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All Change: State of the Map Conference returns to UK after 6 years
OpenStreet Map's annual international conference will be in the UK after an absence of 6 years. Birmingham will host the event from 6th-8th September 2013 at Aston University's Business School.
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.
All of the data collected is published under an open license so anyone may use the data freely.d 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 with mainstream businesses increasingly switching to OpenStreetMap for their online mapping requirements. Even Obama's White House makes use of OpenStreetMap. 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.
And what a lot has changed in OpenStreetMap in the intervening 6 years since the inaugural conference in the UK at Manchester in July 2007! 6 years during which the conference has assembled in Limerick, Girona, Amsterdam, Denver and Tokyo.
SotM 2007 10,000 registered users; NOW 1.05 million
SotM 2007 50 million GPS points; NOW 3.1 billion
SotM 2007 5 million ways*; NOW 175 million
So much has happened and is happening to OpenStreetMap that the theme of this year's conference is "Change".
Delegates will assemble to celebrate the scale of the changes and achievements so far, and will examine current practice, organisation and relationships; and prepare for the changes we can expect in the next 6 years.
In keeping with the theme of "Change" local organisers are planning some surprises to the conference content. Watch this space!
Simon Poole, Chairman of the OpenStreetMap Foundation reflects: "Change is a constant in OpenStreetMap. Not only does the world around us change and require resurveying all the time, the OpenStreetMap project itself continues to evolve very rapidly in every aspect. The organisation that is returning to the UK with its main public event after 6 years, has grown from a small, fun project, to an undertaking that is competing with multi-billion dollar corporations but still is fun for everybody involved. In that vein I'm looking forward to SOTM in Birmingham and expect that we will all have a great and interesting time."