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OpenStreetMap, Openlayers - Mapping multiple locations

I posted a question asking about map API's and was lead to OpenStreetMap and OpenLayers.
I need to better understand what I am looking for and perhaps know how to convey this to a programmer. I did some quick searching but it's a little over my head so thought I would ask first.

We have a lot of hardware out in the field which I would like to find a way of mapping. While we have open source and commercial packages to track all sorts of information, the one thing we don't have is a visual of where things are. In some cases, that really comes in handy.

I would like to query mysql for the addresses/location where we have routers/switches and other hardware, then be able to display these items onto a map. I do not need any geo location since I have all of those details already stored into a mysql database.

I would like to allow engineers to zoom out for a larger view and zoom in to a closer view showing an area or streets or just one street where we might have multiples of hardware.

The solution must be fully free and open source. The license cannot disallow open source and/or commercial use in any manner because once this is all completed, I am handing the software over to the owners so don't want them to suffer any limitations.

I am hoping this question will find some who have used the above software and who might be able to provide me with more information in terms of whether my application would fit along with any additional information I might need in order to talk with a programmer about a solution.

Thank you.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
It looks like you just need to link back when you use the data http://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/API_0.6#Capabilities:_GET_.2Fapi.2Fcapabilities

Did you mean for this to be a java question or javascript?  Are you looking for code samples or advice?
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projectsAuthor Commented:
I wasn't able to find a category where this fits properly so thought java/script might be a good choice as those seems to be main components in dealing with OSM.

I don't need code examples. Doing some quick reading, I am finding that like most open source software, there is a steep learning curve and the documentation is very technical. Since I will find someone to build this, I don't need to learn the technical side of it as much as understanding what I need to be looking for in order to know if this would be a solution for what I describe above.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
The question topic depends on which language you want to use.  It looks like there are libraries for java, php, perl,python, ruby, c#, javascript...  http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Frameworks and the actual api is restful with xml output so you should be able to do what you need in almost any language http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/API_0.6

If using a framework, note the license type.
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projectsAuthor Commented:
I assume it will be in java.

There is mention of downloading the code or using it as a web service or at least, that is my interpretation. Can the map code be downloaded and placed on the local server to keep things nice and fast?
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I was asking about language in order to help get the best question topic for you.  

As far as downloading, you can but mind the license.  It is open source, but you must use attribution.  The confusing thing is the site shows you only need to show attribution, but the license they point to reads that you have to make your own work open.  You will have to use your own interpretation.  http://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright  To download http://planet.openstreetmap.org/ 

The full download is 36 gigs.  It may be easier to just use the api?  But I can see why you would want to download.
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projectsAuthor Commented:
Based on what I've read, I'm not going to modify the software or maps in any way, only use them and adding a link or anything else would be absolutely no problem as I strongly believe in open source and free choices based on community works.

As for language, I don't know yet since I am trying to get some basic up front information in order to communicate the plan to a programmer.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
What information do you feel you are missing.  It looks like the license meets your needs.  You said you have objects that are already geo coded and you want to show where the objects are on a map. This looks like a good solution for you.  

What I find works best for me is when the potential client can describe the desired result.  I find when they describe how they think they want something to be accomplished but can't describe the end result is where there are issues.

I have done a lot of mapping using software like mapinfo that does this very thing but it is on the desktop.   My use cases have been for marketing. Instead of routers I used Site locations, people, traffic and thematic scaling.

Your key points are
A mysql for the addresses/location where we have routers/switches and other hardware
Each item is already geocoded
Engineers(users) need the ability to  view the objects on a map
There should be a notation on the map where there are multiple objects
The map should be able to accommodate zooming in to the street level and zoom out viewing town, county, state, country
Using open source tools such as openstreetmap
The solution must be fully free and open source.  The license cannot disallow open source and/or commercial use in any manner because once this is all completed, I am handing the software over to the owners so don't want them to suffer any limitations

From what you have, it sounds like what you need as an end result is pretty clear.  I do think you should discuses the pros and cons of using the API vs hosting the DB on your own.  Does the programmer envision this as browser based or native app for desktop/tablet/mobile.  You should be able to estimate the usage you expect.  Any security concerns.  Does the programmer need to worry about how new items are populated into the database or is that covered someplace else?
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projectsAuthor Commented:
Yes, there are a number of additional questions :).

It would be server based so browser client connection to web server.
Not sure of the pros and cons of hosting it but seems like it would be faster.

Anyhow, perfect, I think you've answered my question. Thank you!
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
>Not sure of the pros and cons of hosting it

I meant that to be a talking point with your programmer.   I don't believe there is a perfect option.  Hosting it on your own may not may not be the best thing and that is something to talk through.

Good luck!
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projectsAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all of the help. Most appreciated.
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