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Location: Jury Space of Knowlton Hall on OSU campus. Here’s a map of Knowlton Hall:

As we all learned watching Ready Player One (you watched it, didn’t you?), Columbus is the city of the future. Not only do we have the whole Smart City thing going. We’re also centrally located in the bright glowy cluster of lights for the eastern US that shows up on the night-time map of the world. While we aren’t headquarter to the world’s biggest company that runs a massive Metaverse (yet), we are headquarter to the largest power grid in North America (thanks AEP!). We also have several other big names and efforts here that have made us the fastest growing city in the Medwest (cue the Stacks).

At the heart of these efforts, many tech companies are realizing that the best way to build the tools to run the city, that we will be able to open up to other cities as well, is to grow a strong open sourced community. As such, we are going to use this meetup to discuss the intersection between open-source programming, and Geospatial Information Systems (GIS). There are tools already out there that have been curated by a global community to make mapping something that you can do without being an expert at a company with an exclusive license to a proprietary product. No. All of the data is open sourced, along with the tools to interact with it.

This community is known as the OpenStreetMap (OSM) community. They have working groups in cities around the world, and even some active mappers here in Columbus, but so far no official active community here. We will spend time diving further into how the community operates, how to contribute to the massive open sourced GIS database, and how we can build more of this community in Columbus.

On campus, we will be exploring these ideas and others with the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) at Ohio State, and invite engineers, mappers, techies, environmentalists, gamers, and anybody else to come be a part of this discussion.