[Talk-us] Steady increase in the number of mappers in the US

Kai Krueger kakrueger at gmail.com
Fri Jul 19 16:56:11 UTC 2013

Clifford Snow wrote
> I'll start by just listing a few of my thoughts:
> We need publicity!

Yes! Publicity is in my opinion one of the biggest things we need and should
try and work on as a group. Looking at the data, it is clear that when ever
there was significant publicity on OSM, the number of editors (particularly
new ones) has shot up, at least for a while.

While local mapping events are great and important, they probably only
manage to get a handful of new mappers if at all. Having an article in a
news paper or significant blog on the other hand is likely to get many more
new mappers.

Non OSM conferences and trade shows also seem like a great opportunity for
OSM outreach and publicity, as those events can often also reach hundreds or
thousands of people, many of whom might act as multiplicators as they are
often the more active members in their community. 

So perhaps instead of setting targets of that we want to achieve X number of
active mappers in a certain time frame, we could set a target of aiming to
have Y articles about OSM in the press and Z talks / booths at conferences
by then.

Those targets are much more tangible than the number of active mappers as
how any given action will effect that number is rather more speculative.

As a group in osm-us, we can perhaps work on identifying likely magazines
and  conferences that would have an interest in high quality open maps.
Which groups with interest might be particularly underrepresented and
therefor good candidates for outreach? Furthermore, we can exchange ideas of
what worked best at those events in order to improve the "marketing
message". E.g. how does one convince an editor that writing about OSM is
worthwhile thing to do for their audience. How can you become a "guest
author" to write an article for them and get it accepted? Which aspects of
OSM are particularly amenably for writing good articles? If you go to have a
booth at a show, what are things easiest to demonstrate? What are the demos
that spark most interest?

Then we can find local volunteers who actually go to the events or talk to
editors to do the real outreach.

We still have a long way to go from the 0.6 mappers per 1M population in the
US to the 9 mappers per 1M population in Austria, but collectively we
hopeful have enough skill and enthusiasm to really work on improving our PR
and push those numbers up. 


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