We're happy to announce the 16 amazing winners of scholarships to State of the Map US. They are students and educators, community organizers and government employees, mappers and hackers, activists and humanitarians. They come from within and outside of the US, eager to share their knowledge and ask questions about working with OpenStreetMap in their area. But most importantly, they believe in the potential of OpenStreetMap to change the face of mapping.
These individuals stood out among a very competitive pool of over 100 applicants because of their past work with OpenStreetMap or their future potential. Three of them, Dennis, Sterling, and Eric, will also be speaking at the conference. If you run into any of them in the hallway at SOTM US, be sure to ask them about the really cool projects they've been working on!
Now, instead of attempting the impossible task of relating all of the awesome things about them, I'm just going to share a few of my favorite quotes from their applications:
"I want to start talking to other OSM users about how we teach about maps and what we can do to empower beginners and make our work more effective."
"I map because I believe that the assets I pin-point offer a powerful counter-narrative to the headline-grabbing statistics of blight, debt, and poverty in Detroit."
"All of this was motivated by the utility of open data and knowledge in emergency services, although I've been absorbed by the amazing people and community behind OSM."
"I want to learn! I want to contribute! I want to get involved! And I want to take all that I learn back to my community and turn it into action."
"For government agencies, change is never easy, but as people begin to see the ease, efficiency, and public-serving nature of open source policies and technologies, we will gain supporters and move in the right direction."
A big thank you goes to our scholarship sponsors Amazon, Mapzen, and Rackspace, who made bringing these folks to State of the Map US possible. Your support to bring these amazing contributors to the conference helps us improve the map and strengthen our community.
If your company would still like to become a sponsor, it's not too late! We have a short waitlist that the selection team would still like to bring to State of the Map US if possible. Please contact Bonnie for more details about how to become a sponsor.
And finally, thank you to everyone who applied! There were so many excellent candidates, and personally, I wish we could have funded every single one of you. The selection team was very impressed by the quality of your applications. Keep up the great work!
Edit: we've added Paul Norman now and we're at 16 scholars!
Photo: Justin Miller