Google spreadsheets + OpenStreetMap

Demo Page: Orchards in Central Scotland

This page displays orchards mapped on OpenStreetMap in central Scotland. The highlighted orchards areas are supplemented with additional data entered on a Google spreadsheet. This test is to demostrate that temporal, subjective or private information can be linked to features added to OpenStreetMap. Small groups or organisations can use accessible tools such as google docs & openstreetmap to start creating a spatial dataset which can be easily updated. This technique is a light touch way to manage spatial assets using existing tools. In this instance, keeping track of orchard management/status and sharing that info with others.

Central Scotland Orchards Map

Google spreadsheets can be private or public and equally the web map above could be used internally or externally depending on requirements of the organisation.

A demo Google spreadsheet has been created here

The demo spreadsheet currently uses fictional values for demonstration purposes which are linked to real orchard data live from OpenStreetMap. The two datasets are currently linked via ‘name’ category but other links based on location or reference codes could be used.

If data is updated on OpenStreetMap or on the Google document, this will be reflected on the map and table below. Currently the update is daily, but could be run almost realtime if moved to a dedicated computer or server.

Combined Table of values

Table showing combined values from Google spreadsheet and openstreetmap

Technical details

This map and table are created using a ‘R’ software script. It requires about 100 lines of code to download, merge and display the dataset. Using this R code may be difficult for those unfamiliar with it but I will publish this code and I am also happy to help people use it and setup a basic site free of charge (resource depending and for a good cause!).