What Makes A Successful Event?

Hi guys,

I’m holding the Newcastle Upon Tyne mapping event (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/Newcaslte_Mapping_Event) on the 8-9th December and have a few questions to help make the weekend a success for myself and those helping out.

  1. In general, how much can I expect from people that turn up for the event? i.e how long should a mapping session be? How far should I expect people to walk? What time is ideal for starting and ending?

  2. What about the evenings? i.e should I have something planned if necessary? What if someone is stuck for accommodation?

  3. What type of equipment is usually on hand at an event? i.e Is Wi-Fi essential? Detailed maps of the area? Laptops etc etc?

Any other advice would be grateful!



Difficult question and there won’t be a definitive answer, you will be lucky to get 10…

How many will turn up depends on

  • geology (big city will likely have more mappers)
  • publicity (mailing list, local newspaper, flyers on a local university, makes a big difference
  • weather
  • other public events or holidays (e.g. planning a mapping party on christmas day isn’t smart;-))

Most parties start at about 09:00 and end somewhere before dinner with an open end. Some people can go home for dinner, others might choose to dine together and/or grab a beer. Wait until 10:00 or so before going outside, introduce everyone and prepare to bring newbies up to speed first. Might be wise to be back at 15:00 or so, so there is time for collecting and processing the data. Wifi/network is important for that part of the party as is an uptodate dump from the database (otherwise a hickup in the OSM infrastructure would ruin the party). Some hardcopy maps of the area is handy so that ppl can make notes while walking around.

I think that, with frequent stops, you will be able to walk 5 to 10km during the day. That gives you a radius of about 1.5 to 2km. There might also be ppl with pushbikes who can map areas a bit further away. Pick a bounding boxes between a few (obvious) large streets and assign mappers to those bounding boxes, that way they’ll be able to map more effectively.

If you are willing to provide a bunk for the night you might advertise that on the wiki though it’s not paramount, most mappers will be local.

Thanks for the reply pal.

I plan on mapping some university buildings too. Have you had any experience doing that?

I have scanned a copyright free campus map into ArcGIS and georectified it. I then plan on digitising the buildings has polygons and uploading them to OSM instead of mapping them.

Thanks again

Nope, sorry. Is the wiki giving you not any hints?

Come to think about it, I believe users Sxpert has done some building mapping…

I thought Sxpert was messing with some other data rather than his own/osm’s but I may be wrong.

For buildings I tend to use a compass, as well as lining up key points on buildings or between buildings and leaving waypoints, and also marking when I’m standing in-line with a face. A few notes tends to finish them. This is far quicker than walking/riding around them I have found, although I havn’t really tried it in a densely packed area.