I'm Lauren Jacobson and I'm running for the OSM board in order to further strengthen the OSM community through targeted outreach and community building projects.
I'm a geographer from Cleveland Ohio currently living in Washington DC. For years I worked within my company to promote better work with OSM. I recently joined Development Seed, the folks with the really great Lego table at SotM, which has given me the opportunity to be more engaged in the broader community. In the past year, I attended SotM US and SotM LatAM, participated in HOT activations in Chile and Tanzania, and am currently working to import 268,000 building footprints from Zambia. I've also had great experiences doing outreach about OSM at events in DC, from leading GeoDC, a monthly meetup of map and OSM lovers, to teaching an introduction to mapping session at DC's all female hackathon. Through these experiences, I've seen such great potential for growing a more diverse OSM community and am inspired to make a contribution.
As an OSM US Foundation Board Member I would:
- Promote local project creation and involve more community leaders with OSM projects
I recently participated in a Mapping DC event using field papers. We were stopped on the street by numerous people who were genuinely interested in the project and what we were doing. It is clear to me that so many more people would love to get involved with OSM, we just need to create the opportunities. We also have a great network of volunteers who would love to be ambassadors for OSM. I'll extend the resources that are available to OSM members who want to organize mapping parties, set up OSM booths at farmers markets, or neighborhood block parties. I would also work to improve existing tools for event hosting and publicity on the OSM wiki and provide mentorship and guidance to help OSM volunteers find each other on the local level.
- Encourage diverse participation at State of the Map US
State of the Map US has exploded in participation and is now the biggest OSM event. As the numbers have increased, so too has the percentage of participants whose organization or company pays for them to be there. This is good, these groups make great contributions. At the same time we have to work harder to also scale up participation from groups that are likely to be underrepresented, including women, students, minorities, and community volunteers. As we only have the opportunity to convene the community as a whole once a year, it is important that the conference gives as many people the opportunity to participate. As a board member, I will work to expand and promote the State of the Map scholarship program. I'll also work to increase conference attendance among local OSM groups.
- Enhance the benefits of joining the OSM US Foundation
I hope to increase the membership to the OSM US Foundation by encouraging active community participants to join the foundation, and communicating with local hackathons and mapping projects on opportunities to get more involved in leadership positions within the OSM community. Finding new ways in which OSM contributors can add value to the community and the foundation will definitely be a priority if elected.
Thank you so much for your consideration of my position and your time!