The geographic information databases of today are closed. Although in many cases developed with public funds, they remain out of reach of citizens and small organizations, preventing all kinds of new layers of activity that could be built upon them to emerge. But we are taking this problem into our hands - collecting and publishing freely licensed data and creating maps in communities like Open Street Map. The solution: design free tools for free geodata communities, to make open source mapping easier, faster and also more fun!
Frida V. is a rugged and comfortable bicycle equipped for efficient exploration and mapping of public urban spaces. It carries a small computer, GPS positioning device, 802.11 wireless network transciever and a basic audiovisual recording unit. The software and hardware enables automated mapping of wireless computer networks and the bike's path, easy recording of location-tagged media and opportunistic synchronization with a server on the internet. In other words, let the warriding, streetmapping and rideblogging begin!
The hardware and free software used and developed for the project are documented on the project website, with source and schematics for the new components. People wishing to replicate the design can also get further assistance from the authors. The control panel is a simple set of switches and lights and connects to the computer parallel port in the first Frida V. implementation.
Work is under way to design a second generation system around a Linux based wireless router with USB and Ethernet peripherals, including an Arduino microcontroller. This will make it lighter and reduce power consumption, as well as allow connecting of additional sensors to map various other aspects of our environment.