an very short owing to the power and ease of use open tools have developed into. Open tools can now begin to accomplish real GIS work instead of being solely for the StoryMapper or Neogeographer.

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Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.