The Romantic Mappers of State of the Map

Has it really already been a month since the amazing State of the Map 2009?!

One of the most exciting, inspiring conferences I’ve been involved in. And one of the most well documented conferences. The wiki has links to all the media, including many full presentation slides/videos .. definitely worth exploring. My feelings are shared with Tim Waters (getting awesomely un-British-ly emotional), Aaron Cope who said “hard to ever imagine a world without Open Street Maps”, Uncle Ed Parsons, and more.

On the first time business day, some big announcements, such a Yahoo! saying “that by the end of 2010 we would remove all proprietary sources from our place data, looking to OSM’s open data to help us replace our proprietary data”, and Geocommons open-sourced Geocoder.

Sold out attendance by 250 folks, a great venue, great city. Inspiration. Just a success. Thanks everyone.

My presentation on Free and Open Palestine was well received, thanks to SOTM for giving the stage to tell this story. On video.

Was great that my JumpStart colleague Jeff Haack could come out to Amsterdam, giving us some time to look at the future of mapping on the edges.

Despite being “all grown up and serious”, OpenStreetMap and State of the Map is just fun. This is perhaps the key creative point to the entire success of the project.

I was especially excited to help put together Cakes! In mapping parties, the Cake refers to the division of a city into sections for mappings. With the OSM license, we were able to make these actual eatable delicious sweet cakes. Thanks to Geocommons for sponsoring cakes, Matt Amos for generating the images, and the SOTM organizing team for arranging with the local bakers/printers.

Mike Collinson organized the 2009 SOTM poetry competition. How great is it that our geek community is full of poets! I didn’t submit anything this time, but have been known to write a poem when the occasion called for it!

Sunday morning, the secret “geo celebrity” was everyone .. it was a “Lazy OSM” session led by Nick. I stumbled in a little late Sunday morning, so missed the fun .. Chippy captured the LazyOSM tweets. The idea came out at WhereCamp (#lazygeo) and again at CrisisCamp (#lazycrisis) .. everyone has a long list of ideas they will never work on, so why not just lazily release to the world to implement, in a live setting. You have 140 characters or less to describe your idea, followed by rapid responses from the crowd. Everything is tweeted. The rapid, shallow rush through the unfulfilled dreams of participant brings up the entire range, from shining brilliant ideas, to the dark side of worst fears when it comes to technology.

The closing Dutch auction was such an amazing performance by Henk Hoff. I definitely got swept up in the moment, and big on keychains, posters, and a banner. Have plans to take these to all corners of the globe. The Foundation earned more money in that half hour than all our merchandising all year (we better improve that!).

Finally, I rapidly set up a Gigapan unit and captured a dimly lit but complete zoomable portrait of SOTM attendees.

This is all without even mentioning the Scholarship program, my main and continuing focus of the events. More next.