Missing Maps Party August 2014

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This is a past event which took place on 26th August 2014 in London as part of the Missing Maps Project

""[1]"" Video of the introduction "Why Map" by Simon Johnson and Ivan Gayton.

Flickr search Photos on flickr

Post event de-brief by Nick Allen


  • MSF-SamT
  • clarefox
  • bluestarfish
  • elizabethsmout
  • jameswan
  • Lucy Barnett
  • Peter Kohler
  • Dombo
  • Loves2spooge
  • Elspeth Ryder
  • LollyMay
  • EMRobb
  • Globalavocado
  • joevernon
  • maddieappleton
  • gafl2
  • malorie perry
  • dekstop
  • Jamie Sport
  • charlotteg
  • swise
  • c day
  • m crowther
  • russianrecords
  • robertrs
  • AmyAnn1
  • Janet M Clark
  • Nadia streetmap
  • NMP667
  • poppyh
  • jowilkin
  • Elisenda_M0
  • NAS88
  • NinaSkagerlind
  • acrossthesound
  • firefishy
  • Derick Rethans
  • JacquelineDH
  • gretacv
  • stringfellow444

Old event details


Location: British Red Cross (BRC) HQ

Initially limited to 50 attendees via eventbrite link, plus British Red Cross and MSF volunteers. Eventually incresed to 65 attendees.


This task is planned for the evening: #606.


16:00 - 17:30 Setup Venue

17:45 Doors Open

18:10 BRC Welcome & Housekeeping

18:15 BRC Introduction - how HOT helps (Michael Kelmsley?)

18:20 MSF Introduction?

18:25 HOT Mapping Introduction

18:35 Getting Started (installation instructions)

18:40 Getting Started (mapping instructions)

18:45 Start Mapping

20:00 Send round a mailing list sign up form?

20:30 End of the night thanks (report contribution of mapathon, volunteers to guide & host at a pub)

20:40 Rooms cleared

20:50 All packed up and to the pub!

Bugs, problems and learnings

The focus for new mappers was the iD editor this time, rather than JOSM, which proved tricky at MSF in July.

Technical problems with iD experienced on the night collated & reported via the github issue tracker.

Problems with the event itself will be recorded here, along with learnings for future events.


Google maps applied as default in event page - a screengrab from OSM can replace it easily.

To field emails sent via the "Contact the Organiser" form, the hosting organisation to provide a contact email address (to be added as a 'subuser' to the Eventbrite account).


British Red Cross volunteers did a lot of flip cam filming and will be cutting clips and interviews.


79 contributors 79,637 objects edited


65 'tickets' were released via eventbrite. All were accounted for.? people cancelled and ? people didn't show up.

There were ? HOTties in attendance, so a rough ratio of 1:? (HOTty/newbie). It was generally agreed that this worked well.



The venue was great in terms of size. There were enough tables and chairs. There were a few worrying trailing cables for charging laptops. WIFI held up and the Bing imagery servers handled 65+ mappers no problem.

Directions and timings were sent 24 hours before the event by email and the vast majority of people showed up on time.

Attendees were asked to bring laptops and to notify Missing Maps if they couldn't. BRC provided a few laptops in case. People did turn up without laptops but in much smaller numbers than last time, meaning increased emphasis in pre-event comms worked.


Always emphasise the importance of bringing laptops as new mappers don't naturally make the assumption. Preferably a mouse as well - most laptop users don't seem to use a mouse, but it is a definite advantage when learning to map.

Operating systems

By focusing new mappers on the iD editor, problems previously experienced due to varied operating systems were minimised.


Group people by operating system so that learning is done together, problems resolved quickly and en masse.


The focus on iD worked brilliantly. However, the trick is now, how do we graduate those people to JOSM?


Always focus on iD if there are newbies present. Use time in between events to try and get people started on JOSM (at least to have it downloaded and working).


Tasks were the 2014 West Africa Ebola Response (624) and the Central African Republic . These were discussed previously, and confirmed on the day of the event.


This worked well overall. There was some concern that we had run out of clean squares for people to start on. Harry Wood and Ivan Gayton identified and set up a new task in response. In future, event managers need to check there is sufficient tasking for thye size of event they are organising. Needs to be clear who is the goto person for Missing Maps tasks as they will vary from the usual HOT crisis response tasks. --Nick Allen (talk) 10:19, 2 September 2014 (UTC) Talking to Harry - tasks can be set up, and not published. We could arrange to have a task(s) setup & not publish it until the last minute - need to have someone who can do this if Harry not available.


The running order of the night was much better planned (see top) and went very smoothly. The initial talks (five mins each for MSF and BRC) went well and the training (by user:Tallguy) was great. Training slides available for others to use/look at/develop. --Nick Allen (talk) 10:21, 2 September 2014 (UTC) - Slides still need a lot of work - I'll work on this when I can.

The event finished on time, but the feeling was that, again, people would have stayed longer.


Always try and have operational people in attendance to give context to the activities. Especially someone from (or whop has worked in) the country being mapped.

Organisers meet at 1630 for a 1800 start.

Make the event longer. It was felt that 1800 - 2100 would have been better. With 50 people mapping this would mean an extra 25 hours of mapping time!


Table top resources went down really well. List of resources available to come. HOT badges were a winner!


Make name tags a priority - means attendees can quickly identify who they can go to for help!