State Of The Map 2016/Call for venues/Bucharest

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State of the Map 2016 - Bucharest

Welcome to the bid proposal page to host State of the Map 2016, in Bucharest, Romania. The Romanian Team is collecting their information here.

SotM 2016 - Bucharest vision

We propose that State of the Map - Bucharest will tackle the expansion of the OpenStreetMap community in less developed countries.

Taking Romania as a starting point, with the events and advances that have happened till now in expanding the community, what can be done in order to bring OpenStreetMap to a wider audience?

We will start by developing on some incipiend topics which have already been discussed in previous SOTMs, such as gamification, use of OSM in schools and local administrations, then look at the current landscape in the participating countries (for example, in Romania most taxi companies use OSM as a base for their individual apps) and discuss what can be done in the future to adopt OSM at a larger scale in countries which are not as developed as they are in Western Europe and/or Canada and the US.

Why Bucharest?

Bucharest is easy to access from wherever in Europe and a lot of places in Asia as well (through Istanbul). All the venues are accessible and we have a small but strong mapping community dedicated to making this one of the best SotM's ever.

Additionally, hosting the State of the Map in Bucharest will greatly increase the visibility of the OSM project locally and probably throughout Eastern Europe.

Who is the SotM Bucharest Team?

At the moment the team is only composed of Chris Filip and Badita Florin, but we are expanding as we speak. We mainly use the OSM Romania Facebook Group to discuss.

Our team members are

Joining us as volunteers will be the members of the Nefiresc group (Youth group focused on alternative culture) and the Romanian-American University, as well as the Asian Studies Department of the University.

When?

We propose the third weekend of July, 2016, as the recommended date for State of the Map.

The reason for this date is because in July there are no scheduled classes at the location we propose and we might be able to get a better deal (maybe even free location) from the proposed location.

Based on the proposed available events which will happen in Bucharest in 2016, we can consider alternate dates.

Where? - The Romanian American University in Bucharest

URA.jpg

The main venue proposed is the Romanian-American University in Bucharest, which is very close to both the International airport and also the town center and other scenic places such as the Herastrau Park. I have personally worked with them before and are open to such initiatives.

We have imagined the conference with 2 available rooms for the conference, which will allow us to hold at least 2 separate tracks. Since the University has several thousand students, more rooms are available if we decide to hold more conference tracks.

URA02.jpg

The main one, pictured above, is the AULA room, which holds up to 800 people. It comes with a projector to which almost any device can be connected, and a professional sound system developed for presentations.

The second room is a lecture theatre, which can hold up to 250 people. This is also equipped with presentation tech (projector + microphone) and is tiered, allowing easy access to the room and individual seats. For a good comparison think the room in which the main track was held in 2013's SOTM (Birmingham).

The university has free Wi-Fi available to students, staff and event participants.

Meals are provided by the University Cafeteria, for a medium price of 20 RON/participant/meal.

The quoted price for the venue is in the neighborhood of 5000 EUR for a 3-day conference, and arrangements can be made for accommodation nearby. We are still negotiating the prices of accomodation, it is possible that the accomodation be included in the venue price.

Social Events

Events which could happen any time, no matter when the conference is held:

Events which we might attend, depending on when the SOTM is set:

Transportation

The University is near a very big transportation hub at Piata Presei Libere, with buses and trams arriving from everywhere in town, including the airport.

Bucharest recently opened its first segregated cycle path and it's possible that free bike rental will be available in the quoted period in order for us to visit it.

Bus tours will also be available from the municipality for those wishing to see the tourist attractions in town.

International

The Henry Coanda Airport is the main airport for Bucharest, with most flights arriving there. The 780 bus from the airport will leave you within walking distance of the University.

Visa details

Since Romania is part of the European Union, for citizens of the other 27 states no visa is required.

For citizens of other countries, please check this website.

Air

I suggest checking the Wikipedia page for the airport for all relevant knowledge.

Also please note that there are taxi hailing digital airports in the terminal, please do not just go into one of the parked ones. Bucharest also recently joined the towns which offer Uber cabs, so an Uber can also be called to the airport.

The general taxi rate is 1.39 LEI (~0.4 EUR)/KM and 13.9 LEI (~4 EUR)/Hour. Anything north of 1.5 LEI is a scam, do not take those. Of course, Uber has its own prices, which are very similar at 2015.04.08 when I'm writing this post.

Rail

If you would prefer travelling by train, most trains in Romania also reach Bucharest, in the Gara de Nord. You can find more information on trains here. Be advised that trains are regularly late due to traffic and poor infrastructure.

You can take the 105 bus from Gara de Nord all the way to the Romanian-American University.

Surface

Buses, trams and trolleybuses are operated by RATB in Bucharest. In order to travel with one you need an Active Card (Similar to the London Oyster Card) which can be purchased from most bus stops from a vendor (only automatic vending machine is at the airport).

A 1-way trip is 1.3 LEI, a day pass is 8 LEI, a week-long pass is 17 LEI, 25 LEI for 2 weeks and 50 LEI for 4 weeks.

For the 783 and 780 buses, the fare is 3.5 LEI 1-way.

For the underground, the operator is METROREX. Automated ticket vending machines are at every subway station, and while they technically accept cards, I would suggest you also have cash (fixed change only), just in case.

Fares for the subway:

  • „2 trips” ticket  : Lei 5,00
  • „10 trips” ticket  : Lei 20,00
  • „Monthly Pass” (unlimited trips) : Lei 70,00
  • „Daily Pass”  : Lei 8,00
  • „Weekly Pass"  : Lei 20,00

Please notice that all the prices are subject to change and we'll do our best to update them in a timely fashion if that happens

Attendee care

Don't take unmarked taxis, use an app such as Star Taxi or the company's individual app, for example Cristaxi.

Try the pretzels in Bucharest, they are simply the best.