StateoftheMap Organizing Committee/Minutes/2015/2015-12-14 Meeting

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

2015-12-14 SotM-WG Meeting

20:00 UTC.


  • Gregory
  • Rob
  • Christine
  • Joost
  • Ben


  • Henk
  • Randy


Rob: No pre-set agenda. We’ll have a quick review on how we’re doing, as last meeting of the year.

Social Events

Joost: Visit Brussels only had one main suggestion, Train World (seems cool). Mark suggested we should start getting prices. But we need to know if we’re asking for 400, or 400-600 people.

Rob: A range of numbers would be good to get prices for. If used to big groups, they’lll be used to numbers not being certain until later on.

Joost: Food booths around, or sit-down, or what?

Rob: Down to you guys to see what you think, a chance to show of your city.

Rob: Making your way through the social venue list, can we help remotely. Do you have a shortlist or need help with that.

Joost: Train World is a favourite of mine. Only takes 15mins from VUB, direct trains every 30 minutes.

Rob: Possible to get 400 people out of town on a train?

Joost: Not a busy line, but might be a problem. Might be possible to make reservations for seats on the train.

Rob: Metro might cope better, with trains every few minutes.

> Note after the meeting: there is no metro station close to either the venue or the Schaarbeek station. But there is a direct tramway link, which looks good.

Joost: Brussels Brewery is also good, because of Brussels beer fame. It’s a budget venue, and sounds like a really nice setting.

Joost: Between Mark and me we’re fine on contacting the places.


Rob: We’re now in contact with “Brussels Booking Desk” which sounds positive.

Joost: Yes, Pieter is helping. Would be good to include him when we talk about this.

Jooost: Uni accommodation no longer possible. Brussels Booking Desk likely to know about the nearby budget places too, or we will work on.

Rob: No need for us to focus on accommodation. If it’s easy to look around and get a discount offer on some, then that’s a benefit to SotM. Range will be from budget/hostels, to mid-range hotels. Delegates unlikely to be looking for something extravagant. Haven’t had a recommended/discounted place for all SotMs.

Joost: Do you know how many people you’d expect to book through a system like this?

Rob: will look up the SotM 13 figures and get back to you.


[document link shared, with questions from Alyssa who is not on the call]

Including logos in the video?

Rob: we agreed it’s not a guarantee to have the video, so can’t offer it.

Rob: Left with Tatiana to turn this into a PDF. We’ll she what she comes up with, and add the matrix if needed.

Rob: Exhibition space was an add-on. IS there a risk they’ll take the lowest level and add on exhibition space.

Christine: We only had 4 groups interested (for SotM EU) so no problem with it.

Rob: I didn’t see in the photos lots of SotM US.

Christine: I think SotM US had about 10.

Rob: Do we have enough space in the university for 10 stands?

Ben: I think 10 stands should work, probably space for more.

Rob: No major comments of concern on the document.

Rob: There’s been a conversation on OSMF-talk mailing list about conference leaving the conference. This (sponsorship/stands) is where we leave from the community. I want to give some space for people to comment if we’re going to far to the commercial side.

Christine: Can we make money from the conference, or do we have to give money to OSMF for the conference?

Rob: There is an agreement that we try to at least break-even. In the early years there was large profit, recent years it’s been smaller. I think we should be trying to use the sponsorship for the conf as much as possible. Lots of sponsorship, I feel we should look at extending the reach of the conference and what we can do. Either that, or we use the money as a starting pot for 2017. What were your views?

Christine: My personal view is to spend all the money from sponsors on the conference. But okay to give what we don’t need to OSMF.

Rob: It’s difficult, as a lot of our costs are upfront, and sponsorship comes in the end. So I like the idea of being cost-neutral.

Rob: An area we need to look at is how we make a move on sponsorship.

Ben: I think it’s essential we keep the price as low as possible. Then focus a bit more on building the map and crowdsourcing in the programme, less about the software tools and the companies who built them.

Rob: It’s going to be a crucial time when we look at the programme. Make sure we’re getting a good balance of talks on the end users are getting. More difficult to get talks from data-collecting volunteers, as public speaking might not be appealing to them. Did to think how we encourage people to submit a talk. Maybe different formats.

Ben: I never felt SotM wasn’t about the community, but we should take care about this subject.

Joost: It’s one thing to think about the community-building (meeting people) but we usually push that to the evening events. More Birds of a Feather(BoF) sessions.

Rob: Need to think who we could have to support/lead BoF sessions.

Rob: Greg’s open a issue on github, for us to start thinking about who we would personally encourage to submit talks (when the call is open).

Rob: We might be able to run some BoFs ourself if we have lots of volunteers for the event.

Joost: For speakers, do we have to take who we want to come, or is it a lot of choice?

Rob: Everyone submits a talk if they want. In the past, every SotM WG member votes on them. You get a lot that are coporate, and some don’t mention OSM or maps so we can rule them out easily. It is difficult as the description and the talk won’t always align with what I expected. this is where it helps to contact people before hand, saying “you’d be good at …”. Encouraging them into specific talks or BoF topics. We didn’t pick a theme, but I like the idea of working together. It would be great if we see people encouraged to go away doing something different.

Greg: My experience is some people will submit 3+ talks, that doesn’t mean they expect to be accepted for all 3 they just want us to choose which one. We could have been stricter on that.

Rob: We tried to fit lots in for Birmingham, include everyone who submitted a talk. We could have focused more on group sessions.

Plan for early 2016

Rob: Sponsorship pack is almost done. Would be good to think about who our potential sponsors are, including those in Brussels. Would be good to create a spreadsheet for all of us to list potential companies and who the best contact would be.

Rob: Also good to think about keynote speakers. Greg has set up an area on github for that.

Rob: Catering is listed, but we can push that back to later.

Rob: Scholarships. I’ve not run a scholarship programme before, so lost for that. Will need to catch up with Alyssa, Henk, etc to plan that.


Contact from FOSS4G Brussels, who would like to do their event right before or right after SotM.

Rob: Yes, no problem with that. Our dates are on the website. How can we help them at this stage?

Joost: They want to help us.

Rob: Drop them another e-mail and see what ideas they have. Or speak to them in person if you know them.

Joost: Mark is part of the organising team. I’ll post if there’s anything worth mentioning.

Christine needs to be added to the github group.

Rob: Next meeting scheduled for 28th December, but we’ll skip that.


  • name - task.

Meeting ended

+50 minutes.