On our tenth birthday we can look back on a year in which our free and open world map has gone from strength to strength, being deployed by large companies such as Apple, Mapquest and Foursquare, and relief organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and the American Red Cross.
But now we can look back on ten years. In 2004 one man set out with a bicycle and a GPS recorder. Back then creating a map of the world from scratch seemed crazy to many people, but even so, people joined the effort. A few people at first, but 10 years later OpenStreetMap has grown to a global community with over 1.7 million registered members, with around 3,000 members editing the map every day. This map built by volunteers is now used for serious work: for example Médecins Sans Frontières works with OpenStreetMap to help its doctors in West Africa keep track of the current ebola outbreak.
We’re celebrating in cities all around the world : Toronto, Montréal, DC, Denver, Seattle, Athens, NY, LA, Phoenix, Lexington, Nashua, Cleveland, St Petersburg (US), St Petersburg (Russia), Moscow, London, Amersfoort, Birmingham, Barcelona, Dublin, Budapest, Passau, Paris, Zagreb, Zürich, Bangladesh, Taipei, Fukushima, Tokyo, Muko, Awaji, Ichinomiya, Hamamatsu, Cochabamba, and Santiago.
The Japanese community probably have the best cake:
…but the night is still young.
So in honour of ten years of OpenStreetMap, please join us to raise a glass (Make it a virtual glass if you can’t make it to one of these party locations)
Happy Birthday OpenStreetMap!
This post is also available in: Japanese