Scholarship to State of the Map US 2014

Feb 9, 2014 | GIS, Open Street Map, Rambling

I stumbled on this article and it made me chuckle. It shouldn’t at all. I guess given what all we’ve been experiencing with the OSM Crowd I’ve gotten a bit jaded (way more than Carol) about the whole ecosystem of OSM. I’ve got a blog post coming about the entirety of OSM….and I’m not sure exactly how to put it all together without coming off as a goob.

The article for GIS Lounge starts off with “scholarships for women to attend state of the map” and ends with “scholarships to State of the Map US isn’t restricted solely to women”. I get it. If there was ever a spot where more women are needed – it’s OpenStreetMap. Like with most mapping things – group is male heavy. I’ll even go with white male heavy. We need more women in the field. OSM needs more women contributing. We do here in the US. We do in the whole GIS industry.

My current theory is the OSM community is actually quite small. There are 1,000,000 accounts. I would put active users probably less than 50,000 after doing some reading.  I could probably even narrow that down some more (half). It’s a small group. It’s a loud group with no central ruling body and it’s all truly crowd sourced. Self forming groups. Self forming committees. To me a group that fears the new user – they need the new user though. They really need the disruption of the new voice.

I say they don’t and I can point to dozens of instances where this isn’t true. I can point to a lot of people who happily want new people, innovation, and change. I spent last weekend working in the US Virgin Islands fixing roads and mapping cities. I may spend some time this week working in Athens Ga. AthOSM is coming shortly. I plan on continuing my disruption.

Scholarship ends today – apply and go. Go if you are white black male female or other. Learn about OSM. Insert yourself. Be disruptive. Cause some change. The project needs that more than ever.

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