I skipped on the pre-event on Thursday night, because I was still too jet-lagged that evening and went to sleep early. So someone else will have to report on that.
Friday night, after the first day of the conference, we met an online acquaintance of mine who by chance is also currently spending time with his family in Buenos Aires and joined the SotM crowd in the Post Street Bar. Three of us left there early, so my acquaintance could take us to La Americana, a fast food restaurant serving empanadas, baked or fried bread-dough dumplings, with a variety of delicious fillings, often with ground beef, but also vegetarian ones. Afterwards we went to a café to have some drinks. While the others chose tea with lemon, I had a ‘submarine’: Hot mild in which one dissolves a dark chocolate bar to get something resembling hot chocolate. We made our way back to the hotels around 0:30, the time the Niceto club would have opened that was announced as the place-to-be for after the Post Street Bar.
Yesterday (Saturday) us German-speaking attendants and speakers decided to get some of the famous Argentinian steaks for dinner. The locals were about to lead some other SotM participants to a bar and we tagged along, as they promised to show us a fine restaurant on the way to there. Arriving there, all that were with us ended up in the same café, and even more arrived as the location had been tweeted as the official SotM dinner meeting place of the evening. The locals ordered us a variety of regional starters, and several rounds of that, so we ended up full without having had steak.
Tonight (Sunday), though, it will be steak, we decided: “Not negotiable.”
The topic of the third and last day of SOTM was the community. For example, Peter Miller presented his very numerous speciality maps, or Bob Barr had a heart-warming talk on weather open street mappers are rather pirates or pilots. There was also a presentation on OpenStreetMap addiction and how to diagnose and treat it. I personally enjoyed Kinya Inoue’s presentation very much. He talked about his mapping of historical places in Japan (and how that suddenly brought him in a quite dangerous situation).
During lunch time, there was the annual general meeting of the OSMF, the worldwide OSM organisation. During this meeting, the OSMF board was elected, and we congratulate Simon Poole, the current president of SOSM, to his election as an OSMF board member, together with Henk Hoff and Frederik Ramm.
And now it’s time for me to travel some more around Japan. Tokyo is huge (see picture, view from the metropolitan government building) but there are also other places to visit apart from the capital.
The Swiss delegation on the night cruise
The second day was focused on routing and navigation. A lot of companies are interested in this topic. Some of them requested to include auxiliary information into OSM which would not be about physical objects, e.g. identifying the extent of big junctions or whether a turn should be announced at a bifurcation. Over lunch a group picture has been taken.
The evening was spent with causal talk and drinking: We had delicious Japanese food on a night cruise. We went on the boat in Kachidoki and did a tour around the harbour to the landmark building of a TV station. During the whole cruise many different dishes were served, so we got a broad culinary overview.
Near studio Alta in Shinjuku
Right now the State of the Map 2012 is taking place in Tokyo. This is an impressive city, and sometimes you feel like you jumped right into the (very crowded) future. The first day of SOTM was mostly about humanitarian and crisis mapping. (There were also some talks in Japanese, though I can’t judge those.) Today, there are more technical talks.
The most important announcement for all mappers was at the opening of the conference from Michael Collinson: The next planet will be ODbL licensed. So the redaction period is finally completed!