State Of The Map 2011/Bid/Denver

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Mount Evans and Denver skyline

Note: The Denver bid was accepted, but the dates are September 9 to 11, 2011, not the original proposed dates.

Denver, the Mile High City (the state capitol steps are officially at 5280 feet above sea level), is a big city that feels small. It is 380 miles West of the middle of the USA (out here, 380 miles isn't really all that far). Denver is the largest city and the capital of the State of Colorado. It lies at the heart of the population-dense Colorado Front Range Urban Corridor, the area extending South to North along the Eastern edge of the Rocky Mountain range from Pueblo, Colorado to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The Front Range Urban Corridor is considered "densely populated" for these parts with over 4.25 million people out the combined population of 5.5 million people in Colorado and Wyoming. These two states comprise over 200,000 square miles, or approximately four times the area of the state of Georgia. This intense combination of high and low population densities highlights the disparities in consistency of contributions in OpenStreetMap.

Highlights of Denver include its friendly inhabitants, excellent transport, and copious local beer. Wynkoop Brewery, Lyons Brewery and New Belgium are just a few of a long list!

The team of organizers for this event include people who have been organizing mapping parties for years as well as running similar-sized events. Their connections with local, national and international organizations greatly facilitate sponsor development.

Our plan is to host SOTM 2011 Denver close to FOSS4G which takes place September 12 - 16, 2011.

  • Country: United States
  • City proposed: Denver
  • Proposed dates: September 16 - 18, 2011 — the Denver bid was accepted, but the dates are Sept 9–11, 2011.

Why Denver? Because we need the European OSM community to come here and help promote OSM! The effect it would have on the nascent US community would be huge. A big meeting of European and American OSMers working together in a young, growing locality. Be here to demonstrate proven techniques, brain storm with creative groups on new ideas and enjoy a new, diverse multitude of friends who all share the same obsession. Come show US how it's done, help US grow. You DO want OSM to grow, right? You DO want our map to get bigger and better, right? That IS our common goal, right? or have I misunderstood the OSMness of what I was joining? Buuut if not, hey that's ok. I'll just sit here in the bar by myself...just me, my GPS, and a slightly damp walking papers printout. I'm not lonely in this vast territorial wilderness. /sniff


Getting to Denver

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Note: We are looking into a group discount for travel to Denver! Stay tuned for more information!

Locally known as DIA but internationally as DEN, Denver International Airport is both the largest airport in the USA and has the longest runway! Denver International Airport a major international airport, a key hub for United Airlines, and hub for low-cost carriers SouthWest and Frontier Airlines. Opened in 1995, Denver International Airport is modern, eco-friendly with solar power, and free wi-fi.

For travelers in the US and Canada, Denver is almost equidistant from both coasts. Travel time is no more than 4 hours by plane from most major destinations in the contiguous 48 states. You can fly into Denver as cheaply as anywhere in the US (except, maybe Las Vegas). Internationally, there are direct flights to Denver from Montreal, Toronto, London-Heathrow, Frankfurt, and Vancouver.

Denver is on the California Zephyr Amtrak line from Chicago to San Francisco. For a truly epic trip, fly into Salt Lake City and take the Zephyr through the Rockies! Be sure to carry your GPS so we can update the rail lines when you get here!

Air connections to Denver from various U.S. cities[1]
City Airfare Airlines Number of stopovers Stopover cities Travel time
Atlanta USD 238 /
EUR € 170
Air Tran Airways 0 - 3h15
Baltimore USD 236 /
EUR € 168
US Airways 0 - 4h07
Boston USD 201 /
EUR € 143
United Airlines 0 4h43
Chicago USD 201 /
EUR € 143
American Airlines 0 - 2h30
Minneapolis USD 141 /
EUR € 101
Delta Airlines 0 - 2h04
New York City USD 275 /
EUR € 197
Delta Airlines 0 - 4h31
San Francisco USD 200 /
EUR € 143
Frontier Airlines 0 - 2h21
Washington, DC USD 334 /
EUR € 239
United Airlines 0 - 4h06
Air connections to Denver from various international cities[2]
City Airfare Airlines Number of stopovers Stopover cities Travel time
Amsterdam USD 701/
EUR € 501
United Airlines 1 Houston (IAH) 13h33
Frankfurt USD 714 /
EUR € 511
US Airways 1 Philadelphia 15h40
London USD 796 /
EUR € 570
British Airways 0 - 9h50
Nairobi USD 1667 /
EUR € 1193
British Airways 1 London Heathrow 17h29
Sydney USD 1074 /
EUR € 769
United Airlines 1 Los Angeles (LAX) 17h29
Tokyo USD 1097 /
EUR € 785
ANA 1 Los Angeles (LAX) 14h40
Toronto USD 546 /
EUR € 391
CAD 547
American Airlines 1 Chicago O'Hare (ORD) 5h00
Vancouver USD 462 /
EUR € 330
CAD 463
Alaska Airlines / Frontier 1 Seattle 4h06

Get around Denver

Denver lies at the intersection of Interstates 25 and 70 (beautifully rendered in OSM by Peter Batty). Denver Regional Transportation District provides an extensive network of light rail and buses, including inexpensive bus service to and from the Denver International Airport.


University of Denver
University of Colorado-Denver

Possible venues for SoTM in Denver, through connections of the organizing team, are:

University of Denver

University of Colorado-Denver

National Renewable Energy Labs

All venue options can provide ample space, WiFi, and projectors at a minimal expense.

Almost as importantly, there is a wide choice of good social venues for the all-important extracurricular aspects of the conference. Several members of the team have extensive experience in organizing outstanding social events in breweries :) !!


  • Denver has lots of hotels at very cheap rates including several hostels. Prices range from hostel: under $20/night

About Denver


Denver enjoys about 300 days of sunshine per year. If you look at charts of monthly sunshine hours, you'll see that the darkest month in Denver is brighter than the brightest in DC! (knod to Jennifer Daniel's song Ohio). But that doesn't mean it gets hot: the average daily high temperature in June is 82 degrees. And just what is this humidity thing people in the East complain about? It's so dry in Denver, it's hard to actually break a sweat when you work out!

See also

Potential Attendees

OpenStreetMap contributors

There is a growing community of OpenStreetMap contributors in the United States. The US OpenStreetMap chapter was formed in early 2010, and has __ members. In August 2010, the US OSM Chapter organized the first US State of the Map conference, drawing __ attendees from across the US and Canada (?). Colorado has a large group (50+) that meets several times of month. In the month of October, we have a mapathon, a sponsored training session with beer and pizza and two pub meetups.


Denver is a major center for geography education, government and industry, including strong interest in OpenStreetMap. The University of Denver Geographic Technology Applications Center has a strong interest in Neogeography, and University of Colorado at Boulder has geography PhD students actively studying OSM. Additionally, Metropolitan State College of Denver, University of Colorado Denver and Front Range Community Collegehave GIS programs.


The Front Range Users of Geospatial Open Source are active advocates of the use of Free and Open Source Software as well as free and open data. Geospatial Information Technology Association is the professional association and leading advocate for anyone using geospatial technology to help operate, maintain, and protect the infrastructure, which includes organizations such as utilities, telecommunication companies, and the public sector. The Metro State GIS Club has been involved with OSM events in the Denver area.


The US Geological Survey National Geospatial Program is headquartered in the Denver Federal Center (DFC) The National Map program has a strong interest in working with the OSM community. A Volunteered Geographic Information Workshop was held in Herndon, VA, in January bringing together individuals across a diverse range of volunteer efforts. One outcome of the meeting are efforts to further evaluate how USGS mapping efforts could be combined with volunteer efforts like to meet the national needs for a consistent map of the United States. A Denver-based SoTM could be instrumental in forging stronger connections between the US national mapping and OpenStreetMap communities.

The Denver Federal Center houses the largest concentration of Federal Employees outside of Washington, DC, including, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Reclamation, National Ice Core Lab, Environmental Protection Agency, US Forest Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) fosters regional cooperation among county and municipal governments in the Denver metropolitan area and is a major geospatial information provider for the area.

Potential sponsors

Many large geospatial companies have big offices in the Denver area, and are potential sponsors of SoTM:

As well, Denver is home to many geospatial startups including:


Our experience with attracting sponsors for prior events make us confident that at least 50% and as much as 100% of that cost could be covered. At a 50% sponsorship rate, the cost to attendees would be $17.50/each. At this price, it is 107.50 euros cheaper than last year! A significant savings compared to previous SOTM. (the $17.50 each is based on the prior experience that a 200 attendee event would be held for less than $7,000 total)

This cost includes all facilities, lunch and refreshments, and an evening social event.

Based on prior experiences with the event venues and catering, a two-day SoTM event with up to 200 attendees in Denver could be held for *less than $7,000 total*.

  • Venue: $0 (donated, provided at no cost by the host-- as of research now. CU-D)
  • Technical (wi-fi, A/V, projectors, etc.): $0 (provided by the venue)
  • Insurance: researched when bid known
  • Catering: depending on what venue, theme we go with, prices range are as low at $5 per person per meal. (Box sandwiches)
  • Promotional materials (t-shirts, badges, program, etc.): researched when bid known, but at this time we believe all sponsorship to cover such costs.

Note to other organizers: I simply doubled the cost and number of participants from WhereCamp5280 in 2009 but based the attendee cost on the same level of sponsorship. I believe this is very conservative, both in the total cost and the amount of sponsorship.

If we can raise additional sponsorship money, we may be able to offer a limited number of travel scholarships to bring in attendees who otherwise might not be able to afford to attend.

Organizing Team

The Local Team

The team of organizers for this event include people who have operated similar-sized events in the past, as well as organizing mapping parties for years. Their connections with local, national and international organizations greatly facilitate sponsor development.

  • Steve Coast Invented OpenStreetMap, Organized the first State of the Map, Named State of the Map
  • Peter Batty Organized Wherecamp 5280 '09 and '10, heavily involved with FOSS4G 2011
  • David Cole Hosts Mapping events and gives presentations on OSM
  • Ant Pegg Hosts Mapping events and training and pub meetups
  • Deb Tankersley Hosts Mapping events and pub meetings and training on OSM


The SOTM Denver organizing team has organized numerous other events, including WhereCamp5280 which will take place again this year on November 19th at the CU-Denver Campus in Downtown Denver. WhereCamp 5280 in November includes an Evening after party on November 19th and OpenStreetMap ski mapping at Winter Park ski resort on November 20th.

Last year was held August 14th & 15th at the University of Denver. The event attracted almost 100 participants including several from outside Colorado. The event was fully funded through sponsorship. Sponsors included ESRI, Bohanan Huston, dtsagile, PublicEarth, Enspiria Solutions, UMapper, AnyGeo, CAD-1, Spatial Networking and others. Attendance was free, and the event was held at the University of Denver in space sponsored by the Geographic Technology Applications Center. OSM was highly showcased, including a keynote by Steve Coast and a mapping party. The WhereCamp5280 organizers, Eric Wolf, Peter Batty and Ben Tuttle, would all be involved in organizing SOTM Denver 2011.

Community Building Activities

College level mapping events as classes are in session. University of Denver has already expressed interest in hosting SOTM mapping events.

  • Field trip Mapathon in Colorado like this event: The Idaho Springs [1]
  • Group Hiking Trip
  • Group Mountain or City Biking Trip


  1. Note: As of Oct 13, searched on Expedia for Nov 11 - 15
  2. Note: As of Oct 13, searched on Expedia for Nov 11 - 15