Proving that you don't need huge resources, trucks or high end hardware the guys from CloudMade - Steve Coast and Nick Black along with long time OpenStreetMap contributor, Andy Robinson have been mapping the Isle of Man.
Using a GPS, three bikes and a car all of the roads, rivers, train-tracks and airports as well as a huge number of the car parks,restaurants, schools and other amenities of the Isle of Man have been mapped in little under a week.
Best of all the map is being made available via the OpenStreetMap project free of charge. The total cost of project was under £4000 although to be honest most of that is the cost of the laptops, a complete breakdown of equipment is below:
6 x GPS Units (£360)
3 x Digital Cameras (£450)
3 x Laptops (£2100)
10s x rechargeable batteries (£15)
100s x elastic bands (£2)
Its a different world compared to the large mapping companies, but if we wanted a map making we know who we would call - see http://www.cloudmade.com/ for full details.
You can take a sneak preview of the map before it makes its way onto OpenStreetMap.