Author Archives: Hurricane

About Hurricane

Adventure is my middle name. Social evangelist at heart. PR and story telling in my DNA. Not in charge of weather.

WIN a FREE trip to State of the Map 2011!

Starting today you have an awesome chance to win a FREE trip to State of the Map in Denver!

Create a fun and unique video about what OpenStreetMap means to you and why you should be chosen and you could be the lucky winner!

Here are the details:


OpenStreetMap Video Competition

Create a 1-3 minute video with the following criteria to guide you:

1. The video should be fun, unique and show what OpenStreetMap means to you.

2. Explain why we should choose you to be at State of the Map 2011!

3. Normal necessities and niceties:

No vulgar language

No nudity

No animal cruelty

4. Video must have CC, CC-BY or CC-BY-SA licensing

5.  Post your video to with the hash symbol: #sotm11

6. Email your submission (plus link to video) to

Hint: Promote your video on twitter, blogs, FaceBook, etc to get more views!

The competition is open now until July 8th, 2011 11:59pm PST.

Winner will be announced by July 15th, 2011.

Winner will be chosen by a combination of video popularity and by the SotM organizing committee.

Enter as many times as you like!

No purchase necessary.

*Free trip includes round-trip flight, hotel for three nights and one (1) Passport ticket to State of the Map 2011.


Scholarships available to State of the Map 2011

Today the State of the Map committee announced a program to cover full travel and accommodation costs for mappers to attend State of the Map 2011 in Denver, Colorado (United States).

More information about scholarships can be found on the State of the Map website and the OSM wiki page

Here are the general guidelines: 

 *candidates should be from places where costs would prohibit attendance, developing countries and places that are “interesting” geopolitically. 

 *ideal candidates for funding are from countries with a small OSM community, perhaps just a few mappers in total.

*nominees have made a significant start at mapping their city, either through imagery or with their own GPS, and are directly familiar with the process of OSM. They may have started communicating among themselves, and made plans and scoped out the process for their local district. But, the community is nowhere near critical mass, and they need the inspiration and support to take OSM to the next level.


Nominations should be sent to For each nomination, include the mappers name, OSM user name, email address, location, and a paragraph or two on why they’d be great to have at SOTM. Self nominations are accepted.

The nomination period is open until June 25th and the number of scholarships rewarded will be based on the success of fund-raising. You can also be part of the Sponsor-a-Mapper program, to help fund deserving mappers to attend State of the Map. 


Early bird registration for State of the Map and FOSS4G closing soon

This is it folks! Only six weeks remain to grab early bird pricing on registration for State of the Map 2011.


Be sure to grab your price savvy tickets now before normal prices kick in. 

And while you’re getting your State of the Map ticket, be sure to check out the FOSS4G (Free & Open Source Software for Geospatial) coming up the week following SotM. Plus stay for Denver’s Oktoberfest, sure to please the beer lover in all of us.

Flight and hotel discounts are still available with more information about Denver at the State of the Map website.


Count down to State of the Map: T – 18 weeks!


More cool tricks by the MapQuest Open team

The MapQuest Open team have done it again! Check out these cool tricks they’ve created for OSM fun:

API allows searching the OpenStreetMap (OSM) data by name=value pairs or bounding box! Very cool stuff if you’re trying to find all the golf courses in OSM data in the greater Denver area:|leisure=golf_course%5D%5Bbbox=-105.20983780356221,39.59556488319815,-104.66052139733415,39.83325197240866%5D  

Here’s the link to the actual tool: all GUI and pretty with an XML response. 

The Nominatim Pre-Indexed Data Service gives OSM developers another database location (hosted on the MapQuest servers) from which to download the large Planet OSM data file from – the beauty is that this data file is already indexed so you don’t have to waste any time indexing a 15GB+ file! Once a developer has Nominatim running on their local server, they can download, via the NPI Data Service, updates approximately every 5 minutes.

A recent quote from the Open team:“you can set Nominatim up on a fairly crappy machine as long as it has reasonable disks, because a single processor home computer can load it from NPI.” They’re all about keeping things easy for anyone wanting the latest and greatest geocode data from OSM! 

Lastly, they’ve created a Broken Polygon Report that anyone can use to help make OSM data better and more accurate via JOSM or Potlatch 2. Think of how you’ve been editing an area only to find a sizable chunk of map data that is just messed up and you have to correct that first, before finishing up your edit…arugh! Another example is when OSM had an issue last December where a broken polygon ended up having all of Virginia being shown in Maryland. A broken polygon can mean that any map area can get “flooded” by another, as one polygon’s fill bleeds into the other via that broken gap. This report allows folks to easily find these little (or big) errors and fix them!

You can read more about XAPI, NPI and the Broken Polygon tool on the DevBlog and click on the pretty hyperlinks here: 

Big, huge, massive thanks go out to Matt Amos, Brian Quinion, Kumiko Yamazaki and Cameron Thomas for making this happen! 

Deadline extended for State of the Map call for papers

The State of the Map call for papers deadline has been extended through June 15, 2011, giving more time for great papers to be presented to the selection committee. There has been a great response for topics from several countries and we want to make sure the opportunity to be apart of this years conference is open to those who are still formulating talks.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation invite contributions from mappers, academics, geo-hackers and open geodata supporters around the world. If you are involved in OpenStreetMap mapping, coding or community organisation – or if you want the chance to present your ideas or opinions to the OpenStreetMap community, you should submit a paper to the State of the Map 2011!

More information on the Call for Papers


OpenStreetMap at Where 2.0 and Wherecamp

OpenStreetMap will be at Where 2.0 this April 19-21 with a booth in the exhibition hall. Following Where 2.0 is WherecampSF and several OSMers helping plan a mapping party on Friday during the geogames! Learn more about each event below. 


The Business of Location: Where 2.0 April 19-21, 2011

Where is business: where people live, where they go, and where, when, and how they spend their money are now key factors in business success. From product development to distribution, marketing, and sales, location technologies help companies identify, understand, and serve their markets far more effectively than ever before.

The O’Reilly Where 2.0 Conference explores the intersection of location technologies and trends in software development, business strategies, and marketing. The source for all things location-aware, Where 2.0 brings together CTOs, marketers, developers, technologists, researchers, geographers, startups, business developers, and entrepreneurs, to shed light on the issues surrounding:

Development- Mobile, Development- Location, Business and Strategy, Marketing, HTML5, Data Collection, the future of mapping and much more.

Zero in on the business of location at Where 2.0. Join us April 19-21, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara in Santa Clara, California.

extracted from the where 2.0 website

Wherecamp SF: April 22-23, 2011

WhereCamp is an unconference for people fascinated by place. We are an eclectic crowd ranging from urban cartographers, environmentalists, locative media artists, augmented reality developers, simulations and modeling theorists.

Often people wanting to simply understand more about the space or fund in the space also are drawn into the fold. The San Francisco version ends up being an (unofficial) Where2.0 after-party with intense conversation, presentations and dialogue. Many people say it is the highlight of their year. We’re fully sponsored and the event is free to attend but participation is mandatory – you are expected to present your projects or at least give your voice to other peoples presentations.

Join us! All you have to do is participate, educate, learn, contribute and share. We all want to hear each others voices – yours too. Sessions are organized in a bottom up way where any participant can propose a talk, topic or discussion which are held in multiple streams in multiple rooms simultaneously.


United Airlines official travel partner for State of the Map

Flying to Denver in September? United Airlines is proud to be the offical airline for State of the Map 2011.

No matter where you are coming from, you can look to get 5%- 20% off your travel fare. 

For more details and our travel discount code, visit or the travel wiki page for the fine print.


United airplane photo by is licensed CC-By

Donation to OSMF by MapQuest/AOL

More great news for OpenStreetMap!  A gift of fifty thousand dollars has been donated by MapQuest/AOL to the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The funds follow an earlier donation by MapQuest to the Foundation in September 2010.

Donate today!

Donations to the OpenStreetMap Foundation enable OSMF to acquire and operate the infrastructure that makes OpenStreetMap work. Recently, this has meant exciting things like faster disks and more RAM for OSM servers, but it has also meant improvements in important but mundane things like back-up power and cabling.

Contributions from companies like MapQuest and from individuals like you are what keeps OpenStreetMap going. Your donations of local knowledge and GPS track files keep the OSM database growing. And your contributions of time, expertise and financial support allow the OSM infrastructure to grow with the database.

You can donate to OpenStreetMap with your credit card.