Category Archives: Media

Open Data from Toronto

Mark Kuznicki hosted the Toronto Open Data Lab at the Toronto Innovations Showcase this week.  This was the official launch of, and the release of several open data sets.

I was pleased to meet so many folks working at the city of Toronto and at the province of Ontario who showed so much interest in Open Data.  There were many great conversations going on, from the exhibition floor at the city hall rotunda to the mixer at a local pub later.  All of these are great signs of a new open-awareness at the city and I see it as overwhelmingly positive.

Being new to the world of Open, the city wanted some feedback regarding for what applications people would use this newly available data.  As Toronto Transit Commission data, addressing data and road centrelines were all released I thought immediately of the travel planner for London from mySociety.

I had that chance to talk to many folks about OpenStreetMap through the course of the day and I was pleased to share my enthusiasm for a travel planner like this using the Toronto data.

Travel planner using Toronto Open Data

The data we have now is imperfect but rather than critiquing the quality of the dance steps of this bear, let’s marvel that Toronto released open data at all.  Most of the data sets grew up in separate silos in Toronto departments.  The folks at the city are as new to these data sets from other departments as we are.  They’ll get used to working with each other in an open environment and that will move them to more of the open tools, standards and practices that we take for granted.  I’m sure we’ll see a bug tracker soon.  We’ll see increased use of open formats rather than proprietary lowest-common-denominators.

Bravo, Mayor Miller, for recognizing the benefits of Open.  Bravo, Mark Surman for challenging Toronto to become a city that thinks like the web,  This is an important step along that way.

Toronto City Hall Photo is licensed cc-by-nc-sa by Vlastula on Flickr

London Travel time map is licensed cc-by-sa by Tom Carden.

Discounts available for OpenStreetMappers to attend Where 2.0

The title says it all. The guys at O’Reilly have given a generous 20% off the ticket price for this year’s Where 2.0 conference to anyone involved in OpenStreetMap.

OpenStreetMappers always make a prominent appearance at Where 2.0 and this year is no exception. To get your discount, use the code “whr09osm”.

Fun at Where 2.0

If you’re in the Bay Area for Where 2.0, make sure you come along to WhereCamp, the unconference for geo-hackers, mappers and location people. You can find out more about WhereCamp here.

Call for Venues for The State of the Map 2009 is now open

Update: New date for publishing the host venue of SOTM09: 15th December

The call for venues for the State of the Map 2009 is now open.  If you would like to be considered as a host for the event, please send an email to, with the following details:

  • Name of the group or individual applying
  • Names and email addresses of the proposed organising committee along with a brief description of their OSM activities to date
  • Name, address and short description of the proposed conference venue
  • Why do you want to host the State of the Map 2009?
  • How will you make the State of the Map 2009 the best yet?
  • What makes your bid different from the others?
  • What will you do to raise sponsorship or other funding for the event?
The dates for the conference have been set to the 11th – 12th July 2009 – so book your time off work now!
The provisional time line is as follows:
  • 16th October – Call for venues opens
  • 16th November – Call for venues closes
  • 29th November 12th December – Successful host is notified
  • 1st  December 15th December- Venue publicly announced
If you are interested in helping out in the organizational efforts of SOTM09, take a look at the conference wiki. For inspiration, take a look at the websites from the SOTM08 and SOTM07.
Who should apply?
Anyone or any group that wish to host the State of the Map 2009 can apply to the OSM Foundation to be considered as a conference host.  You do not need to represent a whole nation – rival bids from the same nation are allowed, but we encourage co-operation between nearby groups.
Are the dates fixed?
To allow delegates to book their time well before the conference, the dates for the event have been set to the 11th – 12th July 2009.
Is the conference format fixed?
No, the format is not fixed.  In the past a two day event has worked well, but prospective hosts may suggest alterations to the format.
Do we need to have a venue confirmed?
No.  You don’t need to have a venue confirmed, but the Foundation will favour applicants who have the most convincing proposal – so having provisional “yes” will be an advantage.
What is the affiliation between the OSM Foundation and the State of the Map?
The State of Map is the conference of the OSM Foundation.  All finances, entry fees and sponsorship should be administered through the Foundation, but applicants are strongly encouraged to seek sponsorship and other support.
What size should the organizing committee be?
That depends a lot on the size of the conference.  In the past conferences of around 100 people have been organized by around 5 people.  The host party is expected to contribute to a large portion of the organisation of the event but the committee should also include representatives from the OSM Foundation who will be able to help out with the organisation.

State of the Map 2008 site and cfp

The State of the Map 2008 international OpenStreetMap conference website and blog is now live and the call for participation/papers has gone out. Speaker slots are limited and like last year are bound to fill up quickly, so send us your abstracts!
The conference is being held at the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel in Limerick, Republic of Ireland on 12th and 13th July 2008.