Today, we’re launching the OSM PLUS conference.

At SOTM US last year I threw out the idea of having a commercial-only conference  for OSM. SOTM in general has had a mixed relationship with commercial entities, dating back to the first “business day” we ran at SOTM (if I remember… Amsterdam). Many in the community view companies as somewhere in the range of biased to evil. This isn’t a view that I share. Either way, creating a conference for specifically those entities seems like a good thing to try.

The response I received was very positive. There appears to be a need for large users of OSM data to get together. They share various concerns and have similar goals. Many large users have a piece of the puzzle to help OSM (and themselves) succeed but not the whole set. By getting various entities together, one of my hopes is we can build something larger than the sum of the parts.

It should be a lot of fun, here’s the announcement;

The OpenStreetMap Professional Large Users Summit is going to be held just after SOTM US, on June 10th in San Francisco at the Marriott Union Square. You can register here. Be quick, space is limited.

OSM PLUS is new and focused on professional users of OSM data and toolchains commercially, academically, in government and elsewhere. It is a paid-for event and we expect it to be more of a conversation than a traditional presentation. Many professional users have similar concerns and expectations for OSM. We want to explore these in an environment focused on coming up with solutions.

Today, OSM is a volunteer-only organization. This focus doesn’t always satisfy the needs of many users. We want to have an open conversation about ways to make OSM better. Because of that, the program will be influenced by those who attend.

PS you can use the code “GPS” to get 20% off the ticket price if you register soon.