State of the Map 2013

the OpenStreetMap event: 6-8 September 2013

Regional Press Release


Digital Boost for the Midlands

Hundreds of digital mappers from around the world will descend on Birmingham in September as OpenStreetMap brings its annual international State of the Map conference to the city. Previous conferences have assembled in Tokyo, Denver, Girona and Amsterdam. The State of the Map conference atttracts a wide interest from cartographers, mappers, software developers, outdoor sports enthusiasts, and businesses with an interest in location-based data.
OpenStreetMap is transforming the way maps are made and used. Collecting, editing and publishing geographical data with a global army of over 1 million volunteers creates maps with levels of detail and dynamism unachievable by other means. Volunteers collect lots of data that is of specific interest to their communities, which might not otherwise be collected. Commercial processes can proceed very slowly in the world of digital maps, whereas being volunteer-based OpenStreetMap data is very responsive to changes. All of the data collected is published under an open license so anyone may use the data freely.
Groups and individuals who contribute and use OpenStreetMap data will be present at State of the Map 2013. Amongst them will be  Aid and Development NGOs, who were quick to recognise the advantages of OpenStreetMap’s methods and now regularly request volunteer teams to build maps rapidly in areas of the world where humanitarian crises erupt. On the business side there is a booming market in the creation and manipulation of digital map data. This market is driving a vibrant community of developers who create tools at a furious pace to cope with the increasing sophistication of users’ demands.
“This is a golden opportunity for West Midlands and indeed UK software developers to meet the people changing the face of digital maps; and to investigate new lines of business in an increasingly mobile and information-hungry world” said Brian Prangle, local organiser for State of the Map 2013.
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