The book is a fairly light-read and targeted at those individuals with little to no knowledge about mapping, GIS, or data collecting, but who want to contribute to making
a freely available map of the world. It is also targeted at hobbyist surveyors or wannabee hobbyist and community surveyors. Finally it's also targeted at programmers who want to customize
OpenStreetMap for their use-cases.
How is the book Organized?
Chapter 1 and Chapter 2: Are intros to OpenStreetMap, what is it, how to register to start editing. Places where the community hangs out e.g. Chatting on IRC, Mailing Lists, Forums. Where to find planet osm bulk files (which are huge), If you are familiar with OpenStreetMap, you can get away with just skimming these chapters, but there are tidbits here and there that I was unaware of.
Chapter 3 - Chapter 7 Are chapters meant for people who want to contribute data via thier own GPS journeys or who want to edit / QA features on the map.
Chapter 3 - Gathering data using GPS introduces you to what GPS is, NAVSTAR, and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), GPS traces. Equipment you need to get started doing GPS traces. It doesn't make any specific suggestions about brands of GPS to use, but does cover classes found such as smart phone built-in, car mounted, USB, etc. and configuring them so they can be easily imported into OpenStreetMap. It also covers Photo Mapping and Audio mapping.
Chapter 4: How OpenSteetMap Records Geographical Features - This one while geared towards map editors, is a good one to read if you want to load the data into your own database and query it. It covers the various OSM primitives such as Nodes, Ways, Relations, Changesets, and tags and how they work together. It covers dos and don't about data tagging.
Chapter 5: OpenStreetMap's Editing Aplications - There are several tools available for editing OSM data. This chapter covers the most supported ones and a brief summary of the pros/cons of each.
Chapter 6: Mapping and Editing Techniques - This covers how to use the editing tools to draw nodes, lines, add tags and so forth. The techniques covered are applicable to all the various editing tools.
Chapter 7: Checking OpenStreetMap Data for Problems - covers how to use the various OpenStreetMap QA tools and how to find unsurveyed areas
Chapter 8-10 Are chapters geared for the programmer looking to customize OpenStreetMap look/feel and offerings for their own needs. This is the part I was most interested in and am still going thru. It's the most advanced of the book and to take real advantage of it, it helps to follow the instructions step by step rather than just reading it.
Chapter 8: Producing Customized Maps Covers simple exports using the API, Kosmos, and Osmarender tools. How to create your own customized tiles with Kosmos (which is sadly no longer being developed according to the book), SVG Maps with Osmarender. One thing I found sorely missing in this chapter was at least some coverage of using Mapnik to generate tiles or Osmarender/Tiles@Home to render tiles which are described in Creating your own tiles.
Chapter 9: Getting Raw OpenStreetMap data This was my favorite chapter, probably because I love raw data. It's like getting raw marble and being able to carve it to your own liking. This chapter covered the various ways you can get raw OpenStreetMap data -- Planet files, the main OpenStreetMap API, and Extended API. It also talk about cloudmades downloadable extracts available in various formats including the very popular ESRI Shapefile format and also partitioned into various geographic sets for easier download.
Chapter 10: Manipulating OpenStreetMap data using Osmosis covers how to use the commandline osmosis tool for cutting regiions and features of interest out of a planet osm file and also using its splitting and merging features.
Chapter 11: OpenStreetMap's Future Briefly covers what is coming in OpenStreetMap such as the new data license, and MapCSS initiatives.
Overall I thought this was a good intro book to OpenStreetMap that gave you a good ground to build on. It gave you enough informaton about terminology used, basic workflow and links to get more advanced information about the tools commonly used and how to use them.