I spent the weekend in DC for State of the Map US. If you’ve been paying attention to the geo space for the last few years, you know that things are happening. The space around OpenStreetMap is blossoming; Google feels far behind OSM in every way I can think of. Of course, that didn’t happen by accident, the OSM, PostGIS, and NPM communities, the Mapbox, CartoDB, and Stamen folks, and everyone pushing opensource geo forward have created incredible tools that are simultaneously lowering the barriers of entry and pushing the boundaries of what you can do with open source geo tools. Desktop GIS tools are feeling more dated, and less necessary with each passing day.
So, coming in to SOTMUS, I expected to hear about that transition. And I did, a little. But the crazy thing is that rather than talking about the great work that’s been accomplished, a significant (the majority?) amount of the presentations and discussions that took place at SOTMUS were not about the past, but the future. The community is moving ahead, further, and faster, then ever before.
I honestly can’t think of a more exciting community to be a part of right now. It was great making new friends and getting to meet everyone in real life.
That said, I’m excited to be starting a Maptime chapter here in Maine. Our first meetup will be this Saturday, April 20 at Crema Coffee in Portland, ME from 9am-3pm. It’s short notice, but OpenStreetMap is having it’s Spring Editathon over the week, which seems like a perfect opportunity for us to begin.
Whether or not you have any experience with OpenStreetMap, if you’re at all interested in being a part of the geo community, you should join us! Bring your laptops.