StateoftheMap Organizing Committee/Minutes/2015/2015-06-29 Meeting

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SotM WG meeting

Previous minutes: StateoftheMap Organizing Committee/Minutes/2015/2015-05-18 Meeting


June 29th 2015, 19:00 GMT


  • Gregory M
  • Rob N
  • Ben Abelshausen
  • Christine Karch
  • Pieter-Jan Pauwels
  • Serge W
  • Joost S
  • Alyssa Wright
  • Randy M

Absent Apologies

  • Henk H


Congratulations: Well done to Brussels team. Thank you for getting back and replying quickly to additional questions.

  • The team: Brussels (local SotM) team has joined us. Christine has joined the remote SotM team.

Meetings, email and etiquette

Meeting time/day of week

  • Rob: we need to find one that works well for people. We could circulate a survey that would be good for most people.
  • General: acceptance of Monday.
  • Rob: let me know if anyone struggles with Mondays and I’ll circulate a survey if needed.
  • Alyssa: not everyone is on this call, so it would be good to send out an e-mail asking/confirming if Monday is good for them too.


  • Everything is being minuted as you see. Not yet released onto the website, they’re currently being held back. Be aware they will be published later. email (and sponsors@)

  • Rob: Alyssa should be on team@ now. Christine & Brussels team need to be added in.
  • There is a separate e-mail for sponsorship, I will set that up with people as needed. If any others are needed (e.g. programme) we can set those up as & when needed.
  • Language / cultural differences – assume positive intent. We’ve got lots of people crossing those. If you struggle to understand something then do speak up and we’ll try and explain it with other words. Be aware others have differences, best to assume people have positive intent when they say something.

Code of conduct

  • We have adopted a Code of Conduct, on SotM website. It applies to the conference and also the working group(WG) meetings on e-mail and meetings.
  • Rob: It will take a while to see how the work spreads out. If you feel one person is doing too much work, be aware we have a big team and we can find people to help each other out. For most/all of us this is a volunteer effort outside of your normal work.

Coordinating work

  • Rob: I’ve set up two files as Google Docs... SotM Now and SotM Next
    • SotM Now to co-ordinate 2016.
    • SotM Next is if anything comes up that would be helpful to know for the future (conferences) then you can put it in there.
  • Rob: We can break it into other files if it gets too big, but these are intended to be central co-ordination places.
  • Tasks matrix will be sent round. Plenty of things to be organised… Rob will send a matrix round to everyone and they can mark whether they are interested in something, if it’s their 1st time or they have experience/skills.

Welcome/questions from Brussels

  • Ben: Not a lot of experience myself with organising conferences but we have people in our team who are. I have a lot of questions of how this is going to happen, but guess we will find out as we go along. We have a few people from our local team who will not be helping (one e-mail already received from someone who doesn’t have the time in next few months), we should try to find some additional people for the local team.
  • Pieter-Jan: I’m from Open Knowledge Belgium team which is a non-profit to support organisations, such as OSM, Creative Commons, and so on. I do have a bit of event management experience. Organiser for Open Belgium conference (2014/2015) and lead organiser of open Summer of code. Excited to work on the SotM and curious on the work load.
  • Joost: No experience whatsoever. Very enthusiastic. Definitely willing to invest some time and learn.
  • Rob: You mentioned Ben, the e-mail from a team member without time. Will you let me know who so they’re not added to the team@ e-mail list.
  • Ben: yes, and I’ll check the other team members that haven’t responded. Team member not helping: Nicolas Pettiaux

OpenStreetMap Demographics of group

  • Rob: We talked about different groups that are part of OSM in our last meeting. Three groups: data creator; data consumer; developers(of OSM tool chain/stack: helping people input or consume). We want to bring those three groups together at the conf so they can work together. Would the three Brussels guys like to say.
  • Ben: I’m in all 3 groups. Also including the larger open data community would be good, a lot of potential to recruit them.
  • Rob: Yep, they’re people not yet in one of those groups. Good point.
  • Pieter: More of a data consumer, as we organise hackathons. From open-knowledge side we have contacts with data creators like governments. They’re definitely interested in OSM. I’m a bit of all 3 groups like Ben. (not a developer myself though).
  • Joost: I’m the exception then. I don’t see myself as a developer. Consider myself as creator & consumer of OSM data and data more generally.
  • Christine: I work at Geofabrik, so I’m a large consumer of OSM. Privately I’m a contributor. I’m not a developer in the OSM tool chain, but developer for Geofabrik.

General hellos

  • Alyssa: We should have a general welcome from each existing team member.
  • [general hellos & backgrounds commence]
  • [audio problems from Serge, unable to speak]
  • Alyssa: Can you update [buffering]
  • Rob: how are going to keep track? That’s what the SotM Now and SotM Next are for.

Questions raised

  • Rob: Ben asked how much the local team are going to get involved. It depends how much you’d like to. We’re happy for you to get involved as much as you’re comfortable with. Being a local team, anything to do with questions about the venue we’d like you to help with. E.g. technical questions on is there power at the lectern.
  • Alyssa: The task matrix, how will keep up to date with the movement of a task. E.g. status update, or needing to ask questions of the group.
  • Rob: That’s where I’m hoping the SotM Now document will happen. Headings for the main task, and comments/status updates of each one listed there. I’ll send a link to a matrix round later, that’s just for finding out who can help on the areas & who is interested. Not yet created it.

Venue: EU parliament

  • Rob: any updates?
  • Ben: No significant updates yet. We’re trying to look at it with any contacts we have. It’s very good for you to have a deadline, because now realising you could stay in this problem forever.
  • Rob: Any replies at all or just blanked?
  • Ben: We have some leads that are promising, but I think I underestimated how long this can take. We’re really going to need the time given.
  • Alyssa: I’ve worked out with Lambert at the UN to see if he knew anyone. He knew some people to speak with, but he’s away on holiday at the moment and I don’t know how promising his contacts will be. Ben, should I forward contact information to you?
  • Ben: If it’s someone you know personally, if not feel free to forward anything you know. Thank you for helping. If anybody else has something, like wise. If we go at this from different directions we have a higher probability of success.
  • Rob: You proposed a 2.5 month stint at trying to find a lead. As a team at our last meeting we ended up supporting that time as reasonable, ideally we’d be looking for some clear signs about half way through. As you said earlier, we can’t keep pursuing this if it doesn’t look like it will be possible. For now 2.5 months seems like a sensible time to investigate.
  • Ben: Let’s take the end of July to evaluate where it’s going.

Venue: University Libre Brussels

  • Rob: are we penciled in with them?
  • Ben: Not yet. The guy who has left our team has all the contacts there, so I will be asking the names from him.
  • Ben: What do I do with all the contact data I collected during the bid process? Do I throw it online somewhere?
  • Rob: The guy who’s left, yes please try and get the details of him ASAP. I’d like to approach ULB and get them to pencil us in to their calendar, don’t want to be left without a venue at all.
  • Ben: We also have contact with Visit Brussels so we do have contacts there, I’m just not been directly in contact with them myself.
  • Rob: Talk with ULB that they hold the dates Sep 2nd - Sep 4th with the rooms you put in the bid. That will lift the pressure of us.

  • Rob: I contact from Foss4G (by OSGeo) 2016 team who are hosting their conference in Bonn (2 hours away by train). They’re talking about possible co-ordination. They are set for 20th August - 27th August. September 2-4th we had at ULB possibly, so that might attract some of their delegates to us too if we went for that.

  • Peter?: I talked to some people at SotM-US and it was told it’s good to have some people paid to do a job, is that an option for us? There is a lot of work to be done and if we had a few more sponsors it would pay for itself.
  • Randy: For the last SotM-US it was over 800 people which was good to have. If for this it looks similar to that numbers then it would be good to have.
  • Alyssa: we added about 4 additional people that were committed to the organising stages. One on budget logistics, One on local logistics(catering, hotels, etc). Two others really helpful are: a designer(great for sponsorships) helped us establish what a sponsorship deck & website would look like and gave us something to build things from. First step was to have someone who could articulate what we were trying to put together. 4th person focused on volunteers.
  • Christine: at SotM-EU we had paid volunteers for catering, and we had offer to the community to have free entry if they helped/worked at the conference (from Karlsruhe and elsewhere).
  • Alyssa: same here, free admission for volunteers.
  • Rob: We don’t have Henk to tell us about the past.
  • Christine: In Japan they had a lot of students helping for free.
  • Rob: With Birmingham (SotM13) all the volunteers who helped got free entry, some still paid out of choice. No paid support. The venue (uni) did quite a bit, inc organising catering, but were paid as part of the venus on a flat per-person basis rather than rooms used.
  • Rob: If it gets to that point we can look into it. It would be nice to do as much as possible, in the spirit of volunteers. If it becomes apparent that we would benefit from paid support we will see. As it’s part of OSMF they’ve struggled with bringing in paid support in the past, but the board are looking at it again so might open the door for us.


  • Rob: Anything pressing in people’s minds?

  • Alyssa: should we fill out the SotM Now document?
  • Rob: I’ll template that and put it together unless someone else wants to.
  • Ben?: How does the website work? And sponsoring, I’ve already got 2 requests over e-mail. How fast does it need to go?
  • Rob: If we work out who’s interested in being part of the sponsorship team (declared on the matrix) we can then have them building a list of who’s interested or who we could contact. We’ll get a group together or that quickly. If you have any at the moment, you could add them to the SotM Now document under a sponsorship heading.

Last comments?

  • Serge: I feel we didn’t get much done in the hour of this meeting. Could things be action-orientated for future meetings.
  • Rob: It’s always difficult this first meeting. Not ideal, but good to have an initial meeting doing welcomes and setting expectations. Future it will be shorter and more actionable.


  • send out an e-mail asking/confirming if Monday is good for DONE

continue pursuing EU option get a date in ULB calendar has backup DONE

  • Rob: forward task matrix to get an idea of people’s interest. Do the bits you enjoy because that will help them get done. DONE
  • Rob: get the team e-mail updated With Henk DONE
  • Greg - to update OSMF website with local team. DONE

Next meeting

Meeting finished. +63 minutes.