This September, we’re opening up the meetup to a Q&A format. Bring your questions and bring your knowledge. This is an ask-anything format so be ready to learn all the things. Beginner mappers welcome!


As usual, doors open at 6p and we’re getting started at 6:30p.

Join us: Tuesday, Sep 08 2015

Justin Palmer Workshop

Learn to make maps with Justin Palmer!

Portland Oregon: The Age of a City

Justin will lead a workshop on how to create maps on July 8th.

Bring your laptops and questions as this will be a hands-on Maptime where you will learn how to make sense of a data set and use online tools to create a web map.

Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Some of Justin’s work can be found here.

###Beginner Mappers Welcome!

Join us: Wednesday, Jul 08 2015

Come draw maps with MaptimePDX!

Hand-drawn maps!

Leave the laptops at home because @MaptimePDX is going analog - AKA it’s arts & crafts time!

We will be providing paper, maps, crayons and way to create map tiles from our drawings.

Feel free to bring the kids!

Pizza and drinks will be provided!


###Beginning & Experienced Mappers Welcome!

Join us: Thursday, Jun 11 2015

PDX OSM & Missing Maps Mapathon

###Start 2015 with a Mapathon!


###Beginning & Experienced Mappers Welcome!

  • Saturday, January 10th, 2015
  • 10 AM - 4 PM
  • Urban Airship
  • 1417 NW Everett St #300
  • Portland, OR 97209

Come learn about the basics of Open Street Map (OSM) and how to contribute as a remote mapper for local and Humanitarian OSM Team (HOT) mapping projects.

Please bring your own laptop. We will provide all the learning materials needed so feel free to come even if you’ve never mapped before! This is a beginner friendly event with experienced mappers who can help.


10am-12pm Intro to Editing in Open Street Map (OSM)

This is especially helpful for beginners. Feel free to skip this segment if you’re already comfortable and experienced with contributing to OSM or come early to help others or work on another mapping project.

12-4pm Mapping Work Party Starts

Join in on mapping needs for “PDX Building Imports” and the Missing Maps Project.

Join us: Saturday, Jan 10 2015

MaptimePDX Feedback Survey Results

The following is an in-depth look into our recent survey to the Portland, Oregon Maptime chapter. We ran it for a couple weeks in November and ended up with ten respondents. If you you don’t want to look at the detailed responses, you can skip to the summary.

What do you most want to learn about?

  • Answered/Skipped: 9/1


Respondent Comments

  • Mobile
  • Just getting my toes wet – this would be a good start :)

What would you like to see more of?

Answered/Skipped: 10/0

Respondent Comments

  • I love the idea of Hack time, but I think it sounds advanced to a lot of folks who might be scared off by it. Hack time might need a better name to be compatible with Maptime… Something like “problem solving” time?
  • I like all three – usually in combination in a single session, e.g. Tutorial + Hack Time Show-and-Tell + Hack Time
  • I think that being involved in a project will help me best learn concepts, tools, and methods.
  • I haven’t attended much but when I have I see new people that are interested but maybe aren’t taking that next step. Consider pairing people up or doing a ‘speed dating’ style round-robin to introduce folks and see if there is a match on projects whether mentor/learner or collaborators. Get side or group projects going outside of meetups. Get that energy building The Portland Python Mentoring group has an interesting structure. People pair up at the beginning of the night and work together on something.

Is there something you would be interested in teaching?

Answered/Skipped: 2/8

Respondent Comments

  • Would prefer to discuss that outside of this survey. Would prefer to road test content at PDXOSGeo or an unconference before trying to present to Maptime. In some ways Maptime seems like it might require more preparation (?)
  • Sure. I would be most interested in participating as a mentor on the subject, working with a small group one night, instead of say giving a large talk. I like the idea of focusing on individual peoples needs and interests than trying to keep everyone interested and engaged in a group talk. Though those talks have their place, especially once people just learning start to get some knowledge and experience under their belt. Consider doing a meetup that you have a call for mentors on a subject and turn people loose in groups.

How would you prefer we communicate with you, the community?

Answered/Skipped: 10/0

Respondent Comments

  • Obviously the more local the better!
  • calagator is fantastic; am not fond of google groups
  • It would be interesting and inspiring to receive a newsletter that summarizes what was covered/done at MapTime events and describes projects people are working on. Of course, this would take a considerable amount of work to produce.

How would you prefer to communicate with us, the organizers?

Answered/Skipped: 10/0

What are we doing well?

Answered/Skipped: 5/5

  • Communicating and being responsive to user needs by doing surveys like this…
  • Good space.
  • not yet sure
  • Being all-around awesome (sorry, I know that’s vague. But it’s true.)
  • Keeping it going!

How can we improve?

Answered/Skipped: 6/4

  • The newbie-friendly tone at Maptime is part of it’s awesomeness, but I wonder if over time, as people learn the basics, are you finding that people want more “intermediate” content? or are there just always new people with intermediates drifting off? #showerthought
  • Workgroups to help develop projects, better preparation and description of topics.
  • likewise
  • I feel like I always see Maptime dates… the day after they’ve happened. I’m trying to be more proactive about it – it might just be me.
  • Being more inclusive of the non-hacker/inexperienced but interested. It is very intimidating being in a room of very experienced and intelligent people and having a hack session and not knowing where you fit in as you’ve not done any of the work before. I recognize that this might not be interesting for all attendees, but maybe a quarterly ‘beginner night’ would be enticing for those interested.
  • More engaging speaking style, more hands-on, more discussion built-in, get people excited! Standard 40 minute talk after work is recipe for tiredness. If maptime is trying to be different, let’s see it!

Anything else you would like to tell us?

Answered/Skipped: 6/4

  • If all the Maptimes are doing this survey, would love to see the answers to question 1 as a bar chart for all of Maptime, and also for Maptime by city, to see if there are geographic differences in what people are interested in. No matter what, you should present the results at a Maptime!
  • my email, and name: {redacted}
  • Keep up the good work!
  • I’ve been unable to make it for some time so perhaps you’ve done some of the things I’ve suggested. You’re doing a great job creating a meeting space and community. Keep it up. Yer the tops!
  • Thank you for putting in the time to organize MapTimePDX! This is a great survey! Good job! :-)
  • Appreciate your guys’ energy and persistence. Optimally you want to get to where the group has a life of its own. Monthly meetups become a focal point and not the only thing. More collaboration with the PDX OSGEO group. There’s some overlap in the group and continuing to be inclusive will only help as its a small community. The OSM import event is an example. Consider billing it as a collaboration and looking for more of those opportunities. Also people at the OSGEO meetings have asked for the types of intro talk that maptime is providing. Consider posting maptime events on the OSGIS list and being that channel for the OSGEO group. Cheers, {redacted}

tl;dr (Results Summary)

What do you most want to learn about?

People would like to learn about git/github, web map api’s (such as Leaflet), programming basics (i.e. python), and web basics (html, css, etc).

What would you like to see more of?

People are fans of tutorials and show & tells. Slightly less so of hack-times.

Is there something you would be interested in teaching?

Two respondents are potentially interested in teaching or maybe being a mentor.

How would you prefer to send/receive communications?

Email, the Google Group, and Twitter are the prefered methods of communication.

What are we doing well?

It sounds like we’re doing well in general.

How can we improve?

Ideas for improvement include making sure we keep beginners in mind, improved planning/preparation, shorten presentations (40+ minutes is too long), and workgroups/mentorships.

Our Take-Aways

Here are our thoughts culled from the suvey results and discussion of those results at the December MaptimePDX.

Future Surveys

We’ll continue to send out feedback surveys periodically, with some minor tweaks. First, we’ll try to break them down into small bites, i.e. 1-3 questions. Second, we’ll probably switch to Google Forms to give us a little more control. I (Matt) used SurveyMonkey this time around thinking the free version let us download the results data at least in csv. Not the case; lesson learned!


Our current forms of communication seem to adequate, if not a little clunky at times. We’ll continue using Twitter, the Google Group, and Calagator as our primary methods of communicating with the community. We’re also going to look at adding Eventbrite (so we can get some RSVP capabilities) and cross posting to other related groups (PDX-Osgeo) to the mix. We’d also like to figure out a way to streamline communications so we’re more consistent/timely with the channels of communication we use (suggestions welcome).

Likewise, communicating with the organizers via Twitter, the Google Group, and direct email seem to be adequate (again, sometimes clunky). On the email front, we now have an alias set up that will reach us directly:


As we’ve settled in to our roles as organizers, it’s become more and more apparent that we need some longer-range planning to get the most out of maptime. This survey was the first step towards that goal. Now that we have much clearer view of the community’s learning interests & needs, we’re planning on doing a longer-range planning session, tentatively in late January. It will be an open session and probably online to help make it easy to attend. Stay tuned for details.


Thank you to everyone who filled out the survey. And thank you everyone who has attended a Maptime session. Maptime has had a pretty good year, and we’re hoping to make 2015 even better!

-Team MaptimePDX

Posted Dec 07 2014 by Matt Sayler