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About me

Hi, I am Martijn van Exel HDYC, hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah. I was born on December 7, 1972 in Doetinchem, the Netherlands and grew up there. I moved to Amsterdam in 1991 to study Urban Planning and Geography. My wife, also pictured below in glorious blurriness, was hired as an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah in 2011, bringing us to our current home city.


When I am not working on OSM in one way or another, you are likely to find me somewhere in the mountains hiking or biking, hanging out with friends, cooking, gardening, playing Xbox or watching TV.

Me and OSM

  • I contribute to OpenStreetMap as mvexel.
  • I was a member of the OpenStreetMap US [1] Board of Directors from 2011 until early 2017
  • I was a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board of Directors from 2016 until 2018.
  • I was / am program co-chair for and involved in organizing the 2009 International and 2012-2019 US State Of The Map conferences.
  • I am the author / maintainer of a few OSM related software projects:
    • MapRoulette
    • A Python module to interface with the Overpass API [2]
    • OpenStreetMap Then and Now, an interactive visualization of OpenStreetMap in 2007 vs. now [3].
    • Bing imagery analyzer for OSM (unmaintained)
    • Brave Mappers of X, a tool to visualize local OSM activity in a timeline like format [4]. (unmaintained)
    • Meet Your Mappers, a tool to find active mappers in your area.
    • This list is not exhaustive..

I love OpenStreetMap and firmly believe that we are changing the world. I spend a lot of my spare time on the project, either out mapping, coding and organizing local events in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I believe that fundamentally, OpenStreetMap is about people and giving people a place to share their knowledge of the world around them with everybody else. Everything we do - the tools we build, the documentation we write - should be instrumental to that purpose. This belief drives my involvement with the project. Because my new home country is a huge place with over 300 million people in it, we have to work extra hard to involve a broad representation of the U.S. population in OSM. We need local community leaders to achieve that, folks who share my conviction that OSM is a people project first and foremost. I try to be one of those folks. That is why OSM perhaps doesn't have every building or bus stop here in Salt Lake City, but we do have monthly GeoBeers, a strong relationship with the local University and schools, and a fast growing local group of mappers. I strive to help ensure that folks in other places across the U.S. have everything they need to step up and be a community leader - be it tools, confidence, resources.

A word on my affiliations: In January 2013 I joined Telenav as an OSM Data Expert after doing contracting work for them for a little over a year. I have had several roles at Telenav since then: Staff GIS Analyst, Engineering Manager, and currently Product Manager. I work closely with our [5]map team. That link also has a lot more information about our mapping work. Head over to ImproveOSM to learn more about the data and tools Telenav provides for the community.

Oh and finally:

I don't give a flying monkey's for tag voting, automatic changebots, endless discussions, categories, or any of that crap, but prefer to get on and actually do stuff.

This is a message I sometimes send out to new local mappers.

Getting in touch

  • I am on the talk, osmf-talk, talk-us mailing lists.
  • I am almost always on IRC in #osm, #osm-dev and #osm-us as mvexel
  • I am mvexel on twitter and github
  • I am mvexel on the OSM US Slack
  • Or just email me at