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June 9, 2016
OpenStreetMap National Conference in Seattle

SEATTLE–June 9, 2016–The national conference of OpenStreetMap, State of the Map US 2016, will focus on the importance of free map data in humanitarian efforts of organizations, ranging from Microsoft and the American Red Cross to the Tacoma Fire Department.

The conference, being held for the first time in Seattle, will take place at Seattle University July 23-25.

OpenStreetMap is a free and open source map of the world being created by more than a million volunteers around the globe. OpenStreetMap is used worldwide in business, education and government. OpenStreetMap software is now the basis of the U.S. National Map and OpenStreetMap data is used extensively by the National Park Service as it creates maps.

This year’s conference will focus on new and unique applications of OpenStreetMap data and methods by a wide range of local communities. Presenters include the Tacoma Fire Department, which will discuss how firefighters are using OpenStreetMap beyond simply locating hydrants.

The American Red Cross will talk about how building local mapping communities in OpenStreetMap is important for its rescue efforts after disasters. The Red Cross made extensive use of OpenStreetMap in its rescue efforts after the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

Two sessions will highlight local efforts to bring important data into OpenStreetMap. A team from Los Angeles will present how they imported Los Angeles County building data – totaling more than 3 million buildings – into OpenStreetMap. Presenters from a Maptime group in Washington, D.C., will talk about “Using OpenStreetMap for Neighborhood Development and Feedback.”

Erick Schlegel of Microsoft will present “OpenStreetMap Lights up the World for Blind Users with Sound.” Microsoft has partnered with the Guide Dog Association to improve independent mobility and navigation for the visually impaired using OSM and 3D audio.

Technical presentations will focus on better validation of map data and using big data to improve map quality.

About the 2016 State of the Map US Conference

The annual U.S. meeting of OpenStreetMap brings together volunteers and OpenStreetMap technical experts with users from all over the country to develop methods and technology for the creation of the map, as well as to share new and unique applications of OpenStreetMap data in areas, such as education, medicine, disaster relief, business and community development.

The site of this year’s State of the Map conference, Seattle University in the popular Capitol Hill neighborhood, is an attraction itself, offering many restaurants, cafés, food trucks and many music venues.

About OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap (, often called the Wikipedia of maps, is an international community of volunteers who work tirelessly to expand the global coverage of OpenStreetMap’s map data. The data they create is available for free to any organization or individual to use to create maps, under the ODbL license. OpenStreetMap data is used by governments, businesses, schools and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide.

Also part of OpenStreetMap is the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), which responds to disasters around the globe by rallying volunteers to do emergency mapping for affected areas. HOT has played a key role in the response to disasters, such as the 2015 Nepal earthquake and the 2014 Ebola epidemic.

Contact Clifford Snow Phone: 1-206-617-5618 @osm_seattle

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