Unfortunately, due to going to Brussels for FOSDEM, I won’t be able to attend, but just in case people are interested, here is the news: the Spanish OpenStreetMap crowd are organizing a mapping party in Zaragoza, where they will probably finish (or at least almost) a complete map of the whole city. If you are close and want to learn how to contribute the maps, it’s a great opportunity.
Since I joined the OpenStreetMap project, coverage for most areas has been improving, even though areas, like where I live, go slowly (but steadily) improving, mainly because just a few people work on those areas. That’s really why not only does OSM need volunteers, but also donations of free map data from government agencies and others. UK and The Netherlands already had that kind of donations, as well as the US, which is now mostly complete (streets and highways mainly) thanks to the importing of TIGER data into OSM.
If you live in the US, you are lucky, you have now a map that is usable and that just needs volunteers to check for accuracy and complete it, adding more information to the map (like restaurants, hotels, pubs, etc, etc). For less complete areas, like mine, even companies are starting to use the map, so why not you?
In case you’re wondering how you could do that, see here for tutorials, and remember, if you’re using openSUSE, that packages for JOSM (the program used for editing the maps) is available in the build service.
Next week, on October 3rd, for lucky people in the Iberian Peninsula or in some parts of Africa (specially Sudan), there will be an annular solar eclipse, something that hasn’t been seen in more than 200 years.
Since I am not a lucky person, I will miss it, since those days I’ll be on the other part of the Atlantic, in Boston, for some desktop team meeting action and the GNOME summit.