State of the Map US conference comes to campus

State of the Map US conference comes to campus

Feb. 28, 2022

Maps help us navigate the world in many different ways every day. 

One mapping project is making its way to the University of Arizona this spring.

OpenStreetMap US, the organizers behind the annual national conference, State of the Map US, is bringing this three-day event to the Southwest for the first time in the conference’s 10-year history. The University of Arizona is hosting the conference dedicated to providing a free editable street map of the world on April 1-3, 2022. 

The University Libraries is hosting the welcome event for registered participants in CATalyst Studios in the Main Library on March 31. 

kiri carini in red shirt

Geospatial Specialist Kiri Carini works in the library’s Research Engagement department and serves on the conference organizing committee.

Carini felt there was a lack of awareness about OpenStreetMap on campus and the ways the database can be used in research.  

“Contributing to OpenStreetMap can be a tool for teaching civic engagement at both the local and global level,” said Carini. “Bringing OpenStreetMap enthusiasts, tech companies and other leaders in the open geospatial data community to the University of Arizona and the borderlands region raises awareness within the mapping community about the challenges, opportunities, and people who would benefit from a project like OpenStreetMap.”

The conference includes guest speakers, workshops, and community talks focusing on trails, highways, government, the technical side behind the OpenStreetMap, and important lessons learned from the project.

Participants with different interests, goals, and experience can look forward to community-building opportunities as well. 

“The audience for this conference could really be anyone,” Carini said.  

“The OpenStreetMap community is incredibly diverse with people participating from around the world. Mappers can contribute to OpenStreetMap whether they are a classroom of high school students who want to map parks in their neighborhood, retirees who are interested in historical maps, railroads, or teaching, and everyone in between.”

Faculty and staff at the University Libraries are committed to open to reduce barriers to access, innovation, and sharing on campus and beyond.

Raising awareness of the OpenStreetMap by bringing the State of the Map US conference to the university’s campus makes sense.

“Everyone in the OpenStreetMap community is incredibly passionate about open data, open source, and democratized technology,” Carini said.

“I've never told someone about OpenStreetMap and not have them walk away excited to have learned more about this effort.”

Learn more about the State of the Map US 2022 conference schedule and get the special ticket discount for University of Arizona students, faculty, and staff.