Off to State Of The Map Denver ...and the pub tonight

Posted by Harry Wood on 15 June 2011 in English (English)

I registered for State Of The Map 2011, the main one in Denver.

It probably wont be quite the same as previous SOTMs. The OSM community has a massive European centre of gravity still at the moment, and Denver is a long way to fly. I know many London friends who I'd normally be going along to SOTM with, are choosing not to make such a long flight. There is a well subscribed SOTM EU event happening, which offers a cheaper alternative. This is looking popular. I feel this is kind of a shame because (in addition to long distances) this will detract from the draw of the main SOTM event, but of course it is inevitable that someone would create an event called SOTM EU just as the Americans had their own little SOTM US last year.

I've decided to go to the main SOTM conference instead.

It's pretty interesting that it's going to the U.S. this year. The U.S. has always been a special case for OpenStreetMap with it's complicated landscape of free datasets and imports. Back in the days when we had a little London team at CloudMade, we spent quite a long time pondering ways of helping OpenStreetMap grow in the U.S. and I'm still very interested in this. I think getting more Americans on board will be a great boost for the project in general. Surely it's time for OpenStreetMap to "make it big in the U.S." the Beatles or something. When the main conference goes there it will be an important moment in that process. It will be a time when the whole OSM community turns their attention to that part of the world for a little while, and this will be a great leg-up for the development of the community there.

That's why I've decided to splash out on a flight to the U.S. and I hope there will be decent number of other Europeans joining me. Today could be a good day to think about registering. It's the last day to grab an early bird discount! (although that's a minor financial consideration compared with the flight)

But anyway...

Today is also the day to attend the London OpenStreetMap "conference" otherwise known as... the pub! (or "London Summer Mapping Parties") We'll be in the Iron Duke pub near Bond Street tonight from 8p.m., and out doing a little mapping before that.

Comment from berniejconnors on 15 June 2011 at 13:47

Nice to hear you are bringing the London / EU perspective to SOTM in Denver.

Comment from nmixter on 16 June 2011 at 05:05

Nice to see the us getting some love

Comment from compdude on 17 June 2011 at 03:21

@nmixter: Totally agree! I hope this will cause OSM data to significantly improve as a result of the SOTM being in Denver.

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