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Brussels up to date on OpenStreetMap!

13 November 2015

A ‘smart city’ is an open data city! Using OpenStreetMap would provide a fantastic and very simple tool to reference all the treasures of the Region.

A number of OpenStreetMap (OSM) contributors have already done some amazing work, in particular importing Urbis data, but there is still a great deal to be done! Hospitals, museums, works of art, shops … all data that are often missing and that would be well worth adding!

Updating OSM does not just mean adding a little icon on a map or correcting a spelling mistake. The data in this tool are used by thousands of websites and applications throughout the world, so the slightest addition to places in Brussels on the map makes the city more visible and provides us with valuable services.

How could Schaerbeek hope to keep a list of the pharmacies in the commune up to date on its website? By consulting the OSM database! And by encouraging those who find errors to correct them directly in OSM... which would automatically correct the same information on dozens of other websites, applications and digital maps that use it. The same goes for crèches, clinics, schools, etc.

How can the hundreds of works of art scattered around public areas in the capital, from Calder’s Whiling Ear at Mont des Arts to the frescoes along the strip cartoon route, be listed? Simply by including them in OSM... And how can residents be told about the Little Senne park or Vanderschrick park, funded by the Brussels Region Districts contracts, if they are not shown on digital maps?

Hundreds of websites of the Brussels Region, the 19 communes, and Public Interest Organisations in Brussels are brimming with lists of infrastructures, in FR and NL, which cannot stay up to date for long because there are not enough people to take care of such a huge task. As much as possible, they should submit requests to the OSM database and encourage their users to carry out the necessary updates! Or at least, they should ensure that the infrastructures they have funded are integrated.

It is better to have one source kept up to date than hundreds of obsolete or incomplete sources... What’s more, finding precise data on OSM will enable a great many developers to devise tools to make life easier for us all!

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