Being at the State of The Map 2017, in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Japan was an unforgettable experience for me. I didn't only learn new skills and gained ideas, I also met great people with the enthusiast to build their local communities, make our world a better place and a navigable one. Upon arrival, getting acquainted with each other was a walk over, this was possible because we all spoke a common language which is "Maps and Development". The welcome address and opening remarks from the host and organisers were very warm and assured all participants of having a pleasant and exciting stay, which I'm quite sure all in attendance had. There were up to 50 sessions, all with extraordinary speakers and presenters, i will always appreciate those sessions, they equipped me with new ideas, skills and knowledge to showcase, share and implement in my community. To say we had fun might be an understatement because we had way more than that, the social event was awesome, we had great meals and a first class showcase of Japanese culture and music, I can still hear the drums roaring. The awards were well deserved, it is evident they have prompted non recipients to work hard and become awardees in the future. The conference was thrilling from the start to the last session. At the end of the conference, saying goodbye to each other was a bitter pill to swallow, the bonds were very great, good relationships were established and parting ways was saddening. But with technology I'm sure these bonds will remain strong and facilitate the growth of robust networks of mapping and development communities. Attending the State Of The Map was a great opportunity for me, it has made me 10 more times eager, equipped and development oriented to build my community and make is friendly for all. I appreciate all and sundry. I hope to see all in the near future.
A video of my presentation on the topic; The Inclusion of Small and Young OpenStreetMap Communities. https://youtu.be/IlWGtlGU2Tc?t=1117