OpenStreetMap

That was Night of the living maps 2012

Posted by !i! on 13 February 2012 in English (English)

Last Thursday was a real funny situation. A lot of people seemed to like the idea of a 'map around the clock' event, so after the lights gone down, on a few hotspots mappers celebrated their own parties. Some were at universities, some at private houses, but unfortunately most were only in big cities.
As far as I know this was the first global event at the one time and it's in a straight line of social events as project of a week, Community updates or the Weekly OSM Summary. But Mapping parties were before only at one place and of course outside.

So due to the time zones, we had always at least one team working on the map, starting in Japan and ending in the US. Thanks to coffee the most had no problem to stay awake till the early morning, even if some of us had to sleep a few hours. No problem, getting a real zombie wasn't required and we know that the most of us need to get up early for another fresh day at work ;) With chat and IRC we stayed connected, the Tokio crew even streamed their edits live.

To me it was quit impressive, at 22 places all over the world worked >250 people on improving their area. This resulted esp. in better landuse coverage and a lot of new buildings. This great teamwork already started a few hours after I announced the idea, by users translating the wiki in 9 more languages, remixing the banner and with a lot of people sharing informations on the social networks. Thanks to all of you! Thanks to OSMF and FOSSGIS for the great sponsoring of the local parties, too!

As you might expect, this was my first bigger organization task and I learned a lot, esp. that the community seems to be really interested in such socializing events, that combine practical work and a specific topic. Of course there are improvements to do (date of event, time for announcement, do real mapping outside, ...) but personally I guess this was a test for all of us, to see if this is working. And who knows, maybe that after this night, there will come another day focused on working on OSM sometimes?

yours
Matthias Mei├čer

Comment from Milliams on 14 February 2012 at 10:56

The big drop in the top-left graph (http://tools.geofabrik.de/osmi/munin.html) seems to coincide with the mapping party. Good work!

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Comment from !i! on 15 February 2012 at 14:31

At the german forum we had a diiscussion and we don't beliefe this boost was due to the parties, but who knows for sure ;)

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Comment from quicky on 21 February 2012 at 11:19

It was a really good idea but please next time let more time to local team to organize themselves. only 2 weeks to find a place to host the event, advertise people etc this is really really short !!! We succeed but it was challenging

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Comment from !i! on 21 February 2012 at 11:28

I agree completely, but managing all in background (logo, sponsoring, wiki, ..) was challenging, too and caused a delay of 1 week till I was ready to announce. On the other hand: lessons learned :)

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