Monthly Archives: November 2019

The State of the Map Working Group is looking for you!

Organising the international State of the Map conference is a huge effort! But it can be broken down to small and straightforward tasks. We are looking for you! Are you interested in taking over one of our tasks? This post shows you what we’re doing – maybe there’s something here that you can help with. Or ask us for more details of tasks you are interested in!

What we’re doing

Next year’s SotM is usually announced at the end of the previous one. That means that work on next year’s SotM already starts before the current SotM even begins! We have to publish a call for bids and sort out the options with the local teams. And to make a well-founded and often difficult decision.

Preparing phase – shortly after SotM

Once a SotM is done, the SotM working group starts working with the local team for next year. The first steps are creating the logo and the prospectus for sponsors. Also, the website is launched around this time, and we sort out the possibilities for the social event.

The program committee start their work by setting up the call for papers. The scholarship committee also have to do a lot of preparation before they can publish their offer.

In the middle of the year – growing phase

Finding sponsors, the call for papers, and scholarships or travel grants are the activities that dominate this phase. Then the review phase for both talk submissions and scholarship applications starts. Finishing the schedule and adjusting with the speakers can be a challenge. The website team has to include the sponsor logos and provide content about the venue, and later the schedule.

The hot phase before the conference

Ticket sales is opened. We have to ensure that all speakers have tickets. This year we were sold out and we had to answer a lot of questions.

Catering has to be ordered. The social event has to be fixed.

Scholars have to be managed. In the past we arranged travel for them and helped apply for a visa if necessary. Also accommodation has to be sorted out for them.

Sponsors have to be taken care of. They get vouchers for conference tickets, and they can provide input for the booklet. Some sponsors may have special requirements.

A lot of design work comes our way in this phase too: signs, banners, but also the T-shirts. Also, the the program booklet is considerable work until it is perfect.

The video recording (and, if possible, streaming) has to be arranged, and we need to check the local internet access situation.

Shortly before the conference we set up a Telegram group. We have to coordinate a lot of volunteers who help during the conference at the welcome desk, at catering, in the sessions, or with the video cameras.

How you can help

Design work

  • Logo
  • Website layout
  • Sponsor prospectus layout
  • Booklet layout
  • Banners, signs
  • T-Shirt design
  • Certificate of attendance


  • Preparing the sponsor packages
  • Finding sponsors
  • Communication with sponsors
  • Collecting the logos and booklet ads
  • Issue ticket vouchers to sponsors
  • Sponsor logo on slides and banners
  • Preparing sponsor booths at the conference

Administrative work

  • Budget planning
  • Financial coordination with OSMF
  • Planning the timeline
  • Preparing group meetings
  • Setting up the registration system
  • Administration of group mailing lists
  • Conference insurance
  • Legal and permission issues
  • Safety considerations


  • Call for presentations
  • Looking for interesting speakers
  • Setting up the talk submission system
  • Review of the submissions
  • Working out a proper schedule
  • Communication with speakers
  • Coordination with scholarship team
  • Canceling, changing, rearranging talks
  • Poster competition
  • Keynote speakers
  • OSM Awards

Travel Grant

  • Call for scholarship
  • Review of the submissions
  • Travel management, accommodation
  • Invitation letters
  • Preparing a travel guide for scholars
  • Local work
  • Social event (space, catering, music)
  • Conference catering
  • Organizing a pre-event
  • Hotel reservations
  • Name badges, lanyards
  • Ordering of T-Shirts
  • Ordering of banners
  • Printing out of Posters and Signs
  • Preparing the venue (video, wifi)


  • Website content: sponsors, venue, accommodation, attendees, call for presentations, etc.
  • Creating texts for Twitter, blog posts, mailing lists, newsletter etc.
  • Translation into other languages
  • Answering mails of attendees
  • Telegram groups (during the conference)

Conference work

  • Managing the volunteers
  • Preparing tables, poster walls
  • Setting up banner, signs etc.
  • Welcome desk
  • Video & streaming
  • Video cutting, upload
  • Collecting slides of speakers
  • Catering
  • Session moderation
  • Technical assistance in sessions
  • Code of Conduct team

Looking for the next venue

  • Call for bids
  • Communication on mailing lists etc.
  • Communication with applying teams
  • Review and decision process


We mainly collaborate via email and on Github in English. The core SotM team has voice meetings on Mumble.

Contact us

Interested? Email

SotM Working Group

Follow us @sotm!

The State of the Map conference is the annual, international conference of OpenStreetMap, organised by the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project and you can support it by becoming a member. The State of the Map Organising Committee is one of our volunteer Working Groups.