OpenStreetMap and a festival of #hyperlocal and global mapping in Birmingham

I’ve just received this from Brian Pringle about this weekend’s – open streeet map event.  Birmingham will be hosting this global festival of the collaborative openly licensed map of the world.    It was back in Feb 2009 that we blogged about how Birmingham was the first city  in England  to be fully street mapped by the volunteers of Mappa Mercia.  Here’s the news release about this weekend:


“Hundreds of digital mappers from around the world will descend on Birmingham on Friday 6th September as OpenStreetMap brings its annual international State of the Map conference to Aston University for three days. Cartographers, mappers, software developers, outdoor sports enthusiasts, civic activists, governments and businesses with an interest in location-based data will be there.

So if you see lots of people in Birmingham over the weekend avidly photographing and taking notes, its just OpenStreetMap mappers using their spare time to improve the map of Birmingham.

OpenStreetMap is transforming the way maps are made and used. Collecting, editing and publishing geographical data with a global army of over 1.3 million volunteers creates maps with levels of detail unachievable by other means. Its data dynamically and constantly evolves — just as places do

The nine-year-old crowdsourced geodata project is powering mapping apps (Skobbler and, in places, Apple Maps), recommendation tools (Foursquare), sports watches (Leikr), classifieds (Craigslist) and property search engines (Nestoria).

Volunteers collect data that is of specific interest to their communities, which might not otherwise be collected. Mappers who edit the data have usually had personal interactions with a place or locale. They know locations intimately, making their contributions detailed, rich, and hyperlocal. This means more accurate, “fresh” maps for users and an enhanced experience which is critical for successful services. More and more startups and services are focused on providing hyperlocal  functionality and features, so hyperlocal data is a necessity. Only OpenStreetMap’s army of contributors can provide that. Traditional corporate map providers are painfully aware of this.

All of the data collected is published under an open license so anyone may use the data freely and for free. Because OpenStreetMap publishes data and not just a map, anyone can make a map to their own style highlighting whatever data they choose, and there are now hundreds in use across the world.

Local authorities are warming to OpenStreetMap: Warwickshire County Council will be showing delegates how they used OpenStreetMap for realtime publishing of their local election results. Delegates will also be hearing from the National Trust about how they’re using OpenStreetMap data.

Speakers from Ordnance Survey and IBM’s Smarter Cities project will address the conference on the  impact volunteer-collected map data is making.

Aid and development NGOs, including the World Bank, were quick to recognise the advantages of OpenStreetMap’s methods and now regularly request volunteer teams to build maps rapidly in areas of the world where humanitarian crises erupt. The Humanitarian OSM Team will be updating delegates on their latest projects in the poorer countries of the world.

“This is a golden opportunity for West Midlands and indeed UK software developers to meet the people changing the face of digital maps; and to investigate new lines of business in an increasingly mobile and information-hungry world” said Brian Prangle local organiser for State of the Map 2013.

For further information contact:

Henk Hoff Skype: toffehoff  Phone: +31 6 4808 8925

Brian Prangle Phone: 0121 604 1141 Mobile  07811667653

Conference Co-ordination (live from 12 noon Thursday 5th September) 07742 011690

Background Information for Editors:

Conference commences at 0930 am Friday 6th September in the Main Building Aston University. Request press credentials at before 12 noon Thursday 5th September.

Full Conference Programme is here

Here’s a video link to a whole year of edits over the entire planet for 2012.

Watch live  updates to the map”