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.

Maptime Board

Per our Bylaws, Board positions (President, Vice President, Treasurer & Secretary) are up for renewal as of June 1. If you’re interested in stepping up, email! If not, Beth, Lyzi, Camille and Alan are happy to continue serving.

Chapter Challenges

It sounds like the two main challenges for chapters are time and finding presenters. Another challenge is finding people to lead when existing organizers burn out or need a break.

Possible Solution: Videos!

In order to help with this, we pitched the idea of doing instructional videos for content. People seem really excited about this idea, which is great! Videos could help us in a few key ways:

  • They could help us create content that’s more easily usable by new chapters. We currently have repos with different presentations, but sometimes important information goes missing. A video would fix this.

  • They let us use content from experts. If you have a chapter in a small town, maybe expert teachers aren’t available. Videos would make it possible for experts to come to you!

  • They keep us from reinventing the wheel. Chapter organizers work as volunteers, so their time is very valuable! Videos would let them spend more time organizing and planning activities and less time repurposing instructional content. Plus, we could create lessons that mix Maptime videos with videos from companies like CartoDB. How cool would THAT be?

Some other notes about videos:

  • Videos would be helpful for things like onboarding and organizer tasks.

  • Videos should not be the sole content of a Maptime gathering. The idea would be to use them in lieu of a presentation, and then to work on activities together.

  • When we say videos, we’re talking about screencasts. If you want to get fancy go for it! But we’re going for easy to produce and informative here!

  • Working this way also means that we should create a bona fide Maptime syllabus. That would allow for Chapters to have a better idea for what to teach next.

Finally, next steps for videos:

  • Beth will test making a screencast. She likes Camtasia but will see what free software is out there.
  • Based on that experience, we’ll make a video about how to make videos.
  • More next steps to follow from there :)


Some more organizational documentation / how-to would be helpful.

For example, a stylesheet and boilerplate for people to use. This is another to-do for HQ.

And last but not least,

Let’s do a Missing Maps Month! Missing Maps would LOVE to do a collaboration with Maptime! And it sounds like we’re all interested. Rather than trying to get everyone to do it all on one day (yikes!) we’ll just do one month of Missing Maps. Stay tuned for more info!

Ok I think that’s it. If you think of anything you’d like us to add, email