Today is the day: 250,000 contributors

Here are some of the OpenStreetMap contributors, last summer at State
of the Map, in Amsterdam. There were something like 130,000
registered users of OSM at that time, and 250 attended SotM if I
remember correctly.

Look at those shiny happy faces. Like cherubs, every one of ’em.

And how we’ve grown, since then, the OpenStreetMap community. Today
will be the day. The 250,000th contributor will register for an
account at I feel comfortable
predicting this because OSM gets hundreds of new registrations a day,
and we’re only 45 short of the Big Quarter-Mill. Sometime before
midnight UTC, number 250,000 will register. It might have happened

There is a prize for 250,000

You get the right to a copy of the OSM data set under the OSM data
license. Congratulations, number 250,000. That’s the same prize we
all get. The prize we make by hand and give to each other. Collect
your prize at
Mon Apr 19 00:00:07 +0100 2010
Number of users

Sure. It’s an arbitrary milestone. Not every registrant contributes
a lot of data. One more contributor might not make much of a
difference. Let’s look at all of us in aggregate. And let’s look at
the next 250,000 to register. How can we, the old-timers, make things
easier on the next group of newbies? We need to make it easier on
them you know. The easier we make it for them, the easier it will be
for us. Otherwise we’re doomed to a spiral of answering the same old
questions at an ever increasing rate.

Go document something for a newcomer to OSM. Write a tutorial. Post
some examples. Help out on the newbies list or #osm. Free some code.
Benchmark osm2pgsql. Squash some bugs on trac. Do it for number
250,000. Do it for the next 250,000.

And take another look at the group photo above. They’re all smiling.
You know what they’re thinking?

it’s fun. It’s free. I’m helping.

Welcome to OSM, number 250,000. See you at SotM 2010?

SotM 2009 group photo by
Licensed ccby