OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a community-driven project which aims to provide a free, editable map of the entire world to users. This is in stark contrast to other mapping services which tend to charge for API usage. Recently, major vendors such as Wikimedia, Apple, and Foursquare have started using OSM to power the mapping service in their products, which serves as testimony to the growing completeness and popularity of the project. The project itself is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.
As such, OSM has the potential to be a rich and useful datastore for 52°North’s Web Process (WPS), which aims to provide standardization in geo-processing on the web. In particular, we would like to provide on-the-fly transformation of OSM data to one or more of other popular GIS formats, such as Shapefiles or GML. This is the motivation for the Google Summer of Code 2012 Project: On-demand transformation of OSM Data into common GIS formats.