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The annual open data conference AbreLatam / Condatos last week in Mexico City gathered for the first time the Latin American OpenStreetMap community. The OpenStreetMap track Conmapas connected people who’ve been working alongside in Latin America virtually for sometimes more than five years, and also drew in a huge crowd of city planners, activists, hackers, and map lovers who came to learn everything about OpenStreetMap.

This was a highly timely event in a year with heightened activity in Latin America’s OpenStreetMap community and just a month from the annual OpenStreetMap conference State of the Map this year to take place in Buenos Aires from November 7th - 9th.

Here are some highlights of the event:

The morning was all talks and a panel about the growth of OpenStreetMap. We spent the afternoon with workshops and hacking on maps, editing OpenStreetMap, map making and opening data. You can read up on the full #conmapas program on the conference web site.

Mati Karwil and Aure Moser presented Bikestorming, an initiative to make cities world wide more bike friendly by providing more information about existing bike infrastructure using OpenStreetMap.

Thiago Santos described how he unlocked many dozens of PDFs from the Brazilian statistical institute IBGE. Here he’s bribing attendees with chocolate to come out for his afternoon workshop to open Mexican INEGI data for OpenStreetMap. Without need as it turned out :)

Mayeli Sánchez Martínez from Proyecto Poder presented her work tracking extractive industry activities together with the Geoinquietos group.

Humberto Yances from Colombia with the Humantarian OpenStreetMap Team and the web service provider Náritas explained how he uses and contributes to OpenStreetMap both for the social good and as a private business.

Isaac Pérez-Serrano and Daniel Perez Tello from the Laboratorio para la Ciudad in Mexico City presented the lab’s upcoming participatory mapping initiatives.

Pierre Béland from the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team made a call to map before disasters strike.

Marcelo Aliaga from OpenStreetMap Chile and then Chilean presidency walked through how OpenStreetMap became big in Chile and how the initiatives of the Chilean OpenStreetMap chapter.

Paul Goodman from the Mapbox team gave a walk through of mapping with drones.

See a full map of our three drone mapping missions in Mexico City

I loved the presentations at the open mapping panel together with Pierre Beland (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team), Gerardo Esperza (INEGI), Ives Rocha (Centro de Promoção de Saúde), about the benefits of OpenStreetMap for community mapping and government. Highlight: Gerardo Esperza from INEGI reiterated their data was available for OpenStreetMap. Now let’s work on using that data!

At Conmapas core OpenStreetMap contributors from Latin America met each other for the first time in real life. Attendees from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua devised ways of working closer with each other. Concrete outcome: a new, much needed coordination channel for Latin America and many ideas on how to build stronger networks in Latin America.

To be continued

This Latin American network is just getting started. Join in and continue the conversation at State of the Map in Argentina.

Thank you

A big, big thank you to everyone who made this possible: Jorge Soto, Ania Calderón, Alejandra Ruiz and Rodolfo Wilhelmy of the Mexican presidency. Without the support of the Mexican presidency in terms of logistics and funding, this event would not have been possible. In addition to the presidency, Gabriella Gomez Mont, Stalin Muñoz, Jaime Quintanar, Lupita Gonzales of the Laboratorio para la ciudad were of amazing help coordinating locations for flying mapping drones in Mexico City. And last but not least, a huge thank you to all speakers for putting together an amazing program. Here’s to more!

Photos: Vitor George, Humberto Yances, Paul Goodman, Eric Gundersen.

Location: 03310, Benito Juárez, Mexico City, Mexico


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