State of the Map Africa 2019/Call for venues

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Welcome to the call for venues for State Of The Map Africa 2019! Let's celebrate the growth of OpenStreetMap in Africa, share experiences and create new ideas in your city. From 16th July 2018 we invite you to bid to host State of the Map Africa 2019.

With experience from the previous State of The Map conference in Kampala in 2017 , it's normally 3 days; the weekend plus either Friday or Monday. We are open to all kinds of ideas to make it a truly African experience.

Please take a moment to read the details below and ensure your proposals are ready by 30th September 2018. The State of the Map Africa Working Group is here to help you.

Key dates

Most key dates are currently to be determined.

  • Call for venues open: 16th July 2018
  • Submit your proposal by: 30th September 2018
  • Announce of the winning bid: 15th October 2018

Our vision

A conference for OpenStreetMap enthusiasts from all over Africa to share experiences on OpenStreetMap and build a strong network to face today and tomorrow’s challenges.

Your proposal

If you submit a proposal (bid), add it to the list below. To be able to make a good decision your proposal should at least contain the following information.

Details about you

Please include the name of the group or individual(s) applying and a short description of how the State of the Map Africa would look - would it be a large event or a small event; will it focus on presentations or do you want to try something entirely different.

We will likely want to contact you for further information regarding your proposal and it helps if we have a suitable way of contacting you! As per the judging criteria below you may also want to provide details about your experience running events (small or large) and how your local community can help make State of the Map Africa successful.

Please provide:

  • The name of the group or individual(s) applying.
  • A short impression how the State of the Map Africa would look like.

Venue and catering

The cost of venue hire and catering (for lunch and coffee/tea breaks) will, in combination, be the highest cost item. Note: Universities can serve as good venues due to having many options on lecture room sizes.

Please provide:

  • An estimate of the costs of the venue and catering.
  • Details of the proposed conference venue (name, address, room sizes, suitable space for coffee and lunch breaks).
  • Information about the catering (a cost estimate, any restrictions on catering providers as specified by the venue).
  • Optional: Availability of audio-visual equipment (e.g. projectors, microphones) and WiFi at the venue.

Details about the location (optional)

Information about the city/region (transport, accommodation, tourist attractions, etc) helps to give an idea of the potential number of people who may attend State of the Map Africa. For example, locations within one hour travel of a major airport serviced by low-cost airlines are likely to attract more international attendees than locations that are difficult or expensive to get to.

You may wish to include details about:

  • Transport to the city/region (train stations, airports, long distance bus services).
  • Transport within the city (between the city centre, main hotels and the venue).
  • Availability of accommodation close to the venue.
  • Interestingness of the city (tourist appeal, business appeal).
  • Any events held in the city directly before, after or same time as State of the Map.
  • Opportunities to promote OSM with commercial organisations within the region/country.
  • Ideas for community-building activities (is there anywhere in your city that can host all attendees for an evening social event?).

Venue Selection Criteria

To get the best venue for the conference, all submitted bids will be subjected to the following criteria:


  1. Apply as an OSM Community.
  2. The OSM Community should have a legal status, or, can partner with another organization which has a legal status in country.
  3. Can host at least 100 participants.


  1. General quality of the proposal, was all the requested information on the wiki provided?
  2. Security - The venue area must be safe to travel to, and security guaranteed during the conference.
  3. Likelihood to obtain VISA (for the expected participants) while traveling to that country by countries within and outside Africa.
  4. Range of expected traveling cost; some countries are best connected, ease of movement by air, land, other possible means.
  5. Quality of proposed conference infrastructure: Venue, Accommodation, Internet, etc.
  6. Venue: at least one main stage + additional stage + space for meetings + space for eating + space for exhibition (these spaces might be within the same room if indeed big enough).
  7. Budget capacity of the applicant: has to be capable of handling and managing large amounts of money, by providing details about their previous experience(s) running events (small or large).
  8. Expected participants: who would be the local participants and where would they be coming from.
  9. Does the proposal make us dream about SOTM Africa 2019 and want to subscribe to the event as soon as possible?


Who should apply? Anyone or any group that wish to host the State of the Map Africa 2019 can apply to the OSM Africa State of the Map Africa Working Group to be considered as a conference host. You do not need to represent a whole country – rival bids from the same country are allowed.

What is the job of the local bid team? Most of the tasks for the local team are communications tasks. You'll liaise with the State of the Map Africa Working Group, attend their meetings and be in frequent and prompt contact with them by email.

The local bid team will be the local experts. You'll need to select one or more potential venues, and collect quotes for the venue and other local vendors such as catering, wifi service, hotel discounts.

Are the dates set?

No, the date of SoTM Africa 2019 are not set yet. Consider the entire calendar year and select a time and place that would be best for the conference. If you can be flexible and multiple dates / venues will be equally suitable, please indicate so in your bid package. If there are other exciting events occurring in your city then you may want to propose holding SotM Africa 2019 just before or after these.

Is the conference format fixed?

No, the format is not fixed. SoTM conferences are always three day events during a weekend (Friday - Sunday). SoTM Africa 2019 conference does not necessarily need to have the same format. The prospective hosts may suggest alterations to the format.

Do we need to have a venue confirmed?

No. You don’t need to have a venue confirmed. However, having a provisional “yes” will be an advantage. Providing at least one budgetary venue bid is a strong advantage.

Can we provide details on more than one venue option?

Yes. If you have identified more than one suitable venue you can provide details on these. If, during your research, you found unsuitable venues you can state this in your submission as it may still help to give us an idea of expected costs and your ability to work help organize State of the Map.

Do we need to have a catering provider confirmed?

No. You don’t need to have a catering provider confirmed. However, having one or more quotes will be an advantage.

What is the affiliation between the Local OpenStreetMap Communities and the State of the Map Africa?

State of Map Africa is the conference of the OpenStreetMap Africa community. All finances, entry fees and sponsorship should be administered through the local hosting OpenStreetMap Community in conjunction with the State of the Map Africa Working Group. Applicants and local organizing teams are strongly encouraged to seek additional local sponsorship and other support.

What size should the organizing committee be?

The recommended size of the local organizing committee are 3+ people to handle all issue regarding the venue, catering and other organizational issues that require local knowledge. The local team will be part of a bigger organizing team. So you're not on your own....

How many people can you expect?

Since this is the first time to organise State of the Map Africa, we expect to start off small, so you can bid with the number that you can manage to host, it shouldn't be too big or too small.


The bids do not have to be in a final version to be listed here, so you may be able to work on it collectively. Because that's what a wiki is all about....

In case you are having challenges submitting your proposal to the wiki, please send it to this email: In case you are having challenges submitting your proposal to the wiki, please send it to this email: sotmafrica, “ат”gmail“ԁοт”com.

If you have any questions, or are interested in preparing a bid but are unsure of the next steps, please contact us on the same email.