State Of The Map/Planning/Vision

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Introduction

An international conference of OpenStreetMap, named "State of the Map" (SotM).

SotM working group

The SotM 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).

Key aims of the conference

  • Bring together the OpenStreetMap community (see "Conference Attendance")
  • Keep costs low for attendees (supported by sponsorships)
  • Run a scholarship programme (enabling people to attend who otherwise couldn't)

Conference attendance

Diagram of the three attendance groups.

The conference objective is to bring together the OpenStreetMap community. In 2015 this was represented by summarising three groups. People (and organisations) may cross groups, and may be on a range of professional/paid to hobbyist/volunteer. In no particular order the groups we identified are:

  1. Data Contributors
    • OSM mappers
    • public administration (open data, data feedback...)
    • companies (data feedback, driven by need of data...)
  2. Data Users
    • commercial
    • non-profit and public service
    • personal
  3. Core Support
    • software developers who work on our shared tools
    • documenters/teachers that support production and/or consumption of data
    • the OpenStreetMap Foundation and it's working groups

State of the Map should 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.

Previous years

State of the Map has been taking place since 2007. Only the international conferences have been run by OSMF and the SotM-WG, but we draw on lessons and inspiration from all the conferences.

A detailed list can be found at SotM, with the OSMF-run conferences listed on [1]

Themes

Generally a theme isn't set for the conference, other than OpenStreetMap and all it's subtopics. Depending on happenings/advances during the year, and the talks proposed as a result, themes may be apparent when the talks schedule is released. There may also be themes as a result of local cultures or interests. For example the 2008 conference in Limmerick, Ireland had a "limmerick" style poem contest and as the 2010 conference in Spain used a concert hall venue there was a map-related song contest held. In 2011 the Devner, USA based conference included a social evening at a local baseball game. To encourage more local delegates, the 2012 conference in Tokyo, Japan has a track of Japanese-language talks.