State of the Map 2021/feedback

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Please tell us your feedback this pad or link blog posts:

Community write-ups

Feedback by conference participants

Transferred content from (as in 2021-08-25), in case the pad gets deleted.


  • The talk on public transport mapping in Mauritania was excellent - loved the contributions from the team across geographies, cultures and languages. Really highlighted the beauty of OSM.
  • Some of the days felt a bit long. I caught a lot of the talks on Friday but less on Saturday and Sunday (plan to catchup when the recordings go live). Balancing life at home with good engagement at a virtual conference is hard. One approach I saw another conference do was release all the pre-recorded talks at the start of the conference and then have scheduled Q&A sessions across the conference "days". That makes it easier for people in different timezones to engage with presenters / make it work for them. It also allows people to pick the Q&A session that works best for them.
  • I wasn't able to attend most of the conference, but what I could attend seemed well organized, and the talks were well-done. I realize it's incredibly difficult to pick a time of year that will work well for a global conference, but I do know many people who would have loved to attend but couldn't because they were on holiday. (I could only attend on Friday because of that situation). July and August are big months for vacation at least in the US and Europe, perhaps other locations as well.

Workshops & Panels

  • audio settings were lost after switching off the microphone (one person reclaims that)
  • sometimes it was not possible to join the channel (several people reclaimed that)


Conference Platform

  • Felt a little clunky in places (BBB framed inside the conference site) [DH]
  • Really liked the way the talk page would "dock" itself if you needed to check the schedule or the presenter's bio during a talk. [DH]
  • was brilliant because it was really clear what timezone was in use. The schedule on the venueless website didn't have that but did display sessions in my local time (but i still found myself doublechecking what time it was and what sessions were live).
  • Q&As didn't work at the start of the conference but was fixed really quickly. Kudos!
  • Q&As - the way this was implemented felt really effective. It was really easy to ask your question and others could vote for it too if it interested them.
  • I miss the pads from 2020. There was something really neat about the non-linear discussion and documentation creation in it.


  • Add audio-only option to streaming for users on ultra-low bandwidth connections
  • If we're doing live translations again, add a player to the streaming page that streams audio from Mumble. This should not be too hard, I did this for a podcast many years ago. (Ilya)
  • Maybe allow giving talks in any language, provided the video has English subtitles?
  • I'm a huge fan of StreamYard and I think their approach to "online events" would work really well for future virtual OSM events. Good value too. (sorry for the pitch; just a fan of their product).
  • Chromecast support for the live streams. I hacked around this using an android app I have when there is no chromecast support but it would be awesome if there was native chromecast / airplay support in the media player. Watching live on the "big screen" helps with engagement I find. Also means you can have a second device tuned to chat / Q&A / etc.
  • Would love to see all sessions recorded and made available. Many of the second track sessions (which weren't streamed for the ticketless either) were really important in light of ongoing discussions in the OSM community and it's a pity that they can only benefit and enrich for those that could make it on the day...
  • Agreed that all sessions should be recorded and made available. As a panel host, I had to deal with several people contacting me out of frustration that my panel wouldn't be recorded and was asked for the recording many times, and I had to explain that it was completely out of my hands. Definitely added to the stress of hosting a panel.


  • Not sure if limiting tickets was necessary. We "sold out" but many didn't end up attending, leaving out opportunity for people to join directly late (vs watch the livestream). Based on the actual ratio of tickets to attendees, we should look into raising the limit for future virtual events.
  • I agree with the comment above. If there does have to be a ticketing system, make sure talk organizers know well in advance so they can make sure all of their speakers/panelists have tickets.


  • it would be great if presenters' slides could be made available on the website.