January is supposed to be the season where we recover from new years hangovers and calmly settle down to the depressing drudgery of the year ahead. Not so with OpenStreetMap!
Derick kicked things off with another stunning video - Year of Edits 2013 I need to post this to blog.openstreetmap.org actually. All that editing activity is a thing of beauty, although... it also makes it look like a big globe we're trying to map!
Following on from that we had a storm of press coverage when emacsen wrote a blog post Why The World Needs OpenStreetMap.
I've tried and failed to fathom what piques the interest of the press. It's quite mysterious, but in this case clearly the blog post has a punchy headline. Rather over the top. The sort of headline which online press like to use to gain click traffic these days. But it would be unfair to suggest that was all there is to it. emacsen has followed up with a good explanation of the commercial battle for location dominance, and OpenStreetMap's role as the antidote to that. A good read.
And lots of other people thought so too. It hit the top of reddit and hackernews, got picked up by various U.S. press, and then by the guardian. I wonder whether re-posting of CC licensed article texts is something the press are starting to do more of. Anyway we saw a massive increase of U.S. and U.K. sign ups as a result of all of that. We even overtook Germany for a time (back to normal now). The U.K. ones came mostly after the Guardian re-posted. In the #osm-gb IRC channel we have a chat bot which tells us when a new user starts editing, and this went ballistic on the day of the guardian coverage. Awesome!
I did a presentation on Typhoon crisis mapping with OpenStreetMap. slides, transcript and audio record on my blog. If you're bored of seeing my "intro to OSM" slides, I've posted the most interesting slides to the HOT blog: Some editing stats from the Typhoon Haiyan response . Anyway, that kept me occupied for a while beforehand, and I continue to be swamped by opportunities to follow-up with people. There's a fair amount of interest in humanitarian mapping here in London, and some good support from London-based humanitarian organisations. Enough interest to do a dedicated H.O.T. event of some kind probably.
On Friday the ODI has organised for me to be giving a talk about OpenStreetMap to some GIS people at a private conference. Better start work on some slides for that.
If you saw the talk my colleague did at geomob about TransportAPI, you'll have seen that we're getting pretty busy with more and more API users and customers. For a small start-up this means a lot of work. I'm also deep into the organising of my wedding. Oh and I'm looking at getting a mortgage to buy my house. ARRGH!
So if it looks like I have been neglecting something, I probably have...
Including but not limited to OSMLondon meet-ups!
I think Matt was getting impatient. He organised a spontaneous on-the-day-announced mini pub meet-up a few weeks ago, and he suggested a pub to go to this time around.
Join us TONIGHT! At the Ye Olde Mitre. It's a dinky little pub hidden down an alleyway. All the details on the wiki!