Category Archives: State of the Map

State Of The Map. The OpenStreetMap conference organised by the foundation

State of the Map 2018 tickets now on sale

Tickets for State of the Map 2018 are now on sale. Come register for this international gathering of the OpenStreetMap community. Move fast in order to guarantee yourself the “Early Bird” discounted rate!

State of the Map offers value for anyone excited about open location data. Our main conference days will feature around 50 talks, open spaces for gatherings, and exhibition areas where individuals and organizations can meet. Hundreds of OpenStreetMap community members are expected to attend and we want you there!

The early bird catches the worm. Or “chi primo arriva, meglio alloggia.” The world of OpenStreetMap belong to those who get (tickets) early.

State of the Map 2018 Academic Track – Call for abstracts

In parallel to the standard sessions, this year State of the Map will run an Academic Track session to showcase the great importance OpenStreetMap has gained within the scientific and academic communities. The Academic Track aims to bring together and foster interactions between OpenStreetMap contributors and scientific researchers from all over the world. Consequently this will demonstrate both the potential and maturity of scientific investigations based on OpenStreetMap to the whole community and stimulate a beneficial discussion among the attendees. Contributions are expected to address any scientific aspect related to OpenStreetMap, in particular, but not limited, to the following:

  • Quality of OpenStreetMap data.
  • Analysis of contribution patterns in OpenStreetMap.
  • Exploitation of OpenStreetMap data to generate new scientifically valuable datasets.
  • Integration of OpenStreetMap data with other datasets to generate new scientifically valuable datasets.
  • Scientific applications of OpenStreetMap.
  • New approaches to facilitate or improve data collection in OpenStreetMap (e.g. through gamification or citizen science approaches).
  • Literature reviews on specific aspects of OpenStreetMap.
  • Creating better connections and collaborations between the scientific community and the OpenStreetMap community.
  • Open research problems in OpenStreetMap and challenges for the scientific community.

Authors are invited to submit abstracts using this form.
Deadline: March 4th, 2018.

The maximum length of the abstract is 2500 characters. Abstracts must be scientifically rigorous and structured as follows: introduction/background, where the problem addressed is introduced; main aim or purpose of the study; brief description of the methodology and findings achieved; final discussion highlighting the scientific contribution of the study and its practical benefits/implications. Abstracts describing the use, analysis and processing of OpenStreetMap data for new and unconventional applications/disciplines are particularly encouraged.

Abstracts will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to give an oral presentation during the Academic Track sessions at the conference. In addition, authors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit a full paper for the Special Issue “Open Source Geospatial Software” of the journal Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards.

Scientific Committee

  • Dr. Marco Minghini – Politecnico di Milano, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Italy
  • Dr. Peter Mooney – Maynooth University, Department of Computer Science, Ireland
  • Dr. Vyron Antoniou – Geographic Directorate, Hellenic Army General Staff, Greece
  • Prof. Maria Antonia Brovelli – Politecnico di Milano, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Italy
  • Dr. Frank Ostermann – University of Twente, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), The Netherlands
  • Dr. Amin Mobasheri – GIScience Research Group, Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University, Germany
  • Joost Schouppe – OpenStreetMap Belgium, Belgium

Apply for support to join us in Milan for State of the Map 2018

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The application form for State of the Map 2018 grants and scholarships is now open.

OpenStreetMap is a world map of many people and places. And we want you all there for our upcoming State of the Map conference in Milan. We can provide financial support to help you to join in the fun thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. This year we welcome back BingFacebookMapbox as Gold sponsors, Telenav as Silver sponsor, and say hello to Italian company, Immobiliare.it who joins at Silver level.

Apply now for support to join us in Milan for State of the Map 2018!
Deadline: Wednesday 14th February 2018.

Each year we receive more scholarship applications than we are able to support. To help us best allocate the funds, we have different levels of scholarship – you can now pick from Grants for speakers, or Full or Enhanced scholarships.

Here are some tips to help you complete your application. You can also check out Gregory’s post on how we selected scholars from previous year’s applicants.

  • Select the minimum level of scholarship you need to attend. This will help us to make the best use of limited funds.
  • Answer the question “How will attending State of the Map benefit you and OpenStreetMap” in 1500 characters maximum. Keep sentences short. Focus on the benefits to you and to OpenStreetMap.
  • We want to hear about your contributions to OpenStreetMap, your project or your group. We do not want an account of a group’s work but your individual part in it. Try to use “I” not “we“.
  • You may include links to your OpenStreetMap profile, a local group you run, or software you created. If your written answer is satisfactory to get in our shortlist – we might take a look at these additional details.
  • What topics or views will you bring to State of the Map that are otherwise missing?
  • What do you plan to do when you return home after State of the Map?

Whilst you are here don’t forget that you can also read the experiences that our scholars gained from being able to attend State of the Map 2017.

Apply now!

This post was updated in late June 2018 to include the sponsors from our top two tiers.

Propose your session for State of the Map 2018!

In July the OpenStreetMap community will be coming together for our annual State of the Map conference, this year in Milan, Italy. It is set to be an exciting three day event where mappers, programmers, practitioners, entrepreneurs, and policy makers will share their passion for OpenStreetMap.

We invite you to submit your session proposals for the 2018 State of the Map, by Sunday, 18th February 2018.

You are encouraged to submit proposals for 20 minute talks, 5 minute lightning talks, and 75 minute workshops that will result in progress and excitement in the world of OpenStreetMap. If you require a grant or scholarship to attend, please note that you will have to complete an additional form which we will publish in the next few weeks. Again, the deadline to submit your session proposals is Sunday, 18th February 2018.

Apply here

This year, we are particularly keen to see applications from good quality workshops (please apply for a grant or scholarship if it will help you). We also want to welcome academic talks, and will soon be releasing an additional form for you to submit your academic abstracts for peer-review.

Milan is known as the fashion capital of the world and is equally famous for its art, design and stunning architecture such as the Duomo – one of the biggest and grandest Gothic cathedrals in the world. This year we are delighted to be hosted at Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic University of Milan), home of the PoliMappers and we will be based in the building shown above. This year’s logo was designed by Angelica Braccia and can be seen in all its glory on our website.

A look back at the conferences of 2017

Mappy New Year! 2017 has been an eventful year for OpenStreetMap. The communities across the globe not only hosted some amazing State of the Map conferences but also plenty of meetups, mapathons, mapping parties, workshops and much more that brought us, mappers, together and celebrated the essence of OpenStreetMap.

The State of the Map (SotM) conference is the annual, international conference of OpenStreetMap. Organised by the OpenStreetMap Foundation it has been held each year since 2007 (except 2015). There are also many other regional and local conferences named “State of the Map”. Please note that these regional SotMs are organised exclusively by local teams, which run their own sponsorship programs and have separate budgets from the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The main aim of these conferences is for them to become a platform for the exchange of information and experiences between old and new or potential users.

In this review, we have also included some non-SotM conferences that also focus a lot on OpenStreetMap.

Cheers to all the organisers and participants who made these conference a success, as well as contributing to making OpenStreetMap what it is!

FOSS4G Italy, 8th-11th February 2017

2017 started with this Italian conference on Free and Open Source Software and Geographic Data “FOSS4G-IT 2017” held in Genoa.

Group photo (Source: Website)

FOSSGIS, 22nd-25th March 2017

The 2017 FOSSGIS Conference was organized by the non-profit FOSSGIS eV and the OpenStreetMap Community with the support of the University of Passau. Users and developers gathered for a common exchange about application and work opportunities as well as the latest developments in this field.

Group photo (Source)

SotM France, 2nd-4th June 2017

The OpenStreetMap community in France organised a regional  State of the Map conference for the 5th time. This was the first regional State of the Map conference of the year and it took place in Avignon.

Some of the 250 attendees of State of the Map France (source)

SotM Africa, 8th–10th July 2017

The first State of the Map in Africa took place in Kampala, Uganda. It was inspiring to see so many passionate OSM volunteers from different parts of Africa altogether.

Group photo from the first SotM Africa (Source)

International SotM 18th-20th August 2017, Japan

This year the international State of the Map conference, organised by the SotM Working Group of the OpenStreetMap Foundation together with the local community, took place in  Aizuwakamatsu. Everyone enjoyed three days in, Japan with talks, discussions and workshops all around the free and open map of the world. You can read about the experiences of our scholars here and we hope to see you at international SotM 2018, which will take place on the 28th-30th of July 2018 in Milan, Italy!

Group photo from SotM (Source)

SotM Asia, 23rd-24th September 2017

State of the Map Asia, the annual regional conference of OpenStreetMap took place in Kathmandu, Nepal. The conference brought together about 175 Open Mapping enthusiasts from 16 countries in Asia, two countries in North America and two countries in Europe. The event provided an opportunity to share experiences, learn from each other and think collectively about the future development of OSM in Asia.

Different OSM communities across Asia came together at the State of the Map Asia 2017 conference (source)

SotM United States, 19th-22nd October 2017

State of the Map US took place in Boulder, Colorado. This was a platform for mappers, businesses, government agencies, and non-profits, to collaborate around OpenStreetMap.

Group photo from the State of the Map US 2017 (Source – CC-BY 2.0 Justin R. Miller)

FOSS4G + SotM Argentina, 23rd-28th October 2017

The OpenStreetMap and FOSS4G communities met at the combined event in Buenos Aires,   with six days full of geomatics workshops, presentations, exhibitions and interactions.

Group photo at the conference

SotM CZ, 4th-5th November 2017

This year’s SotM Czech Republic took place as part of OpenAlt conference.

A presentation on OSM for Location Intelligence during the conference (source)

SotM Latin America, 29th November – 2nd December 2017

This year’s SotM LatAm took place in Lima, the capital city of Peru. There were many interesting sessions that took place at the conference. You can read more about it here.

SotM Cameroon, 1st–3rd December 2017

This first SotM Cameroon brought together the actors of Geomatics in Cameroon. There was great participation from the community in making this conference a success.

A group photo of the OSM community in Cameroon taken in 2015 (Source)

SotM Tanzania, 8th–10th December 2017

Over 150 people from 10 countries came together at SotM TZ to explore how mapping can help develop Tanzania, people working in this field, and learn GIS and mapping skills at introductory and advanced levels.

Attendee Innocent Maholi captures a picture (Source)

These were a few of the many amazing conferences that happened in 2017. Let’s make sure that 2018 sees more such events for OpenStreetMap and continues to help communities network and grow!

Using the “State of the Map” Name

Interested in hosting a regional conference and want to have in the name “State of the Map” or “OpenStreetMap”? Please notify the OSM Foundation as soon as possible. This is to ensure that there are no timing conflicts with the International or other SotMs nearby. It also gives us some protection of our trademarks.

Are you far into the planning stage for your regional SotM conference in 2018? No need to worry, but please notify us immediately too. Note that the updated policy does not affect people organising mapping parties. We will tell you more about our updated trademark IP policy soon, so stay tuned!

OpenStreetMap Awards

DINACon digital sustainability


The OpenStreetMap community recently received an award at the DINACon conference on digital sustainability.

OpenStreetMap is showing itself to be sustainable in various ways. Our database is available to download in its entirety, which helps to ensure the hard work of our contributors will always live on regardless, but our core servers keep humming thanks to many generous donations to OSMF over the years, as well as funding from our corporate membership programme. Most important of all, our community continues to thrive, attracting new members, while retaining wonderfully dedicated long-term contributors (to whom this award was dedicated). Thank you to everyone who helps make OpenStreetMap sustainable.

Thanks also to Simon Poole, Stefan Keller, and Michael Spreng who accepted the award, as well as running an OpenStreetMap session at this conference.

While we’re on the topic of awards…

OpenStreetMap Awards 2017

During our own conference, the international State Of the Map, in Japan back in August, we held the OpenStreetMap Awards ceremony. If you missed it, these are the results:

  • The Core Systems Award went to Kevin Bullock – For making available two new satellite imagery layers directly from DigitalGlobe, which drastically increased coverage in OSM editors
  • The Innovation Award went to Tobias Zwick – For the StreetComplete android application, which drives thousands of attribute edits to OSM
  • The Influential Writing Award went to Ramani Huria – Great blog posts about community, mapping, techniques for OpenStreetMap in Tanzania and Africa.
  • The Greatness in Mapping Award went to Jochen Topf – For the global polygon fixing effort, which updated all the old-style multipolygons and continues to fix thousands of errors every day
  • The Expanding the Community Award went to Pete Masters – For 4 years as Missing Maps project coordinator, introducing countless contributors to OSM, supporting communities in Bangladesh, DRC, CAR and many other countries. Remarkable outreach for humanitarian mapping & OSM in general.
  • The Improving Latin America Award went to GeoChicas – Working against sexism and making projects to integrate OSM’s users
  • The Improving Africa Award went to the State of the Map Africa Organising Team – For putting huge efforts into making SOTM happen in Africa for the very first time
  • The Improving Asia Award went to Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Indonesia – For training disabled people and their carers to map the areas they live. A great example of how inclusivity and diversity can by both fostered and supported by OpenStreetMap
  • The Ulf Möller Memorial Award went to Martin Raifer – For the Overpass Turbo web based data mining tool.

The OSM awards website has a list of all nominees, and details of why they were nominated (also on this blog). Well worth a read. It’s a catalogue of spectacular individual contributions made to OpenStreetMap throughout the 2016/2017, and all of these nominees deserve our congratulations.

 

Let’s meet at the State of the Map, Japan!

OpenStreetMap communities form an integral part of OpenStreetMap. State of the Map conferences is held across the globe to celebrate the essence of these communities. Through the year we get an opportunity to interact with fellow OpenStreetMap contributors via various channels like OSM diaries, mailing lists, OSM Forum and many others, but seldom have an opportunity to meet those that live far from us. State of the Map conferences has become one of the platforms where the OSM usernames get faces and reflect the online world of OSM that we interact with every day!

To make the most of this opportunity you can now use this attendees page! You can add your OSM username, projects you have been or are working on, the country you are from, the dates you are planning to attend the conference and your contact information.

Photo by Harry Wood, CC BY-SA 2.0 on Flickr

Why is this useful? You can connect more easily with people from different parts of the world working on similar projects as you are. It can help you coordinate your travel with fellow OpenStreetMap contributors. It will help in setting up sessions, meetings and most importantly, help you make the most out of State of the Map.
Don’t forget to add your details and do look into the page before you travel to State of the Map!

See you all in Japan!

Choose the best among us at OSM Awards 2017

A winners certificate from OSM Awards 2016The community voting for the OpenStreetMap Awards 2017 is open! During the call for nominees you submitted more than a hundred of them. Then a number of active community members have prepared a shorter list. Now it is again your turn: choose who gets an award at the ceremony at the State of the Map in Japan.

This time you would need to consider 45 nominees in 9 categories. That is a tiny fraction of active community members who did good in the past year, but still a lot to choose from. To make your task simpler, we have made a couple of changes.

You don’t have to select only one nominee for a category: that was a hard choice last year, and most of the time you’d wish you had more votes. Now you have! Choose as many as you like, even all of them. This process is called Approval Voting: studies show it is much fairer that the regular one-vote voting, and much easier to understand than STV. The winner is still determined by the number of votes.

And do use the fact that you can change or add to your votes at any time until the voting ends (that would be on 16th of August). We will cover all nominees in this blog, so you could make an informed choice. Starting right now, with the two technical categories. Nominees are listed in a random order.

Core Systems Award

For outstanding contributions to any of the core tools, systems, processes or resources. Not limited to systems under OSMF control. The Rails port, mapnik, and any other tool that mappers use on a daily basis, knowingly or not, are eligible.

  • Hartmut Holzgraefe: the old MapOSMatic service for printing atlases went offline, but Hartmut set up the fork last year. And he did not stop at that: every week he is improving it in different ways. He has the biggest collection of map styles ready for printing. He added email notifications and fixed UI issues. You can even add your data on top of the map.
  • Bryan Housel: you know iD, our amazing web-based editor. Bryan is supervising its development. Recently he has added a tutorial to it, and it is years ahead of what other OSM software offer. That tutorial even has an entire imaginary town to play with!
  • Andy Allan: he has been improving OSM in small ways long before, but just a month ago Andy joined the website maintainers team and immediately started working on improving the code. And before that he upgraded all the tests for the website: important, but not very fun work, we guess.
  • Kevin Bullock: as an employee of DigitalGlobe, he has been always asked at State of the Map conferences about new satellite imagery for OpenStreetMap. This Spring, due to his efforts, we finally got two new imagery layers. You must have already seen them in your editor of choice.
  • Paul Norman and Matthijs Melissen: for more than half a year these two had been working on a major refactoring of our map style, the one you’ve liked even after roads changed their colours. Now all the rendering databases were reloaded, and style designers can finally use any tags they like: surface, covered, public_transport, you name it.
Yohan Boniface for Innovation Award

A slide from the 2016 ceremony

Innovation Award

For the best new service or approach. New tools for contributing data, image recognition, trace or OSM data analysis, new mapping approach or new perspective on old tools.

  • Michael Straßburger: do “telnet mapscii.me” in a console, and you will see a map of the whole world, rendered with letters and punctuation. MapSCII is a brilliant example of all our map rendering technologies at work: vector tiles from the last year winner OSM2VectorTiles, mapbox GL styles, vector transformations. While visually simple, it proves we can do anything with our map.
  • Yuri Astrakhan: people have long used SPARQL queries with Wikidata, and Yuri’s service links that with the spatial OSM database using 750 thousand “wikidata” keys we have. Now you can query for cities more than 2000 years old or get first ascension time for mountain peaks and get OSM identifiers for these.
  • OpenTopoMap maintainers: made by Stefan, Philipp and Martin, OpenTopoMap renders the whole world in a topographic style falimiar to tourists and hikers. It also provides weekly updated Garmin extracts, so you don’t have to buy paper maps for a trip.
  • Tobias Zwick: he is the author of the StreetComplete android map editor. Announced just in March, it has taken mappers by the storm, with half a million edits made by 5000 users. The app makes it very easy to map important properties of roads and amenities. Tobias constantly improves the app and listens to the comments on mailing lists and on GitHub.
  • Sajjad Anwar: visualizing changesets is one of the hardest problems in OpenStreetMap. Most of us has been using Achavi, but it is slow due to the nature of requests to Overpass API. Sajjad removed the need for querying by creating a cache of all recent changesets, so visualizing takes less than a second. His work is already used by the OSMCha, a validation tool, and could possibly be integrated into the OSM website.

Now that you know what these ten nominees did, head to the OSM Awards website and click on these you think should get an award for their work. We’ll return next week to look at writing and mapping categories.

Photo of the certificate © Blog Conhecer OpenStreetMap

Who is in your space at State of the Map?

Image taking during mapathons at Open Labs Hackerspace in Albania

Working together. Picture from a photo under CC BY-SA 4.0 by Anxhelo Lushka

There is a great program of talks and workshops for this year’s State of the Map, but as people gather from around the world we want to make the most of this in-person time together. On all three days of the conference we’ll have some rooms available for a more informal schedule.

Bookable Spaces

What area of OpenStreetMap are you involved in, and do you want to discuss specific subjects with like-minded people? The engineering group, mappers that cycle, those wanting to increase diversity and representation,… we’ve had some great sessions before.

Edit the OSM wiki page to suggest a group or a topic, so others can get interested in joining you. During the conference, confirm your session with the event team for its time slot to be decided.

Free and Open Space

After an inspiring talk or during the lunch breaks you might find yourself deep in conversation with fellow delegates and want to carry on the discussion away from the noise of our foyer area. There will be a room known as “Free and Open Space” that can’t be booked. This might also be a place where small groups would want to work together, coding a new feature of OpenStreetMap software or collaborating on documentation and guides.

Turn up when you want to use it, find some chairs, and chat away.

Lightning Talks

Check out the program for this year’s selection of talks. Perhaps something new has happened since the deadline for proposing talks, perhaps you didn’t have the idea quite worked out. On Friday and Sunday we will try to make some extra slots available for lightning talks. These are quick five-minute talks that don’t need to have slides.

If you’ve got something to share in this manner, please add it to the OSM wiki page so that we are aware of how much time we would need to make available.

Your State of the Map team

Visa information to support your trip to State of the Map in Japan

Travelling to State of the Map in Japan? You may need to first obtain a travel visa. This post will guide you through the process of checking and obtaining a visa.

The first step is to determine whether you need a visa. We recommend using this handy tool which makes it quick and easy to check. Those people who are fortunate to be able to travel to Japan without a visa can stop reading – we look forward to meeting you at State of the Map.

Visa policy of Japan, (c) Twofortnights, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

If you determined that you do need a visa then you will need to contact us. To make the process as smooth as possible, please head over to this page and complete the “Visa application form”, “Invitation Letter” (visa applicant section) and “Itinerary in Japan”. We will complete the remaining part of the invitation letter and send it back to you. You should also take time to familiarise yourself with the visa process described here for most nationalities as you will also need to prepare other documents including the “Letter of guarantee” (if a company is paying your travel expenses) or recent bank statements (if you are paying all expenses).