[Talk-GB] Two dozen mapping parties

Andy Robinson (blackadder-lists) ajrlists at googlemail.com
Thu Feb 18 11:56:44 GMT 2010

A few comments and observations from setting up some of the previous

The location doesn't really seem to matter. People will come if it's
advertised well and a core group agree to attend. Then things seem to click.
Having a novel idea, like a mini bus, canal boat, cottage, bbq, hot tub (you
get the idea) seems to add an extra incentive and help add some "fun"

Saturdays were always the best attended days of general mapping weekends.
I'd suggest that some events are focused just on the one day. The obsessive
mapper will always come in early or leave on the Sunday if they want to
anyway. You do however get the occasional local family who will come along
to a Sunday, but they generally on attend for a couple of hours in the
morning or after lunch.

Where there is a local social group, even if its only three mappers who get
together now and again, then you have the makings of a good Saturday morning
mapping party. Those of us in the Midlands will be doing a few of those this
year to knock off areas of the Black Country and hopefully complete Dudley
and its surrounds this year. Meeting around 10am on a Sat and then doing a
couple of hours of mapping before lunch in the pub, goes down well and then
those that want to carry on mapping for another couple of hours afterwards
can do so before heading home. No venue is needed, no wifi, etc. Just
somewhere to meet at the start (coffee shop etc) and an idea for a pub
(sometimes we see who finds one while mapping before lunch). Obviously this
format doesn't really work for newcomers, we get around that by inviting
newcomers to a social evening or one of the occasional workshops. Of course
newcomers can always tag along with someone to be shown the ropes. It also
only works within reasonable travelling distance for the local group.

I think Peter's idea of having a sponsor column is excellent. The "sponsor"
might not necessarily be financial, it might just be the group arranging
things. Laying on food and drink at lunchtime appears to go down very well.

Big parties (Manchester and Milton Keynes were two of the best attended
events I've been too) where there are 20+ mappers are excellent but not so
easy to manage. These ones do need some funding and a good venue. Not all
the 20+ are productive though, some OSMer's like to sit around and socialise
while connected via wifi, which is cool and helps build relationships and
communication, but does't increase the mapping in the locality, though it
might help fix some code or develop something else, so linking a hack event
and a party may work. Plenty of advertising to the OSM community and good
consensus support for the location and actual weekend chosen are key.
Certainly the London folks should be considering one of these big ones and
I'd suggest Luton would perhaps be logical, but as I've said before the
location isn't that critical in my experience.

We also should think "themes". Presently our mapping parties have
principally been focused on "the map". If on the other hand you set up a
mapping party for a particular group of people, then you can map something
of common interest. The roads will get done as a by product. In this way we
reach out to some new groups. These events don't always need to be on the
ground either, some, like our West Midlands gritting routes, just needed
communication and a social or two to work.

My wish list for the future (and therefore support for) includes:

A party for cyclists
A party for hillwalkers (like the Lakes one Nick W set up a couple of years
An "OSM MAP DAY" where everyone is focused on doing some mapping which
culminates in a mass meet-up at some location(s). Top of a hill, pub, border
An OSM "MapCamp" where we literally take over a campsite and have fun (plus
some mapping).

You will see that most of what I'm suggesting above is focused more on the
social fun side of things than "having to get a dull place mapped". As I
said at the start, my experience is that even the most apparent dull place
rarely is. We all thought Sunderland would be a bit difficult but for me it
turned out to be one of the best and most interesting. If everyone is having
fun then things just seem to get mapped anyway.



>-----Original Message-----
>From: talk-gb-bounces at openstreetmap.org [mailto:talk-gb-
>bounces at openstreetmap.org] On Behalf Of Peter Miller
>Sent: 18 February 2010 9:38 AM
>To: lists at humanleg.org.uk
>Cc: talk-gb at openstreetmap.org
>Subject: Re: [Talk-GB] Two dozen mapping parties
>On 17 Feb 2010, at 20:55, Robert Scott wrote:
>> On Wednesday 17 February 2010, Andy Allan wrote:
>>> I think it would be great[1] if we had at least two dozen mapping
>>> parties this summer around the UK. So I'm looking for volunteers to
>>> help organise them, and ideas for locations. Here's some handy
>>> suggestions for places I've found on the wiki: ( ;-P )
>>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/UK_Mapping_Priorities
>>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/UK_Mapping_Secondary_Priorities
>>> Currently we have two mapping parties planned, so that's almost 10%
>>> of
>>> the way to the the first two-dozen. Who wants to start pencilling in
>>> dates and locations? Anyone thinking about running a party but is
>>> looking for some help?
>> Luton certainly needs some attention.
>> Though I'm relatively nearby, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to
>> organise anything as I don't know what I'll be doing / where I will
>> be by then.
>Luton is also on ITO's hit list due to the amount of new transport
>development being planned and implemented  - see
>  for details. LBC are also one of our customers. As such ITO would
>again be happy to again sponsor beer and pizza (or whatever) for this
>Possibly we should include a 'sponsors' column in the table on mapping
>priorities page to say who is offering what incentive for the place to
>be mapped. Who knows, possibly we could get a competition going for
>where to map next with 5* hotels being offering in this place and
>gourmet  food in that place. We can then write to the councils
>concerned and suggest that they provide some support for the work :) I
>suggested the idea at a recent Traveline meeting.
>> robert.
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