State Of The Map/Planning

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State of the Map (SotM) is the annual conference of OpenStreetMap and it has been taking place since 2007. The international conferences have been run by OSMF and the SotM working group (WG), but we draw on lessons and inspiration from the many regional or local conferences.

There are a lot of decisions and choices to make when planning SotM. This page will help to make those more transparent, saving the SotM-WG time and hopefully providing inspiration to other event organisers.

SotM working group

The SotM working group (WG) is part of the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF), it operates year-round and work includes:

  • seeking a host location,
  • arranging sponsorship,
  • organising the detail of the conference,
  • promoting the conference, and
  • running the conference.

Each year, when the conference location is chosen, additional members will join the WG as the "local team". These members will be equal to the existing WG members and will aid in carrying out it's plan. Local team members may choose to continue as WG members. Generally when referring to the WG we are referring to the whole entity which includes international/ongoing members and local team members.

The local team will be essential in providing on-the-ground information about the venue, suitable accommodation, how to use/understand public transport, etc. However local team members also help and take on WG tasks that can be done remotely, such as contacting sponsors and reviewing talk submissions. Closer to the conference the WG will look for additional volunteers to help at the conference, welcoming delegates, keeping talk sessions on time, and answering questions. A good community of local volunteers helps here too, as they can help delegates with local information (location of amenities, local history or unofficial resident attitudes).

We aim to provide an environment for people to talk within their groups and to those of other groups, and through that move OSM forward together. A SotM-WG will be strong if it is a mixture of such people and seeks to consider all of their needs. To ensure a strong and welcoming WG, we adopt and follow the same Code of Conduct for our communications and meetings as we have adopted for the conference.

Regional and local events

The SotM-WG particularly wishes to see more regional and local OSM conferences, and the international SotM has been an initiator for that in the past. Such events may vary greatly in geographical reach and may be run by OSMF-chapters, other organisations, or informal groups.

The WG will not be involved in the planning of regional and local events, but will be an encourager and supporter of these taking place. We would like to be communicating with the organising team to help them avoid date clashes and to collate our knowledge so as to improve the SotM planners guidebook.

SotM planners guidebook

The following headings are organised by the groupings used in our timeline plan.

Whilst we develop our planners guidebook, you may want to check out FOSS4G's.

Selecting a host city

This section covers the call for venues and the aim of the conference.

Team planning

This section covers how we communicate as a team, how we communicate with you and our three key planning documents.

Website and design

This section covers the State of the Map website and key design issues (e.g. logo)


  • Managing the sponsorship program
  • Sponsorship packages
  • Call for sponsors

Ticket sales

Designing the progam

  • Language guidelines
  • Call for session proposals (speakers)
  • Scoring
  • Keynote speakers
  • Creating a program
  • Announcing the program

Local services

  • Accommodation
  • Catering
  • Social events
  • Video streaming
  • AV and wifi
  • Merchandise


Running the conference

Post event tasks

  • Publishing videos
  • Satisfaction survey