[Talk-us] US meetups?
thea at cloudmade.com
Fri Apr 30 17:50:45 BST 2010
Here are some more OSM related sites I'm connected with. CloudMade repays me for the meetup.com fees.
Austin, TX: http://www.meetup.com/Austin-OpenStreetMappers/ and http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=358884127712
Dallas, TX: http://www.meetup.com/Dallas-OpenStreetMappers/
San Antonio, TX: http://www.meetup.com/San-Antonio-OpenStreetMappers/
I agree that the cost of Meetup.com is a burden to organizers. The reason I have continued to use it is because frankly its hard to organize events and provide a palatable social networking platform for group members to easily stay in touch between events/work on long term projects using only the wiki and talk-us.
Some of the Meetup groups I organize have switched over to Facebook because a majority of the mappers are already using the service, its super easy to do and free. I personally really like the concept of the MappingDC page (www.mappingdc.org) but I think in general setting up and running a standalone site for each local group is both a burden to organizers and not scalable.
My base level concern with all of these sites is that they are not really connected with OSM proper or each other. Having local OSM groups on so many sites is fine in theory and I don't want to micromanage by advocating people must use XXXXX site. I think communities should be free to self-organize any way they want. But logistically it becomes very hard to get groups talking with each other or the larger OSM community when they are scattered. Communication between groups early on is important because often new/potenial organizers are unaware of all the resources and experience found in the existing community. I get the sense that groups are forming on these outside sites mainly out of necessity rather than inherent preference of one over the other. As interest in organizing city level groups for more coordinated mapping grows I think OSM-US could possibly provide this essential service to community members in a free and OSM-centric environment.
Personally I agree with Ian's idea. I would love to see an OSM-US site like the one in Germany ( http://www.openstreetmap.de/) that would have city level pages similar to MappingDC. If I remember correctly we have donated servers re Ian and SteveC has the domain openstreetmap.us ( http://email@example.com/msg02623.html). That way we can serve the needs of current members but also have an engaging centralized place were newbies can go to find resources, connect with other mappers in their area or, if there are no other mappers nearby, start the local community themselves.
I think all we are missing are people to help design and populate the site. Is anyone interested in teaming up to get this done?
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