KnightBlog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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May 30, 2013

Collaborating to improve OpenStreetMap infrastructure

Posted by Alex Barth

The following blog post is written by Alex Barth, data lead at MapBox, a Knight News Challenge winner. Photo credit: Justin Miller.

Over the weekend of June 8 - 9, the annual State of the Map U.S. conference will bring together OpenStreetMap users from all over the world in San Francisco. This will be the largest OpenStreetMap gathering to date and Knight-funded OpenStreetMap infrastructure improvements will be a key topic.

OpenStreetMap, the free and editable map of the world, is in a phase of unprecedented growth. Earlier this year, the project passed the 1 million registered user threshold. This was just a little over a year after it passed the 500,000 user mark. Every week the project adds over 1,000 new mappers. Together they are creating the most comprehensive free and open map of the world, powering applications in humanitarian aidgovernmentthe news and businesses.

This growth creates new challenges and opportunities for the community-run infrastructure of OpenStreetMap.org. This is why the Knight Foundation's $575,000 grant to improve OpenStreetMap infrastructure is so timely. A direct outcome of this investment is the launch of a new OpenStreetMap editor earlier this month, radically improving the learning curve for newcomers to OpenStreetMap while providing a powerful and fast tool to advanced mappers. The editor is entirely built with open source software.

At this year's State of the Map U.S. conference, we want to take the opportunity of having so many of the brightest OpenStreetMap minds together to continue our work to enhance OpenStreetMap's infrastructure. Next to the important improvements to the OpenStreetMap editor, we'll focus more on the social experience on OpenStreetMap.org, better connecting mappers around the amazing work they do.

Come out to San Francisco June 8 and 9 and join the conversation. The conference schedule is packed with talks about the future of OpenStreetMap, there will be a series of workshops for both beginner and advanced OpenStreetMap users and mappers the day before on June 7, and on June 11 and 12 we'll get hands-on with code and documentation over a two-day sprint day.

Sign up and join us, tickets are selling out fast: http://stateofthemap.us/

See you in San Francisco.

By Alex Barth

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