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Dear osm community,

I have been both using and adding osm data over the past several years. During the next four weeks I will visit different locations in Antarctica including the south pole and would like to use this opportunity to spend some time to record data for osm.

Looking at Antarctica on it seems though that the southern part of the continent (>85°?) and especially the south pole are kind beyond the edge of the world, probably due to the map projection (Mercator?) which is used by

Do you know of any linux compatible programs/ websites which implement a trackball like visualisation of the earth (like google earth)? I would like to be able to look up what data is already there for Antarctica >85°S. Do you have any ideas on how to do this?

Would it not be a good idea for the official osm website to use a "google-earth"-like projection for at least the (ant-)arctic regions of the planet or some other projection which enables not only to query for but also to display the data in the 90°N/S regions?

Thank you and a happy new year :) Benjamin

asked 02 Jan '14, 04:18

eberhab's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 13 Jan '14, 17:09

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

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answered 02 Jan '14, 06:28

malenki's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%


(This should be added to the blog post list:) There is a podcast OSMDE012 OSM Talk: Die Antarktis (German) from 28. Februar 2013 which offers many links in the show notes (also understandable for the non-German-speaking).

(02 Jan '14, 13:36) aseerel4c26 ♦

thanks again for your answer, the polarmap especially is a very usefull viewer.

link 2 and 5 which you provide then talk about mapping. unfortunately they do not contain very many practical information. do you also have more technical information about how to achieve my above mentioned goal of getting my recorded data >85S into osm?

I recorded some tracks now around 90S but I cannot find a way to import them into osm. Using JOSM the only projection option at 90S is "plate carrée" with which it is impossible to create a track due to distortion. It seems like I have to wait until JOSM supports "Quantum GIS" or "Polar Stereographic"?

(12 Jan '14, 11:31) eberhab

@eberhab: (I have merged your previous comment into this one) You should be able to upload the gps data as usual (which is what we usually refer to as "import" "recorded tracks"). I suggest to first try to do some basic editing in non-polar regions to get to know the editing process (you mentioned that you are just beginning to edit OSM). "Quantum GIS" is a program, not a projection (as far as I know).

(12 Jan '14, 16:38) aseerel4c26 ♦

I just have listened the podcast (link above) a bit (25:37–27:50 minutes): in JOSM you can use WGS84 as "projection" but have to take great care of the distortion (but if you have gps tracks as basis for drawing streets that should be okay). JOSM currently does not support the more useful Polar Stereographic Projection.

(12 Jan '14, 17:01) aseerel4c26 ♦

thanks, seems that this is basically also what malenki's second links says. The problem is that the distortion at the pole area is maximal making it really impossible to edit anything. I think "wgs84" and "plate carree" are the same thing or at least equally distorted at pole. The tracks are already uploaded public e.g.: so the question still is, do I wait for psp to be added to josm, do I wait for someone else to map these gpx-tracks eventually or is there maybe any other osm mapping software that supports polar stereographic or the alike.

(13 Jan '14, 13:26) eberhab

Thanks for the gpx file link. I had a try (up to now I only tried with a fake gpx trace on my disk): yes, indeed – the distortion at this location (-89,997°) is really big making editing with WGS84 nearly impossible (it would be muuuch zooming and panning needed). Yes, so, for locations that near to the pole I would wait – at least with JOSM.

It seems QGIS offers stereographic projection (with bugs – screenshot there). You could try it (it seems OSM data editing is possible) – but be aware … it is a real GIS program which may really not be easy to use.

(13 Jan '14, 14:24) aseerel4c26 ♦
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Marble ( ) is a rotating globe based visualisation that runs on many platforms.

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answered 02 Jan '14, 08:33

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 02 Jan '14, 08:33

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question asked: 02 Jan '14, 04:18

question was seen: 17,554 times

last updated: 13 Jan '14, 17:09

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum