So Long, and Thanks for All the Maps*

by: Beth Schechter, Maptime Founder

After three or so years with the same leadership of this organization, it’s time for a change of the guard. I’m pleased to announce that Emily Ashley (New Orleans), Rachel Stevenson (Boulder), and Omar Ureta (Los Angeles) will be taking over as the new Maptime HQ!

You might be wondering…wait, what’s up with this? Where are Beth, Alan, Lyzi and Camille going? And what’s next for Maptime?!

And whether you’re wondering or not, here are answers to all these questions.

Wait, what’s up with this? Where are Beth, Alan, Lyzi and Camille going?

To make a long story short, all of us started to get pretty burnt out after the 2015 Maptime Summit. I could write more about it here, but my talk from this year’s State of the Map sums it up the best.

If you’re feeling burnt out running your chapter, then take a look at Handing Off a Maptime Chapter for some tips on what to do.

If you’ve still got plenty of gas in the tank, great! But we’re all volunteers, and no one should feel like they have to volunteer indefinitely. If you need to take some time off, do it! If it stops being fun, pass the torch - it’s totally ok when that happens. Keep an eye on your metaphorical fuel guage and let the new HQ know before it hits ‘E’.

My unsolicited advice to the new HQ is to instill rotating leadership on a yearly basis, so that a handoff happens before burnout does. It might be a good idea for chapters to try the same approach as well - but that’s for you to decide :)

Is Maptime still going after 501(c)3 status?

Alan, Lyzi, Camille and I decided to stop putting efforts into this for a few reasons:

  • It takes money that Maptime doesn’t have to do this, specifically to pay fees for things like business registration and bank accounts. It’s possible to come up with this money, but ultimately we were too burnt out to consider doing that work.

  • The legal and bank-related paperwork we had in motion were in the state of California. Moving to Oregon, unbeknownst to me, threw a major wrench into the plans, making it nearly impossible to do without starting all over.

  • Did I mention that we were all burnt out? Because for really real we were all burnt out.

Based on everything I now know about applying for 501(c)3 status, my recommendation to new leadership is to set up a fiscal sponsorship with an organization they trust. I will leave this decision to them.

I’ve updated the Bylaws to reflect these changes, and noted them in the changelog at the end. The new HQ can further update them as needed.

What’s next for Maptime?

That’s a great question – and one that’s for Rachel, Emily, Omar and you to answer. I look really forward to seeing what you come up with!

I couldn’t be more grateful to have been a part of this organization and to see it sprout from a tiny seedling to a global movement.

Let’s see what this next chapter has in store!

*Yes, WIRED Map Lab used this same title to announce the end of their column, but it’s just too good and I couldn’t help myself.

Posted Oct 13 2016

CartoDB's Maptime Pizza Donation Continues Another Year!


Pizza Time!

Looking back at a long year of Maptimes and mapping fun, one thing has remained true: Pizza and mapping go hand-in-hand. CartoDB’s Maptime pizza donations this past year has ensured that this remains true, and that mappers everywhere, from Chicago to Berlin, didn’t go a mapping evening un-fed.

Over the course of the past year, over 70 meetups across the world ate over 2,500 slices of delicious cheesy pie asa result of this collaboration, and CartoDB has announced they are extending their donation for another whole year! This means that every Maptime everywhere can enjoy delicious pizza courtesy of CartoDB well into 2017. now that’s reason to celebrate!

##How does it work? Same as before, getting pizza for your Maptime meetup is super easy. One week before every meetup, email santiago@cartodb.com with basic information about your event. Here’s what to include:

  • Maptime chapter
  • Meetup date
  • Meetup link
  • Organizer’s name & email
  • Any interesting developments in your mapping community

And thats it! CartoDB will follow up with simple information on how to submit for pizza pay-back. In addition, if the pizza fuels some great CartoDB projects, inspires beautiful friendships, or if you just want to say thanks, be sure to tweet them @cartoDB.

Enjoy!

Posted Apr 18 2016

May 2016 is Missing Maps Month at Maptime

Mayday, mayday!

Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Volcanic eruptions. These natural disasters literally reshape the surface of the earth, and destroy centuries of human infrastructure while they’re at it.

This is a major problem for first responders to crisis, who are trying to get on the ground and help people as fast as possible. What if the street that used to be there isn’t there anymore? What if suddenly water supplies are contaminated? How can you help people get the support that they need when you can’t even navigate the space they’re in or the supplies they need have been destroyed?

This is where making maps can make a huge difference. They can literally make or break first responders’ ability to help.

That’s why, this May, Maptime is teaming up with Missing Maps, a collection of nonprofits devoted to organizing volunteers to map satellite data and get these maps working again. We’re asking all US Maptime chapters to devote one of your sessions in May to mapping satellite data for the Missing Maps mission.

missing maps in Glasgow
Missing Maps event in Glasgow, Feb. 2016

Never mapped satellite data before? Have no fear! Missing Maps provides tutorials on how to get started with mapping, making it easy for you and your chapter to get up to speed.

What’s better? Participating Maptime chapters will get free pizza, courtesy of Missing Maps!

Want to participate? Sign up here by April 23 to ensure pizza.

Have questions? Email hello [at] maptime [dot] io.

Let’s help out Missing Maps and get some important maps back on the map!

//

Want to read more about the awesomesauce that is Missing Maps? Check out this article by collaborator Drishtie Patel

Posted Apr 07 2016

Notes from the 2016 Organizer Meeting

by Beth

On Saturday Feb. 13, Maptime Organizers got together via Google Hangout to talk about how things are going.

If you want to watch it in full (it’s about 90 minutes!) you can watch this video.

But if you want to just get the highlights (recommended!) read on.

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Posted Feb 21 2016

2015 Maptime Summit - So Many Things and So Many Thanks!

by Beth

###A great big (belated) THANK YOU! to everyone who came to the 2015 Maptime Summit!

Maptime Group Shot

Wow. Wow wow wow.

Those are the only words I can use to describe the feelings after the Maptime Summit. Many thanks to everyone who made it out! We had representation from Amsterdam, Berlin, Madison, Vancouver, New York City, Boston, Lexington, Washington DC, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Bend, Cleveland, and Portland, as well as people interested in starting up in Taipei, Beijing, and Trento. To think that last year we were blown away by the 9 chapters who showed interest…we’ve gotten nearly six times bigger!

With this growth in mind, this year’s Summit took a bit of a different shape than last year’s. It’s not just about the excitement of getting people on board for learning. While that’s still the case, these days we’re all – and I mean HQ as well as chapter organizers, particularly the ones that have been going for a year or more – thinking about how to sustain ourselves. How do we deal with burnout? How do we deal with paying for spaces and snacks? How do we keep this wonderful rainbow aglow?

In the opening remarks, we talked about some important changes that will hopefully help with that. First, Lyzi will be stepping up as Executive Director, and while I’m stepping sideways and back into a role as President of the Board (we’ll talk more about organizational stuff in not-so-distant future blog post). The other important change is: it’s time to ask for dollars, even from attendees. The idea is not to turn Maptime into a commercial enterprise. However, it’s a lot to ask an organizer to pay for a space on top of everything else, particularly if they can’t find a sponsor. It’s much less of an ask to request a $5-10 donation from attendees. Even if someone has to pay a small amount at every Maptime, they are still only looking at $60-120/year, which is pretty competitive for geo education (especially in the US). Again, look for more blog posts about these operational topics in the not-so-distant future.

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Posted Jun 22 2015