This year will see the third anniversary of the OpenStreetMap project. It started as a rather ambitious undertaking, something which many didn't believe in, yet three years on it's thriving (as I may have alluded to previously).
Coverage has been steadily spreading outside the project's roots in Britain, through Europe, to a number of other corners of the world, and hopefully will continue to spread as word gets out about the advantages of open geodata.
The project has grown considerably in size, from just a few people back in the day, to over 6000 contributors today. Last year saw an anniversary party to celebrate the project's second year, with around 30 people turning up to celebrate.
Meanwhile, the first official OpenStreetMap conference, aptly named The State of the Map, will be upon us in just a short time and has a great lineup of speakers from academia and the geographic information industry as well as people from all sorts of other walks of life.
The State of the Map conference in July will be keynoted by Ed Parsons, ex-CTO of the Ordnance Survey and now Geospatial Technologist at Google. Other speakers will include the founder of Multimap, the chair of the Society of Cartographers, the architects of the current map visualisations, those coordinating the Dutch and Spanish mapping efforts, and still many others.
From a personal point of view, it's great to see that Muki Haklay - my old MSc in GIS course tutor from the Department of Geomatic Engineering at UCL - will be presenting, and that the conference is being hosted by the University of Manchester's School of Environment and Development, where I did half of my BSc in Computing and Geography.
Anyway, enough of my waffling.
14-15 July in Manchester is shaping up to be a great weekend, showcasing the bleeding edge of geographic information creation (and I don't just mean from the blisters you can get from walking around a city with your GPS).
If you haven't reserved your place already, admission is cheap, so register today for your chance to see the future of mapping you'll actually be able to use. See you there!