The next London pub meet-up is tonight! Join us at the Crosse Keys pub from 7pm. As usual we'd love to have some new folks come along.
We had a french lady called Victoire joined us last time at the Blue Posts. She was interested in getting started with OSM and learning more about how humanitarian organisations can work with it. So we were talking through all of that.
The advice I always stress while bombarding new folks with all sorts of OSM info, is that you have to try editing. Maybe you're interested in using OSM data, or getting involved in other ways, or spreading the word to others. Maybe you have ideas about contributing data sets, or engaging mappers to input particular types of map data, but step number one in understanding how to go about any of those things... have a go at mapping. Learn the basics of OpenStreetMap editing, and add something to the map yourself. Happily when I bumped into Victoire at an ICT4D event last week, she said she had taken this advice, working through the (the soon to be revamped) learnosm.org instructions and doing some edits with JOSM.
We also talked about IRC. If you think it's a mysterious super-geeky thing, you're not alone, but it's really not that hard. Go to irc.openstreetmap.org, pick a nickname (like your real name for example), Login, ignore the mysterious super-geeky mess that appears on the screen, and just type "hello" down the bottom there! IRC is a great place for friendly chit-chat or to fire a quick a question if you're stuck on something while editing perhaps.
We talked about the OSM leaflets. A new version (which we now need) can be quite similar design-wise. Obviously the license and the maps need a refresh, but we also need newer content for some of the instructions. How to map a street network from scratch using GPS is, in my opinion, not the most relevant mapping lesson convey to the majority of people who will receive this leaflet. Adding a restaurant POI might be a better lesson (because things have moved on since the leaflets were first created!)
We discussed the idea of an "OpenStreetMap App Of The Year" award, and how that might work. We have a bewildering choice of iOS and Android apps, and (like other bewildering choices OpenStreetMap offers) some way of highlighting the best would be good.
For conversations about London attractions I have never visited, or something more OpenStreetMap related... join us in the pub tonight! The Crosse Keyes pub has one massive room in an old bank building. We'll have to put a sign up to help people find the OpenStreetMap table. See you there!