I became a member of OpenStreetMap US in 2014, and each year I have increased my involvement and taken the opportunity to continue meeting fantastic people passionate about OpenStreetMap worldwide. I am a freelance mapping consultant, and provide geospatial education and consulting using open source tools as founder of Boomerang Geospatial. I have been a long time member of the TeachOSM Steering Committee, where I promote the use of OpenStreetMap in classrooms around the world through the education of teachers in open mapping. When I can, I take interested people on educational safaris and study abroad programs in southern Africa through Maggie Maps.
2019 OpenStreetMap-US Board Position Statement
I am excited to be running a third year for a place on the OpenStreetMap-US board. Last year I ran on the platform of education and community development, and these initiatives continue to remain important to me. This year my focus will be on strengthening the US network of mappers and building bridges between communities throughout the US. As technology advances, it is paramount to support community and local mappers, as well as organizations and companies using OpenStreetMap in the US. I do not see it as one or the other, but rather how we will all move forward as one diverse, inclusive and open community.
So... what did I do in 2018 for the OpenStreetMap US community?
- As a board member, I participated in the planning of State of the Map-US Detroit. I continue to be impressed by the community and reminded just how much hard work goes into a successful conference. This year's conference has also motivated me to focus additional energy on the individuals who make up our great community here in the US.
- As a member of the hiring committee, weekly meetings led to the hire of the organization's first Executive Director. While the hire did not end up working out as expected, I learned a great deal from this process that I hope to bring with me to a future process should the board and community decide to hire again. Much of the board's 2018 efforts involved the hiring process, but I walked away with a better understanding of the US community needs, my role as a board member, and what it takes to run a nonprofit organization.
- As a board member, I attended weekly board meetings and helped plan a Hackathon held in Washington DC in May. I contributed to blog posts and supported outreach to mappers to participate in the organization through guest blog posts and volunteering.
- As an organizer for TeachOSM, 2018 saw growth in the use of OpenStreetMap in classrooms across the United States. Educational outreach can expand and diversify participation by engaging not only new generations of committed OpenStreetMappers, but also their teachers.
- As a mapper, I mapped!
It has been another busy year for the board, and as OpenStreetMap and the US community continue to grow so will the challenges and opportunities. In 2017 I learned what it meant to be a board member. In 2018 I began to put that knowledge to work. In 2019 I will continue to evolve my role as a board member and increase community involvement. It is an exciting time to be a part of this community, and it would be an honor to serve as board member for another year.
Please feel free to reach out any time with questions or to talk maps!
2016 OpenStreetMap-US Board Position Statement
As a board member, I will focus on growing and diversifying the OSM community - through events, educational programs, and outreach to all parts of the US. With an eye towards community development, I will make it a priority to find new ways to attract and retain contributors in OSM.
One way to accomplish this is through education. Educational outreach can expand and diversify participation by engaging new generations of committed OpenStreetMappers at an early age. As an organizer for TeachOSM, I actively promote the use of OpenStreetMap as a platform to teach the fundamental concepts of geography and engage local communities all over the world. Through our team’s efforts, TeachOSM has become the first chartered project of OSM-US and it continues to gain momentum. TeachOSM brings OpenStreetMap directly to teachers, students and community groups at the local level. As a result of SOTM in Belgium, I am working with other OpenStreetMap contributors to translate TeachOSM resources and make it an international resource for OpenStreetMap in education.
As an open source geospatial consultant, I promote the use of open source tools and OpenStreetMap in all of my projects. I have taught OpenStreetMap workshops in Mauritius, Jamaica, St Lucia, Baltimore, South Africa, & SOTM-US New York, and welcomed many new mappers into the community. Conferences in Argentina, Belgium, and the US have expanded my OSM network and allowed me to get a sense of the incredible projects being built with OSM all over the world.
I am running for the board to help grow and sustain community engagement and because I believe that OpenStreetMap can unite people across many ‘boundaries’. It would be an honor to serve as board member and I hope to get the chance!