12 July 2009

Attending the State of the Map 2009

I am in beautiful Amsterdam since Thursday attending the State of the Map 2009.

It is a nice conference, but having attended only free software conferences so far I was up for some cultural shocks.  First of all, everyone here has an iPhone, a Mac and a twitter account.  I signed up for one to be able to catch up with the virtual side of the conf.

There are a lot of very short nice talks about what people are doing with the data or how they contributing data. So far, the most interesting one has been how JumpStart paid people to go to Palestine and the Gaza stripe to map the place as no maps were available. This is an exciting idea where they sent people on site to hire mappers and make this data available. They did encounter problems but the result is great! (and is in the process of being imported into OpenStreetMap).

I’ve been lucky to be able to fit a last minute lightning talk about libchamplain.  I think libchamplain will bring knowledge about OpenStreetMap to the GNOME desktop users and could be benefictal to the first, while we get nice maps for the latter.   As for technology, libchamplain seemed to be on par featurewize with commercial solutions presented here.  Let’s hope its usage picks up (already 5 applications and counting!)

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