Call for Participation and Submission Guidelines


Call for Participation

The State of the Map (SotM) conference is the annual OpenStreetMap (OSM) conference run by the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF). It is organised by the SotM Working Group, a team of volunteers. This year, SotM 2022 will be a hybrid event, held in person in Firenze, Italy and online!

State of the Map is intended as an opportunity for the OpenStreetMap community to get to know each other, both personally and regarding their work in OpenStreetMap. We want to offer a programme that covers all topics relevant to OpenStreetMap. Sharing OpenStreetMap knowledge is the essence of SotM. Apart from presentations, we value the interaction between listeners and speakers, so we want to create an environment that boosts critical and healthy discussions, including contentious topics. This year we shall have the opportunity again to meet in person. At the same time we recognise that many people may not be able to travel due to personal reasons or governmental restrictions. Therefore, we intend to share the programme virtually as well and give the virtual visitors the opportunity to participate and interact.

We would love to see your submission for one or more of these tracks:

  • OSM Basics
  • Community and Foundation
  • Mapping
  • Cartography
  • Software Development
  • Data Analysis & Data Model
  • User Experiences


Don’t worry too much about the track categories; they are there to help us organise the conference, but if you find it difficult to select the right track for your talk, choose the one that fits best and we are willing to make adjustments if necessary.

OSM Basics

OSM has grown a lot. Many newcomers or “newbies” have a great thirst for knowledge in areas that may seem uninteresting and basic to existing contributors. We reserve a number of slots for talks that help to satisfy this need. Considering we have a variety of participants from across the globe, it is important that you are an expert in the subject you want to talk about and are able to make it understandable. Please note in the submission what approximate level of previous knowledge is required for the participants.

Examples for this kind of talk are: Explaining the OSM data model; Education in OSM Editors or cartography tools; and Becoming a working group member. There is also a great interest in beginner’s workshops: OSM editing in JOSM and iD, using data with Overpass. How to render a map? How to print a map?

Community and Foundation

Want to recount your experiences while building a community? Or talk about the vision of OSMF? Or maybe discuss the strategy of the Board? Reflection on community diversity and questions on etiquette are suitable for this track. Other possible topics include why become an OSMF member, working group experiences, and everything related to OSM, OSMF and communities.


This track is all about mapping, surveying, data collection, tagging; tips and reflections on OSM editors, or new editor features; reflections on automated mapping, organised editing and imports.


Possible topics can include cartography and data visualisation, rendering raster and vector maps, map styles, CartoCSS, usage of Kosmtik, maps with QGIS, printing maps and more. All your ideas on how to create a beautiful, fun, quirky and out-of-this-world map!

Software Development

This track awaits talks by or for developers of applications that make use of OSM data, e.g. OSM editors, (vector) tile servers, geocoding, routing, navigation, editor layer indices; tips and tricks with new PostGIS features, or new features of other tools and applications.

Data Analysis and Data Model

This track is dedicated to OSM data itself: analysis of OSM data quality; reflections about enhancing the data model; or discussing the way the OSM data is accessed through the API. Also submissions about deep learning are welcome in this track.

User Experiences

This track is all about the usage of OSM. Examples are how OSM is used in government, public transport, humanitarian response, and scientific context, among others, as well as OSM as an education tool in classrooms. You can present citizen projects that are using OSM data to understand and manage their environment. It also provides a space to present your artistic and creative projects that use OSM data or theme to eg. create clothing, jewellery, 3D printed objects, engravings, visualizations, computer or mobile games, virtual worlds, augmented reality, flyers, postcards, etc.

Submission Types

You may choose for most submission types whether you attend in person or participate virtually. We will try to make all events available for online and offline attendance. Exceptions are noted below. Please keep in mind that the conference will take place in the CEST timezone. We will try to take into account the timezone of participants as much as possible when scheduling events but we will be restricted to the usual conference hours between 9am and 6pm.

Talk (20 minutes)

Classic talk of about 20 minutes for the talk itself followed by a question and answer session. This is the preferred submission type. Talks can either be held in-person at the conference or, if you cannot attend, you may submit a pre-recorded talk. The QA part of the talk is always live. Virtual speakers will join via video call. That means that even with a pre-recorded video you need to be available.

Extended Talk (40 minutes)

An extended talk with 40 minutes for the talk and 15 minutes for questions. These are for topics you want to explore in more depth. The same rules as for classic talks apply. You should outline why your talk deserves more time.

Workshop (60–90 minutes)

Workshops are sessions in which the participants are actively involved, for example by following some steps on their own devices. We welcome workshops that cover basic beginners’s topics as well as innovative technologies.

Please communicate any requirements for participants in order to attend your proposed workshop regarding technical equipment. Please ensure that your participants shouldn’t be told to create an account at a business platform or a platform with user tracking. Or if so communicate that in an exposed way in your submission and provide guest accounts for your participants.

Workshops will be held either in-person or virtually, not with a mixed audience. If you want to offer the workshop for both audiences, you are welcome to hold it twice. For virtual workshops, we will provide video conference rooms. Online workshops will have a limited number of places to ensure a successful session.

Panel Discussion (60-90 minutes)

Panels are for hot, controversial discussions around OSM community, mapping and data. Topics may cover for example diversity, legal questions or the future of the database. You should outline the format on how you intend to organise the discussion and make sure to invite the key players for the discussion. Panel participants can either all join in-person or all virtually via video call. We welcome panels that include the audience. Just keep in mind that questions come from virtual and in-person participants. A designated moderator is therefore strongly recommended.


Your submission does not fit into any of these submission types? Please get in touch with the programme committee via email ( before the end of the call for participation.

Other session types

We plan to provide space for other session types which cannot be submitted in advance. Details will be announced before the conference.

Lightning Talk

Lightning talks will be short 5 minute talks. There will be some spaces for last-minute in-person talks as well as spaces for pre-recorded videos. This will be announced separately.

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions are informal, spontaneous discussion rounds centered around a specific topic. It is not possible to submit a BoF session in advance. BoFs will usually be held in person only.

Free Spaces

We will provide free spaces for working groups, local chapters, local groups, user groups for chitchat and more.

Rating Criteria

In rating submissions, we will apply the following criteria:

  • OSM as the subject: A submission where OSM is the main subject or an important ingredient will be rated higher than one that is more generic (e.g. a general talk about GIS software).
  • Preference of “open”: A submission about open data and open source software will be preferred over one that deals with proprietary data or proprietary software and closed platforms.
  • Preference of innovation: A submission about something new, or something not discussed at previous conferences, will be preferred over one that discusses more widely known issues (exception: OSM Basics).
  • We are hoping for talks from a multitude of speakers and hence we would prefer accepting a talk from a „new“ speaker over accepting a second talk from someone who has already an accepted talk.
  • We will also try to avoid accepting too many talks from members of the same organisation.
  • We prefer talks from members of underrepresented groups.
  • We value transparency. We prefer submissions that disclose affiliations and sponsors of their work.

Sometimes we will make some changes or have suggestions:

  • We might ask if several speakers can merge their talks.
  • We might also ask if a change of format would be possible (for example we might suggest the lightning talk format instead of a regular talk when we find it is not enough content for a complete talk, but an interesting subject).


The conference language of State of the Map is English. All presentations shall be held in English. It is an important aspect of the conference that participants can interact with the speakers for questions and discussions. Non-English speaking participants are welcome to meet in the Birds of a Feather sessions.


Video recordings and slides of the lectures will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution International 3.0 or later (CC BY 3.0+) license.


State of the Map is a non-commercial event where neither the organisers nor the speakers are being paid. Speakers have to get a conference ticket just like everyone else. Details will be announced later.

Programme Committee

Your submissions will be reviewed by a programme committee consisting of OpenStreetMap community members from various parts of the world.

  • Sarah Hoffmann (lead programme committee, developer, Germany)
  • Manfred Stock (lead programme committee, mapper, Switzerland)
  • Arun Ganesh (mapper and cartographer, India)
  • Christine Karch (chairwoman SotM Working Group, Germany)
  • Gregory Marler (SotM Working Group, United Kingdom)
  • Ilya Zverev (forum moderator, Russia)
  • John Bryant (geospatial consultant & mapper, Australia)
  • Jennings Anderson (researcher, United States)
  • Lorenzo Stucchi (local team, Italy)
  • Maggie Cawley (OpenStreetMap US, United States)
  • Omowonuola Akintola (mapper, Nigeria)
  • Satochi Iida (OSMF Japan, Japan)
  • Sidorela Uku (mapper, Albania)
  • Séverin Menard (EOF, France, French-speaking West-African and Caribbean outreach)
  • Stefan Keller (Geometa Lab Campus Rapperswil, Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences (FH OST), Switzerland)

The programme committee is aware of possible conflict of interest situations. We try to balance that in the composition of the committee. Nevertheless, we have imposed some rules upon ourselves to handle conflict of interest situations:

  • We do not rate submissions from our workmates, clients or relatives.
  • We act carefully and are aware about possible conflicts (especially the situation of horse trading). We act particularly carefully in cases associated to a sponsor.
  • We communicate to other Programme Committee members when we are in a conflict of interest situation.
  • We report any outside attempt of influencing their decisions to the chair of the SotM Working Group.

We hope this detailed “Call for Presentations” helps to increase the transparency of our programme selection process. Questions are welcome. You can reach us at the following email address:

Timeline and Deadlines

  • 25 April 2022 23:59:59 UTC: Deadline talk, workshop and panel submissions
  • 10 May 2022: Deadline academic talk submissions
  • End of May 2022: End of review phase, speakers will be informed
  • June 2022: Talk video production (test video and final video)
  • August 2022: Lightning talk video production
  • 19-21 August 2022: State of the Map

Submit your presentation

Please submit your presentation proposal to our submission form.

The SotM 2022 Programme Committee, 14 March 2022