Scholarships are offered for Mappers from developing coutnries

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is excited to announce a program to cover full travel and accomodations
costs for 15 mappers to attend State of the Map, Amsterdam, July 10th – 12th, 2009.

We”re seeking nominations from the community for potential mappers.

Generally, we are seeking people from places where costs would prohibit attendance, developing countries, and places that are “interesting” geopolitically. The ideal candidates for funding are from countries with a small OSM community, perhaps just a few mappers in total. They have made a significant start at mapping their city, either through Yahoo imagery or with their own GPS, and are directly familiar with the process of OSM. They may have started communicating among themselves, and made plans and scoped out the process for their local district. But, the community is nowhere near critical mass, and they need the inspiration and support to take OSM to the next level.

We need to act fast. State of the Map is just over two months away, tickets and visas need to be arranged. In order to allow enough time for all the arrangements, the nomination period will be short, one week only, ending next Wednesday, May 13. From the nominations received, we”ll review the list and choose 15 mappers to approach with the offer. Depending on their availability to attend, we”ll work our way through the list. We only recently secured funding for this program, so the process has to be quick.

Please send your nominations to sotm.scholarship at gmail.com. For each nomination, include the mappers name, OSM user name, email address, location, and a paragraph or two on why they”d be great to have at SOTM.

And also, please forward this message to other relevant local OSM lists.

As for regions, here are a few regions that seem to fit the bill, but nominations are not limited to these places at all.

* Eastern Europe: the Caucasus, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania.

* Arab States: Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt. Egypt is particularly interesting, as the ban on GPS units there was recently lifted.

* South Asia: India, Pakistan. While both countries have seen significant activities, relative to size and population they are in the very early stages.

* Southeast Asia: Phillipines, Vietnam, Thailand.

* South America: Colombia, Bolivia, Peru. Promising leads in government for the release of data for use in OSM.

* East Africa: Kenya is a hotspot for mapping right now (Ushahidi, AgCommons, MapMaker..)


Many thanks to the Open Society Institute for helping make this happen.