Wed 15 Feb 2017 8:58PM

First Event

BP Brian Prangle Public Seen by 504

All members, and in fact anyone else who wants to participate, are invited to our first event which will be held on Saturday 4th March 2017 from 11am to 4pm

The venue is iCentrum in Birmingham Holt Street Birmingham B7 4BB which is about 15-20 minutes walk from New Street Station. It's adjacent to Aston University where we held SotM2013.

If you're driving it's accessible from the Aston Expressway -come off at Dartmouth Circus exit

We have secured free parking in front of Faraday Wharfwhich is next door to iCentrum.

The facilities are being kindly provided to us free of charge by Innovation Birmingham. That does mean that there will be no catering facilities, just a water machine. So it's BYO snacks or you can pop out to a nearby pub or Costa.

The aim of the meeting is firstly to meet each other personally rather than electronically and secondly to discuss plans and priorities on how we proceed to fulfil our objectives as a company, which are set out below:

The objects of the Company are to carry on activities which benefit the community and in particular (without limitation) to:
• increase the quality and quantity of data about the UK in OpenStreetMap;
• improve and increase the size, skills, toolsets and cohesion of the OpenStreetMap community in the United Kingdom;
• promote and facilitate the use of OpenStreetMap data by individuals and organisations in the United Kingdom; and
• promote and facilitate the release by organisations in the United Kingdom of data that is suitable for use in OpenStreetMap.

We're not constrained to only discuss this, any ideas are welcome on any topic you think are relevant to building a national OSM chapter


RobJN Sun 19 Feb 2017 8:47PM

Hi all,

I'd like to add to the plan. As Brian noted one of the key aims is come together as a group - something I'm looking forward to as it's been a long time since State of the Map 2013 (or SotM Scotland 2015).

Interwoven between the merriment, we're going to have a go at exploring our aims and how better to deliver them. To do this we'll do some "root cause analysis". Don't worry, I won't got all business lingo on you. We'll use a technique all those with kids (or all those who have ever been children yourself :-P ) know well:- the "5 Whys".

Basically we keep asking "Why" until we run out of ideas! As an example, I'll use our first aim. First we transform it into a problem:

  • We struggle to increase the quality and quantity of data about the UK in OpenStreetMap.

Then we keep asking "Why":

  1. Why? Because we don't have enough skilled mappers in all areas of the UK.
  2. Why? Because not enough people know about OSM.
  3. Why? Because we don't have a ...
  4. Why? Because nobody has wanted to develop it.
  5. Why? Because we haven't agreed whether it should be focused on ... or ...

By the end, we should have explored a lot of ideas and we can start to prioritise them. We won't be able to fix everything in one year, but this approach will allow us to pick out key areas.

I shall get this started following our t-con this week so that those who aren't able to attend can still join in.


Gregory Marler (former Director) Wed 22 Feb 2017 7:32PM

You don't need to say you're coming, but I'd like to do so (and get excited by who else I will see) so I created an event here:


RobJN Tue 28 Feb 2017 9:28PM

I have started a Hackpad to explore the root cause of why we struggle to meet our aims. Please join in:



Harry Wood Fri 3 Mar 2017 11:32AM

The "keep asking why?" format is quite interesting. It forms a tree of brainstorming thoughts. I've just been adding to it. One problem is that it all feels quite negative. "why is it all so crap?" but I think it helps with "getting real" in some areas. Positive ideas for fixing the problems at the bottom. Maybe we should interleave them.

Another problem is that it too easily leads off on tangents which are not at all UK specific and often too big to try to solve at a UK level. I'm thinking of this after adding stuff, but I suppose we should try to steer it onto UK topics as much as possible


RobJN Fri 3 Mar 2017 9:30PM

Hi @harrywood. I wouldn't worry about the negative slant. The idea is that we come up with some good ideas that solve multiple issues rather than single issue fixes. So in the long run this is great.

Yes, we are going to have to filter out things that are not UK specific at first. Maybe we can try to tackle some of these in the future though :-)


Nick Whitelegg Sat 4 Mar 2017 10:57AM

Hi, sorry not able to make the meeting today - but just one or two pieces of input.

Firstly, how about developing an "official" OpenStreetMap-based walker-orientated map? Something like my own Freemap but an "official" OSM UK thing?

It would use ROWs and permissive paths from OSM and encourage people to add new, unmapped ROWs via a user friendly interface - as well as other features such as adding interesting views, path problems, allowing users to map out a walk route (incorporating these features) and download it to a phone, etc.

I have a lot of code already for Freemap - obviously we'd be looking at something which is better from the HCI/UX POV as they are not my strong points - but, if we wished to go down this route I'd definitely volunteer to work on the coding side of things (and leave someone else with better skills in that area to do the design/HCI/UX lol).

It would also have an accompanying app.



Brian Prangle Mon 6 Mar 2017 8:11AM

I'm sure I can safely say I speak for others that we would welcome openly your project and be only too willing to add it to the portfolio of OSMUK. Thanks for making the offer.


Nick Whitelegg Sun 12 Mar 2017 2:27PM

Brian, thanks - sounds good. I'll start a thread on this with some initial thoughts and try and get some feedback on it.


Gregory Marler (former Director) Sat 4 Mar 2017 11:43AM

For those unable to make it in-person, we're working on the hackpad document

I'm also tweeting some feelings and photos.
See #osmuk or @gregorymarler


Gregory Marler (former Director) Sat 4 Mar 2017 8:06PM

On the train home, I tried to write it all up into a blog post.