Popped along to the Porterhouse pub in Londons Covent Garden this Saturday to join in with the celebrations for the 2nd Anniversary of Openstreetmap. Nice to meet everyone!!
It was very good, some photos are here. Some of the good things (even though I did become rather merry, started waxing lyrical about the glorious future and then started handing out the lovely badges to the newcomers!), was making jokes about mapping Kenya and rhinos, laughing at the airport chaos, finding out about Test Way, comparing the various GPS devices (yes it was predicted, yes it did happen!) One of my favourite bits was seeing the print outs of the Southampton and Isle of Wight area, and the European poster. There’s a great satisfaction to be had from mapping. Its a creative activity, and the people who took part in the mapping of the Isle of Wight were beaming when they saw the printouts.
The other main thing, of course, is face to face meeting. Putting names to faces. Although the actual mapping tends to be a solo activity, the OSM has generated a real community who care and are passionate about it, and the future. I think these community events are really crucial, for generating new ideas, to confirming or allaying thoughts and doubts, for meeting new people, creating collaborations etc. There are more mapping weekends planned, in Bath, and the New Forest areas. See the OpenStreetMap website for more info.
Nice to chat with some of the folks from the GLUG (Greater London Linux Users Group), hopefully the word will get out and more people will start being involved.
Some conversations I can just about remember were: Making the applet editor more user/newbie friendly, looking into distributed networking for osm (tile server), how to get other communities on board (ramblers for example), the importance of networking its who you know that’s most important, and the Ordnance Survey.
My take on the whole “Openstreetmap vs Ordnance Survey” is one of disinterest . I am not a great believer in negative reasons for doing stuff, and, although there are valid criticisms against the OS, I think that people can do better and more work for the love of and fun of creating a good free open streetmap. One of the other great benefits is that mapping gets people off their chairs and into the world, exploring new streets, seeing things differently, is really good. If you choose to cycle, it can also improve ones health 😉
p.s. took me forever to get to Sussex afterwards…left the pub at 10:15…got in at 2am.