London event venues

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Venues for events in London. We have a few ideas for pub events, but what about hack weekends, presentation events, and training sessions?

OpenStreetMap is a not-for-profit organisation and historically we've tended to get by with very little money changing hands (even for important things like servers let alone running events) Obviously we could organise things differently, but for the moment we're only really interested in finding free venues, which is not impossible given the good cause nature of our mission.

List ideas here for organisations which might/will provide us with a room or space of a non-pub variety, to hold an OpenStreetMap event. Indicate capacity, availability of internet and wifi. For running training type events we would also be interested in computer rooms with terminals.

Specific ideas which probably work

  • MapQuest london offices near Tottenham Crt Rd. - Been there several times. It was becoming the default option for hack weekends but it's good not to rely on them for all our events. User:Matt is the front man. - They have a big meeting room, with tables for a gathering around for a hack weekend, but could also be a presentations venue.
  • London Hackspace https://london.hackspace.org.uk - Capacity ~18. We went to the hackspace on London Hack Weekend May 2010. This was free on the basis that they're keen to do the cool thing and support projects like OSM although they'll always suggest a donation, and suggest we join hackspace! (they're a for-fun strapped-for-cash organisation too). The hackspace moved location several times. In 2010 we went to Barnsbury for a hack weekend, but then later in 2010 they'd move to north Shoreditch where we did Pakistan Remote mapping Workshop Oct 2010, but they've now got a larger space out East
  • UCL geomatics department (contact Muki Hacklay) - They regularly play host to geomob events in a lecture room. It seems likely we'd be able to do the same if we wanted to do that kind of event. They have also run classes involving a computer room UCL Masters Student mapping party Sept 2010 although this was for their students (with logins).

Vague ideas and other listings to investigate

  • Mozilla - Have a "co-working space" in Soho WC2N 4AZ . opened relatively recently and they seem keen on hosting interesting tech events - Wikimedia UK have had events there.
  • Google campus - Shoreditch - Also new, and hosting interesting tech events (inc geomob) but... we have a love/hate relationship with google. They're not entirely aligned with the mission of OpenStreetMap
  • Open Knowledge Foundation has a nice place near Kings Cross where they do their own open data themed events. Again we should bring OpenStreetMap ideas to these (Harry's been to a few), but they may be willing to host an OSM specific event. In fact the venue website suggests it's open for these kinds of things. Harry helped run an OpenStreetMap themed "Open Data Maker night" there, and they're open to doing this again.
  • The guardian offices in Kings Cross host various large hack events including all the rewired state events (harry's been to a few). Also (for a fee) hosted WhereCamp.EU conference. They have a large lecture theatre, and a set of more dinky little meeting rooms, and will also open up their hotdesking office space (chairs, desks, and network cables) for large weekend hack events. These events are generally ~100 attendees or more, so a smaller event would probably just involve one meeting room.
  • The "ec" building on Stukeley street has a really sneakily hidden cafe on the top floor. Probably not technically open to the public (just for students) but there's nothing to stop people walking in and up there. Seems to always have big tables free, and wifi.
  • All universities have lots of suitable rooms. Some contacts we're aware of already:
    • UCL see above. Also contacts in UCL CASA and the geography departments.
    • Imperial College - We have contacts there. They are hosting our servers. Gravitystorm used to work on the sysadmin team there. Thomaswood is studying there currently.
    • City university - Harry works with Jonathan Raper and David Mountain who are ex-professors at City Uni geo department. He can probably book rooms, particularly outside of term time there's loads of facilities available. City hosted geomob once.
    • Royal Holloway University - contact Jenny Kynaston - They ran an OpenStreetMap mapping party once. This university is sadly nowhere near holloway road. It's way out west.