State of the Map/Planning

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State of the Map (SotM) is the annual conference of OpenStreetMap and has taken place since 2007. These international conferences are organised by the OpenStreetMap Foundation, but we draw on lessons and inspiration from the many regional or local conferences.

There are a lot of decisions and choices to make when planning SotM. This page will help to make those more transparent, saving the organisers time and hopefully providing inspiration to other event organisers.

SotM working group

The SotM working group (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 its 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).

We aim to 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.

Regional and local events

The SotM-WG particularly wishes to see more regional and local OSM conferences, and the international SotM has been an initiator for that in the past. Such events may vary greatly in geographical reach and may be run by OSMF-chapters, other organisations, or informal groups.

The WG will not be involved in the planning of regional and local events, but will be an encourager and supporter of these taking place. We would like to be communicating with the organising team to help them avoid date clashes and to collate our knowledge so as to improve the SotM planners guidebook:

Work in progress: SotM planners guidebook


  • timeline
  • budget
  • preparing meetings
  • organizing co-working (gitlab, ...)
  • tickets
  • vat registration
  • insurance
  • covid management
  • code of conduct


  • sotm mailinglists
  • osmf blog
  • newsletter
  • osm mailinglists, ...
  • twitter, telegram, ...


Program committee is apart from the SotM working group to avoid conflicts of interests with sponsors ...

  • general tracks
  • academic tracks
  • humanitarian track
  • poster exhibition
  • pre-recorded videos


  • logo
  • website
  • artwork t-shirts, stickers
  • banners, signs
  • booklet

Travel Grant

  • call
  • review
  • organizing travel
  • reimbursement


  • sponsorship packages
  • acquiring sponsors
  • sponsor booths
  • sponsor tickets

In-Person Conference

  • venue and date
  • video infrastructure
  • catering
  • social event
  • accommodation
  • volunteer management
  • opening session
  • closing session

Virtual Conference

  • online volunteers
  • online platform

Old: SotM planners guidebook

This is our old guidebook. We use the interim time before we start next SotM planning to rework the guidebook.

The following headings are organised by the groupings used in our timeline plan.

Whilst we develop our planners guidebook, you may want to check out FOSS4G's.


This section covers the aim of the conference, previous feedback and out language guidelines.

  • Vision (aim of the conference)

Selecting a host city

This section covers the call for venues.

Project management

This section covers how we operate as a team and our three key planning documents. It is important to be clear about these things early, so that all members are working towards the same aim.

Website, design and communication

This section covers the State of the Map website, key design issues (e.g. logo) and how we communicate externally


Ticket sales

Designing the progam

Local services


Running the conference

Post event tasks

  • Publishing videos
  • Satisfaction survey