The first London winter pub meet-up is TONIGHT. We've rolled over into "winter pub meet-up" mode, since the clocks have changed and the evenings are properly dim and dismal now. So join us tonight for... no mapping just beers!
Three weeks ago we had a "Summer" mapping evening. I got off a crowded tube train at Old Street and found I'd lost my android phone. Either dropped or pick-pocketed. So as I went outside and tried to gather some map data in the gathering winter darkness and pouring rain, around the stark tower blocks streets of St Luke's area, I gently sobbed to myself (*)
Imagine how my spirits were lifted as I arrived at the Wenlock Arms pub, to be greeted by a table full of OpenStreetMap friends, a wonderfully cosy atmosphere, a fine array of real ales, and a phone call to say "I've found your phone on the tube. D'you want to collect it tomorrow night?"
More OpenStreetMap friends arrived. We only had one little table but maybe 10-15 people! The Wenlock Arms is a small pub, but we were able to spread onto quite a few seats, plus a lot standing at bars etc, but still feeling like a nice cosy OpenStreetMap gathering. We also didn't really fit into one photo. This was our best attempt:
It was great to have Ed Freyfogle along, chief of Nestoria, chief of #geomob, and newly crowned foursquare mayor of the pub (he's a regular) And Matt was along too. Here you see his hair has grown back after the stress of the license change, but the french community have piled on some more DWG stress recently, so he's probably lost it all again :-( But this was 3 weeks ago, so Matt and Ed are laughing jovially ...and there's me:
I didn't take notes of our discussion topics this time (or if I did, I lost them) but I'm pretty sure we discussed the OS Locater musical chairs tool since ris was there. And with Ed we discussed Nestoria's uses of OpenStreetMap, and problems with tube station rendering (they're not shown prominently enough by MapQuest or osm 'standard' style) . Shaun was down from Ipswitch, and we even had Edward Betts back in London after several years away. In fact Edward was saying he attended the Map Limehouse event. 2005!
The Wenlock Arms pub is great, not least because they use OpenStreetMap on their website (a little bit), plus the fore-mentioned cosiness and ale selection, but one fatal problem is the lack of food options. We held out for quite a while, but eventually burritos called, although we left a small OSM team behind to do the pub quiz!
We probably would have had a pub meet-up a week ago, but that would have clashed with w3g conference. There were some OpenStreetMappers mingling in the geo-crowds there. And some OpenStreetMappy discussions. Personally I went a bit overboard on the pre-conference geobeers, so was hungover for the whole thing, but it was fun. Maybe got some people interested in coming along tonight?
Join us tonight at the Blue Posts on Newman Street from 7pm! Details here. I've given up trying to predict whether we'll get a big turn out. There's no logic to it. Could go either way. But I've always found small pub meet-ups are just as a fun as big ones. In theory we could look at how may people signed up on lanyrd but people don't all do this (c'mon! at least "track" the event!) But hey, four people so far. That aint bad.
(*) This is just dramatic storytelling. I didn't actually sob.