State Of The Map 2011/Bid/Havana, Cuba

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SotM Havana 2011
Attendants wearing guayaberas, Cuban national dress

The Old Havana

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The Old Havana Old Havana (Wikipedia) (La Habana Vieja) contains the core of the original city of Havana.

San Cristóbal de La Habana was founded as a village in the first quarter of the 16 th Century. It is located to the west of the homonymous bay. Nowadays, visiting its historical core is a must when someone comes to Cuba or to Havana . Almost five centuries have shaped up this territory’s history, arts, traditions, and life itself.

Havana ’s climate is strongly influenced by its closeness to the sea. Owing to this factor, mean annual temperature barely ranges between 24 and 26°C (75 and 79°F). On the other hand, average annual rainfall ranges around 1300mm (51in). Relative humidity, at 7am gets close to the national average of most northern coastal territories (85-90%).

If you are seeking for a place where to find indelible traces of Cuban history, cultural identity, and ultimately the very essence of this island, then do not search for it any further. The historical center of the city of Havana is the place where all of them reach their topmost expression. It is the site where the Havana we know today was born and where the pass of more than 4 centuries has touched the life of the people that dwell in her, wander her streets, and which have not been excluded from the refurbishment and conservation projects that intend to give back the splendor that time has tried to take away from Old Havana.

Each building has its own story to tell, each street name has an origin in the centuries it has left behind, each corner treasures a melody that bring to our mind the memories of a past time. Old Havana seems to have stopped at some point in history, but at the same time it stares toward the future with renewed strengths. Come right away. Do not wait for anyone to tell you about this dreamlike city. Just live it for yourself.



Why Havana?

Havana Havana (Wikipedia) Map of Havana

  • There is a lot of hotels near to the venue (less than 10 min walking)
  • more than thousand words...
  • Focusing the attention in Cuba for few days, will put us on the map, through the increase remote and local effort dedicated to the improvement of our data
  • Attendants could bring some equipment for the cuban mappers. (Cuba is third world country and any help is very valued for the local folks)

Regulations, regulations, regulations... :-S

Taked from: Title 31 Part 515 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Full-time professionals are authorized to engage in Cuba travel-related transactions to attend professional meetings or conferences in Cuba pursuant to section 515.564(a)(2) of the Regulations, provided that:

  1. the meeting or conference is organized by an international professional organization, institution, or association that regularly sponsors meetings or conferences in other countries
  2. the organization, institution, or association sponsoring the meeting or conference is not headquartered in the United States unless it has been specifically licensed to sponsor the meeting
  3. the purpose of the meeting or conference is not the promotion of tourism in Cuba or other commercial activities involving Cuba that are inconsistent with the Regulations; and
  4. the meeting or conference is not intended primarily to foster production of any biotechnological products

Proposed Venue

Colegio Universitario San Gerónimo de La Habana: SotM Havana 2011 proposed venue

Colegio Universitario San Gerónimo de La Habana


  • wifi access in any place of the building
  • classrooms for about 200 attendants equipped with:
    • projector
    • whiteboard
    • audio amplification
    • wired internet access
  • 2 movie projection rooms (50 seats)
  • art gallery
  • security service
  • professional staff (part of the OSM cuban comunity)
  • audio/video recording
  • translation (if asked)


Some of the proposed activities want to promote the interaction with the local citizens, in order to align the SotM with the social approach of the Rehabilitation Programme for Historical Center of Old Havana. This is, in fact, the spirit of our entire proposal.

Paralell Activities

  • Exposition of Traveler Guides. Centuries XIX-XX (originals from the Old Havana Historical Library)
  • Exposition of ancient Havana maps. Centuries XVI-XIX (originals from the Old Havana Archival)
  • Exposition of ancient live and city photographs of Havana (originals from the Old Havana Photographic Archive)
  • Talks about OSM for the community organized by the Cultural Programme of Old Havana. (the main objective is provide free=not_payed access to the activities and envolve some SotM attendants)
  • Old Havana Tour: Including ancient cars and military fortifications

Community Activities

  • Monday 1st to Wensday 3rd, August 2010: Workshops
    • OSM Workshop at the Public Library divided into 2 groups by age
      1. OSM for children
      2. How to create and share geographic information
    • ?
  • Thursday, August 4th, 2011: Local Community contact day for early arrivals
    • Andar los Mapas (some kind of mapping party; making part of the Old Havana's summer programme "Rutas y Andares")
    • Contact with media
    • Havana Tour: Including ancient cars and the modern city
    • Breaking ice

SotM proposed schedule

  • Friday, August 5th, 2011: Bussines day
    • talks
    • Reception coctel at night
  • Saturday, August 6th, 2011: Community day
    • talks
    • The Cannon Shot ceremony that take place at fort San Carlos de la Cabaña each night at 21:00 hours
  • Sunday, August 7th, 2011: Community day
    • talks
    • Gala Dinner at one of the Old Havana main squares

Short impression how the State of the Map 2011 would look like

  • Bring the SOTM to Cuba, with all that this can mean
  • Give mappers from Latinamerican and Caribbean countries a real chance to attend.
  • Come to Cuba is easy, even for US citizens... and cheap
  • Old Havana is an incredible ancient city with a very nice people inside. UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982
  • You'll find fun and adventure
  • SotM will be on Latinamerica ¡for first time!
  • Attendants will wear nice t-shirts and guayaberas, Cuban national dress
  • Using GPS units is forbiden in Cuba but we are on the way of change. SotM could be a very great help
  • Cubans love crowds, parties and maps separately, SotM will show how fun it could be if put all together

People and Organizations involved

Support and/or sponsorships

  • Havana Unique Travel provide accomodation with discounts for attendants to SotM. Also offer tailormade tours and transfers.