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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, in a pub (they call it a bar here), in the kitchen, in the back yard or in front of the TV. I am also rapidly becoming an expert in the art of the Power Nap. It must be my advanced age: born on 1972-12-07, I am turning 41 this fall.

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 am a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board of Directors since December 2015.
  • 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
    • Brave Mappers of X, a tool to visualize local OSM activity in a timeline like format [4].
    • This list is not exhausive..

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 and my ambitions as a U.S. chapter board member. 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. As a board member I want to 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. Here is a page explaining what we do. If you have any questions or concerns, let me know.

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.

Other things of note

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

I was program co-chair for and involved in organizing the 2009 International and 2012 and 2013 US State Of The Map conferences.

Getting in touch

I do not subscribe to the OSM mailing lists, since I no longer believe they are a useful conduit for discussing the project. The exception, for now, is the talk-us mailing list.

I am almost always on IRC in #osm, #osm-dev and #osm-us as mvexel

Or just email me at