OpenStreetMap US is hiring an Executive Director!
OpenStreetMap is the free, open-source map of the world created by volunteers all over the globe. The US chapter, guided by its Board of Directors, supports the OpenStreetMap project in the United States through education, fostering awareness, ensuring broad availability of data, continuous quality improvement, and an active community.
Since our Board is made of (elected) volunteer positions, our time to enact our larger goals is somewhat limited given that these efforts often require massive coordination, planning, and execution. To provide the needed support to the US mapping community, we are hiring our first ever Executive Director.
This is truly a unique time for the OpenStreetMap community, as the Executive Director will have a chance to make a difference at the local, national, and international level. I recently asked my fellow Board Members why they are excited for this new role.
Ian Dees – Having an executive director means we can expand our ability to build the OpenStreetMap community in the US. There’s so many great ideas we have but none of us have the time to coordinate them. The executive director will help us with these things and keep OpenStreetMap US moving forward.
Maggie Cawley – Prior to joining the board, I had only the slightest idea of how much it took to run a small nonprofit. Board members and generous community members can only do so much with their limited volunteer time. With an Executive Director at the helm, there will be dedicated support not only for the State of the Map US conference and basic admin tasks, but more importantly someone to lead a broader organization strategy, fundraising efforts, and be there to support the local communities and more projects. It will be a change, but hopefully one that positively impacts the broader OpenStreetMap community.
Bryan Housel – OpenStreetMap is in an amazing position right now. People depend on up-to-date maps more than ever, and OpenStreetMap data is being used in popular apps like Snapchat, Pokemon Go, Tinder, and by companies like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, and Uber. I’m inspired by what we’ve been able to create with an engaged community of volunteers who care about making the map around them as accurate as possible. Bringing on an executive director can help channel this energy into new projects to measure and improve data quality, communicate our successes, and grow and strengthen our community of mappers.
The Executive Director Position
Direct Link to application form – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdlKdq612m3VkLwj7XzSgQnLa_dvF8fVXwPU_uGUUsT3biYIg/viewform
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I’m really passionate about data visualization, and am a huge advocate that everyone is capable of creating beautiful, well-designed, and user-friendly maps, graphics, and data viz (even if they say “they can’t” because they never learned). I sort of stumbled upon cartography – it never was my original plan, but I’m so very glad I did. My feelings about the importance of balancing design and analysis all began when I attended NACIS in Portland, OR, and a panel was discussing the importance of design in maps vs some that argued it wasn’t as needed anymore in many cases, because of advances in technology. I had no idea how much listening to those discussions would affect me, but ultimately I realized a trend in the talks I give, the research I enjoy (and research I did), and the products I enjoy exploring, all ultimately are related to sharing knowledge, breaking it down to shareable pieces, and exploring how to find new ways of visualizing things… on screens.
Q: Tell us the story behind your map (what inspired you to make it, what did you learn while making it, or any other aspects of the map or its creation you would like people to know).
A: All of the above really is a backdrop for why I made this map (although at the time I had not fully fleshed out and realized all of this). At the time, I was constantly frustrated with map design, and was always “waiting” to learn more about how to design maps to look a certain way, based on certain styles or aesthetics that had to be defined (like cubism, or impressionism). My mom is an artist, and I had spent so much of my life constantly surrounded by art, exploring art mediums (my mom always picked up new creative hobbies), and taking all the art classes I could. This, I think, is why I kept expecting there to be a book or class that explained what I was searching for, which ultimately was how to translate the aesthetic of maps off-screen to on-screen: what techniques did I need to learn and practice to learn how to do X? I got frustrated, and as a result, decided to create a map on-screen actually mimicking brushstrokes (I love painting). I should note here, one of my secondary frustrations was that neither Illustrator nor Photoshop could ever approximate the particular brush-strokes and looks I wanted them to. I knew there had to be products out there besides these “standard ones” that weren’t just CLONING a brush-look, but creating a better approximation of what happened. Corel Painter, as it turns out, was the solution – at least, one of them. Not only does it have a multitude of brush types, but it goes beyond brushes (sponges… pens… so many things). Additionally, there are different background textures that can be applied, and the different paper textures also are programmed to react differently to different paints, brushes, ‘wetness’ of paint, etc. Really fantastic. Anyway: this map was me exploring texture and paint. The topic is also near and dear to my heart – Madison, WI has so many beautiful places to run, so I wanted to show my favorite places. Finally, I always had admired the iconography of old maps, so I decided to draw some “detailed, but sketchy” icons for my favorite parts of the running routes.
Q: Tell us about the tools, data, etc., you used to make the map.
A: I used my mental map for the creation – a very purposeful choice, as the world in our head bends differently than accurate data ;), Corel Painter 12, and a drawing tablet.