Please give me a thorough, basic summary of open mapping (open source mapping) so I can add pretty, complex maps to websites without making it a full-time job.
I've begun exploring open-source mapping software and I'm finding it overwhelming.
I haven't found a clear, thorough overview of the tools, so I'm turning to AskMe. I've read Sebastian Delmont's post about StreetEasy's switch to open mapping
(excellent, but overwhelming) and Switch to OSM
at OpenStreetmap (helpful, but light on details).
I'm interested in mapping a few different cities, but let's take San Francisco as an example.
I'd like to be able to:
- take screen shots of maps to add to websites
- create custom "shapes" (think neighborhoods or regions) and let website visitors select them to learn more - for example, let's say I wanted to create a handful of regions showing the sunny parts of the city, the foggy parts of the city, and the rainy parts of the city; and as users clicked a month (Jan, Feb, March), the regions would update to show which regions were sunny during that month
- map a LOT of points - for example, let's say I wanted to show which restaurants have burgers and which have tuna melts (and if you can tell me about marker aggregators, that would be great)
- shade streets to indicate status - for example, let's say I want to color each block I've been down, and I want to use pink for blocks I've walked on, green if I jogged, and blue if I biked - and ideally, I could do each side of the street separately: blue on the north side, green on the south side
- maybe even do fly-overs - is that sort of thing only available using Google Earth, and therefore not legally embeddable in a movie?
(Note: for all the interactive elements, assume I can figure out all the data interaction - switching to the right shapes when a user clicks an option. It's just the mapping
part of this I need to know about.)
I'd like to balance being as independent as possible (not relying on other services) with making this as easy on myself as possible (I'd much rather use existing tools than roll my own).
For #1, can I just pull up what I need in OpenStreetMap, take a screenshot, and use that?
For interactive things, do I need a tile generator?
How do I decide between OpenLayers and Leaflet? (I DO need one of them, right?)
Does it make sense to use open options for some of this and just use Google Maps for other parts?
Can you recommend open data sources that focus more on geographic and political boundaries rather than streets?
Is this whole idea way too resource-intensive for shared VPS hosting? (I would be surprised if I ever got more than 1000 page views a day.)
I am a big Drupal user, so anything that already interacts with Drupal would be great. (I know there are OpenLayers and Leaflet modules, but please share any info you have.)
TL;DR: I'm fairly technically savvy. What's the quickest, easiest way for me to add maps (ideally, open source/CC maps) to websites and movies with the most options and fewest restrictions?