Over 25 people attended our 2013 kick-off of the OpenStreetMap/FOSSGIS/OpenGeo/Geospatial group in Cleveland Thursday. GIS Techs, a professor, retired schoolteacher, web developers, and others of all ages. All had the shared interest of learning more about OpenStreetMap and Open-source geospatial software. This being our first meeting, we began doing brief introductions and sought to solicit what sort of topics that we to focus on in the coming months.
We did 3 presentations aimed to give a brief, broad overview of these tools and technologies and hoped to inspire attendees of some possible things that they'd like to learn more about and continue the discussion.
- I made an introductory presentation on OSM (pdf) including simple facts on the project, places well-mapped in Cleveland, some beautiful maps made using OSM data, and showing them how to make an edit. egads ! The internet wasn't working for me during my presentation, so I had to improvise a bit and couldn't do any live editing for them. an
After our presentations, we chatted for a bit about different projects that people were brainstorming (map of publically accessible toilets, a la that one Seinfeld episode ? map of public parking and real-time prices ?), what subjects they'd like to learn about more here, and what they'd like the group to look like (in organization, logistics, our name - still haven't decided on one yet). Interest was expressed in all of the topics mentioned: desktop uses like GRASS and QGIS, and postgis, and more web-oriented things like cartodb, web mapping APIs, although the largest interest was for OpenStreetMap. Overall, our meeting went 2 hours, longer than we anticipated and people stayed throughout it !
I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged to see the activity that's already occuring: attendees whose employers use an complete or partial open-source stack (Kudos to Medina County GIS and the Cleveland Metroparks), others trying to convince their employers to do so, and that there were 2 other Tilemill users in the room (baby steps here).
(Steve Mather giving a talk on PostGIS) Jeff Schuler presenting on Slippy Maps
Afterwards, a few of us headed out, in true OSM style, to a pub, a couple blocks away, aptly named the Map Room
Group of us at Map Room
We continued an informal chat on geospatial over food and drink. It was exciting to finally have this opportunity in Cleveland. In OSM, I mentioned there's still a lot to map in Cleveland, including easier things like most of the Cleveland State University campus (a university campus of 15,000+), finishing up POIs (bars, restaurants, etc) in Downtown Cleveland and many neighborhoods.
We're on our way to a foster a culture in Cleveland where programmers, web developers, GIS analysts, cartographers, and others utilize and contribute to OpenStreetMap and free, open-source geospatial tools and share their experiences, knowledge, and collaborate with each other.
Looking forward to our next meeting in mid-late March. =)
Extra recognition goes to fellow organizer Stephen Mather and to Jeff Schuler for helping with some of the logistics and for presenting.