OpenStreetMap: It’s the community, stupid!

The OpenStreetMap session this year will focus on 'Why the world needs OpenStreetMap'. OpenStreetMap is the community and the community OpenStreetMap. The speakers in this session are all very active members of the OpenStreetMap community in Belgium but all with different activities and ways of contributing. We hope to give a unique insight into different aspects about the inner workings of the OpenStreetMap community and show you a window into our world. This is also an open invitation to all who want to become part of our community and to those who are curious as to why OpenStreetMap is a success.

The mapper at the core of the project.

One of our mappers, Marc Gemis, will outline his mapping activities and show what this 'mapping' is really about. This is one of those people that actually go outside looking at the world and helps digitize it on OpenStreetMap.

Community activities, a mapper is never alone!

Individual contributions are at the core of the project but cannot go without some community coordination. Everything from mapping parties, tagging discussions, mailinglists, meetups all help in coordination between mappers to get a consistent result of what is being mapped and how.

External data and the community, yes, they can be friends!

More and more data is being opened, also a lot of geo-data. This is difficult to ignore from a mappers perspective. How is this data being handled and used in the community and how can we use this data without ignoring community efforts?

Data users? Part of the community?

Established companies, government institutions, startups and individuals, all have been known to use OpenStreetMap-data. Are they part of our community? Can they be?


Ben Abelshausen

Open Street Map

Lead on Open Street Map Belgium


Glenn Plas


Vice President at Bitless

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Jorieke Vyncke

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Part of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team