I was invited to speak at the PICNIC festival in Amsterdam. I was presenting OpenStreetMap and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team again, a slimmed down version of this presentation. I followed after Helena Puig Larrauri presenting the “Standby Taskforce”, and then we sat together and took questions. You can watch that whole thing here:
I had the impression I was bringing OpenStreetMap to a very new audience which is always worthwhile. In this case the session had a journalism theme to it. It was organised by European Journalism Centre. Big thanks to them for inviting and organising for me to speak. It was an interesting session overall, and the EJC folks even took me and my fellow panelists for dinner on boat ride around Amsterdam! Here’s another video with me on the boat:
The connection between Humanitarian OpenStreetMap and journalism is one I haven’t given a lot of thought to before, and I probably should’ve given more thought to it before trying to answer those questions! Clearly OpenStreetMap has great potential for unrestrictive (free!) use in presenting maps for newspaper & TV news. Perhaps I should also have mentioned that journalists can of course help our cause simply by talking about us. OpenStreetMap has made the mainstream news in Germany more than anywhere else, and we can see the benefits this has brought in increased contributions (Or maybe the contributor interest came first. Who can say?) More people viewing and taking an interest in opensteetmap.org is all good news. hot.openstreetmap.org also offers an interesting window into the project. I think the more obvious “good cause” nature of that may appeal to more people, and things like tasks.hotosm.org might present a more obvious starting point for people looking for places to contribute.
I hung around for the second day at PICNIC which was also fun. I’m not quite sure how to categorise this conference. It’s sort of about technology, or just new ideas I suppose. Apparently there were ~3000 attendees. Lots of creativity and buzz and picnic boxes for lunch, all set on the opposite side of the river from the Amsterdam city centre in an amazing new building which looks like a crashed alien spaceship.