State Of The Map 2013/Bids/UK

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This is currently a planning page for a potential UK bid to host SotM13. It is not yet an official or finalised bid.

This year was of course Tokyo, and last year Denver. So it might seem sensible that it returns to Europe for 2013 - and we haven't had a UK SotM since the first one ( The open source GIS conference, FOSS4G, is also coming to the UK next year - to Nottingham in September (17-21) with some overlap with the AGI GeoCommunity industry conference (17/18 Sept.). The FOSS4G local organisers are keen to liaise with any SotM bids to help all three conferences work well together.


We will need to have a good team of volunteers to help with organising and running the event. Ideally at least 4 'on the ground' team, that can help with venue organising/prep. They would have good local(country/city) knowledge and be there at least a day early to stuff goody bags etc. One should live near the venue. They will be aided by the 'non-ground' team that have previous SotM experience and OSMF involvement.

So let's get together a list of people willing to help, so we know where we're at.

Name Location Availability Skills/Experience
LastGrape/Gregory Durham, North East
(& occasionally Kingston, SW London)
Some evenings, most weekends & Mondays. Limited funds to travel. Would like to put a lot of time into SotM UK where possible. Organised small weekend mapping parties. Co-organised an event where I managed the tech team (PA/Video/Recordings). Performed at many SotMs. Have skills in overall organisation/administration (finding out what needs doing, finding who can do it).
Smsm1 Ipswich, South East Able to help during work hours, evenings and weekends. Organised various mapping parties in the UK. Been to several previous SOTMs. Work for potential sponsor.
Spiffy/Jonathan Coventry, Midlands Weekends, some evenings, sometimes work hours. Happy to travel but tend to be time-limited. CEO of a small software company (but happy enough as a team member). Have been chief organiser of a community convention and assistant organiser of an academic conference, both with >200 people. Been to several SotMs.
nickw Southampton, Hampshire Generally weekends only, but evenings possible from mid March to late September and weekdays maybe possible July-Sep. Local events only, i.e. 2hr train travel from Southampton, e.g. Guildford. Organised mapping parties in southern England, given presentations on OSM at several SOTMs and local BCS events. Part of OSM since the early days (2005). Finding sponsors isn't really my forte and I have little free time to organise venues, book rooms etc but happy to help out with general organisation of a nearby SOTM (such as Guildford) at the event itself and over the summer.
monxton Winchester, Hampshire Available to help at odd hours, middle of the night being a speciality. Can travel sometimes if necessary. I can't claim that event organising is a natural talent, but I have helped organise and also spoken at several open-source events in the past (as well as some musical ones). Have not been to a SotM though. Have managed online / physical ticketing. Like collating and organising data. Dislike asking people for sponsorship (I've tried it).
Example Example Example Example


A strong reason for SotM13 to be in the UK is that the larger(1000 or so delegates) FOSS4G conference will be held in Nottingham on the 17th to 21st September. To encourage people coming from Europe and further afield to also come to SotM it would be helpful if the dates are close together and then one trip can be made (perhaps with a holiday in between!). Late September/October gets into university term-time, which may cause problems for people attending or for venues.

The conference has been in July/August in the past, but now is usually in September/October.

State of the Map is usually 3 days towards the end of the week (From Thursday or Friday). I think this is due to the overlap of professionals and hobbyists, some prefer work days and others can't get too much time off work. There may be reason to change tradition.

Possible dates: 5th to 7th September, or 12th to 14th September, or ?


No reason SotM needs to be in Nottingham, lets show people another part of the wonderful UK. Keep this a short list, although ideas might not have been fully investigated. Let's try and keep the points in the same order for easy comparison. We probably need to have decided on a city by the time we get to the bidding stage, we'll have to see how we come to a conclusion.


  • People near by: LastGrape/Gregory, at least 5 users "more skilled in goody-bag packing than OSM", ...
  • Transport connections: East Coast Mainline (train) London-York-Durham-Newcastle-Edinburgh. Newcastle Airport, cheap airlines and easily accessed by train + metro. Durham Tees Valley Airport doesn't have many flights these days. A1 motorway.
  • Venue
    • Durham University, and colleges. Lots of conference facilities & possibilities. Geography Dept have been supportive in the past so might sponsor the venue hire, but don't have a named contact (yet).
    • The Durham Centre, Belmont Industrial Estate. Auditorium for 250. Other rooms for 12-60 people. Gregory can get a discount on price. Too small? Out of town a bit.
    • Three Tuns Hotel in centre of town. Main room 300 people, smaller rooms 40 and 20.
  • Accommodation
    • University colleges offer lots of cheap rooms in the summer. Can stay in different ones so you're 5 mins away but not in the venue.
    • Premier Inn and Travel lodge within 15 mins walk.
    • Lots of small B&Bs in the city centre and others easily accessible by bus or car.
    • The Fallen Angel with themed rooms, if you like something different!
  • Evening events: BBQ on a boat round the cathedral & castle. Meal in the castle grand hall? Lots of good & cheap Real Ale pubs, some nice restaurants too. Other possibilities in Newcastle (~12 mins by train).
  • Sight seeing: Angel of the North, Durham Cathedral & Castle (World Heritage Sight). Lots of walks in the wonderful countryside! Newcastle. East Coast. Lake District for post-conference trips.
  • Community: Lots of mappers in the North East but geographically spread out and don't meet up much (this could help!)


  • People near by: Jonathan Bennett, Nick Whitelegg (Southampton - nearish)
  • Transport connections: Fast & Frequent trains from Reading, London & Gatwick Airport. Heathrow Airport has fast links (bus to Woking then train) too. A3 connects to M25 and south coast for car travel. Wey Navigation for boat travel
  • Venue...
    • University of Surrey
  • Accommodation...
    • University Halls
    • Travelodge & its ilk
    • YMCA
  • Evening events...
    • Various live music venues
  • Sight-seeing: Home of Alan Turing. Cycling.
  • Community...


Birmingham Bid Page


This have been suggested, but don't have anyone there often or have other issues. Maybe another year. Oxford, Nottingham(needs organisers, FOSS4G venue available)