I was very pleased to be asked to speak at the EDINA Geoforum 2019 event last week. The blurb said: ‘GeoForum is a free all day event aimed at lecturers, researchers and support staff who promote and support the use of geospatial data and services at their institution. Throughout the day we there will be talks and demonstrations to showcase recent geospatial developments at EDINA and opportunity to offer your feedback on the services we provide and discuss geospatial issues with the EDINA team.’
I was presenting on OpenStreetMap data, which has recently been added to the ‘Global’ layer of the Digimap portal. I gave it the full picture; OSM project history, my involvement, the data, and how it might be useful to university students in many disciplines. The presentation seemed to go well, generated a pleasing number of questions, and I didn’t fall off stage (as per the recent SoC/BCS conference disaster).
There were two outcomes for me from the day. Firstly, in one of the networking sessions I was told by the Getmapping representative that as well as releasing their aerial imagery via EDINA they would also consider releasing it to OpenStreetMap – I had mentioned that Bing, DigitalGlobe, Esri and Mapbox had done so with theirs. So, if anyone from the OSM core/foundation reads this get in touch with me and we can pursue it (I will also put a post on the OSM forum sometime soon).
Secondly, in the discussion session at the end of the day I made a rash statement that I would ‘offer to speak with university students about OpenStreetMap’, at a research forum or another appropriate occasion. I would like to think that like-minded people in the project will join me in this outreach idea, especially if the call comes the North, Midlands or far South-West, so as to reduce my travel. It would be good to get more students involved and meantime also increase the amount of detailed mapping coverage right across the country.
The event was held at the Lancaster House Hotel, which is attached to Lancaster University, and is a fine establishment. The suite I was provided with was top class, and not exceeded in my experience in recent times, probably since Alex Kent obtained a First Class upgrade for us both at the Windsor Atlantica for the International Cartographic Conference in 2015. This included the full treatment, champagne on arrival and a separate dining room!