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Hi! I'm Jubal Harpster

I've been an active developer, geographer and mapper for over 20 years and active contributor to OSM since 2010.

I organized WhereCamps in Africa from 2009 - 2011 which originated the Map Kibera project in Kenya. In my professional role I've advised government agencies, humanitarian organizations, regional USAID missions, small companies and giant corporations on how to best us OSM as part of a larger geospatial strategy. I participate in the local Seattle OSM group, Maptime and participate as a member of CUGOS. I've organized large mapathons with the Red Cross, am a regular presenter at SOTM and SOTM-US. During my time with Microsoft I started the Open Maps team, drove the process to create then release the building footprint polygons for the US & Canada as open data. We updated the Microsoft imagery terms to allow editing with StreetSide and helped drive the adoption of OSM and open data more broadly across the Microsoft ecosystem. Finally, I maintain my local neighborhood of Ballard in Seattle, WA in OSM.

I currently work at Accenture as a Principal Director of the Geospatial Platforms practice.

2021 Board Position Statement

Priorities for OSM US

At the beginning of 2020 nobody predicted we'd all be spending the year at home missing out on the annual gatherings to see all of our map friends. Despite the strange year, the OSM US organization has managed to make substantial progress against goals laid out early last year and has continued to advance its real-world agenda from the virtual environment we're all living in.  The organization achieved local chapter status, encouraged the OSMF to hire paid staff, implemented the Code of Conduct, started a new government working group,  hosted online SOTM-US, brought on a development director to help with grant writing, launched the charter projects program, and engaged the corporate ecosystem of contributors and users of OSM.

2020 wraps up the 1st year that OSM US has had a full time executive director. Even with the awesome progress over the past year there is a lot to do for the next board.

Building relationships between communities

In the US I view the larger community as mappers, corporations, the OSMF, HOT, local, state and federal government along with other local chapters. OSM US can play a unique role as a connector between various aspects of the large and very diverse ecosystem of contributors.  This is a lot of effort, and it requires sustained persistence to engage a wide variety of groups with different and sometimes conflicting viewpoints on the project.

Diversify Funding

OSM US has relied on funding from individual contributors, membership dues, corporate sponsorships and a small number of other sources. Perhaps this is just from the treasurers perspective but as the past year has taught us resiliency is critical to maintaining and running a successful the organization. The modest operating budget should remain modest, but having a wider variety of funding sources would ensure that OSM US continues to thrive in to 2021.

Create more mappers

This is a 2020 goal and I'm leaving it in there for 2021. The US mapping community is amazingly strong but it is uneven. There some areas in the US where the map hasn't been touched for years. I think the OSM-US can work with YouthMappers, 4G, Future Farmers and other organized groups in the US to help make more mappers.

Feel free to reach out.

(Last year stuff below)

2020 Board Position Statement

Priorities for OSM-US

The OSM-US is already a strong organization. I advocated for the director position 2017 and I think Maggie has been doing a tremendous job. I've worked behind the scenes the past two years to bring additional corporate sponsorships to SOTM-US to help bolster the event and the organization.

2020 will be a pivotal year for the project. There are more US based companies leveraging and contributing to OSM and wanting to do more, there is an increasing divide of the community in to various factions, the project has begun to stagnate with the rate of new contributors beginning to level off.

Local Chapter Status

I'd like to see the  OSM-US become local chapter. This will help with governance and set the organization on better footing to coordinate with other chapters to help give more direction to the US community and encourage other communities to organize.

Fill in gaps not being met by the OSMF

The OSMF board is currently not fulfilling its parts of its mission statement ( There is a role for the local organizations to help fill the gaps or else become the coordinated squeaky wheels to encourage the OSMF board to be more proactive and accountable.


The infrastructure for OSM has been flakey and this impacts mappers in the US. The current OWG does a heroic job and maintaining the current infrastructure but I think we as a community can do better. The organization should consider a paid sys-admin role or accepting support from large companies which has been offered but never accepted.

Better relationships with companies

The companies making substantial contributions to OSM are, right now all based in the US. There are more companies that would like to contribute and participate but they have no clear point of contact to coordinate with. I believe the OSM-US could help facilitate contributions and provide a clear line of communications with large organizations.

Create more mappers

The US mapping community is amazingly strong but it is uneven. There some areas in the US where the map hasn't been touched for years. I think the OSM-US can work with YouthMappers, 4G, Future Farmers and other organized groups in the US to help make more mappers.