The OSM-BMW Meetup

11:29 pm PHT

 Maning talking about OpenStreetMap

Last June 28, Maning, Rally, and I met a bunch of guys from the BMW Car Club to talk about OpenStreetMap. The meetup happened at Centerstage KTV along Jupiter Street in Makati. The KTV is owned by Mikey, one of the club’s members. (BTW, the KTV seems to be an excellent videoke place; it’s quite similar to Red Box.)

The event was actually an eyeball for the club and a few of them got their brand new Garmin Nuvi GPS car navigation units there (drool!). And what better way to make use of their shiny new toys than to load it up with the OSM-PH routable Garmin maps? Hory (aka hardright), apparently the club’s main man, decided to invite Maning (who tagged me and Rally along) to explain to the club members how the data for the maps was collected. And thus we gave them a presentation on OSM (an updated version of this one).

As always with events like these conducted all over the world where OpenStreetMap is introduced, Maning played them ITO World’s excellent A Year of Edits video. This animation of contributions to OSM in 2008 never fails to impress and I think it played a huge part in bringing new people into the project this year.  :-D

Aside from providing moral support to Maning, Rally talked about his motivations for contributing to OpenStreetMap and demonstrated Mapsource, a software by Garmin for manipulating map data, while I showed them how to edit in Potlatch, the web-based OSM editor.

Hopefully our presentation of OpenStreetMap got them suitably interested and we hope to get a contributor or two even if they’ll just donate some GPS tracks.  :-) Also, the BMW Car Club isn’t actually the first car club to approach the local OSM community; the Subaru Club invited Maning back in February.

One thing I realized from the meetup is that boys will be boys. The club members absolutely love their cars and their GPS devices. You can tell from they way they talk about their gear and in the stories they exchanged. Some of them brought their wives/girlfriends to the meetup and these ladies were positively bored. Hehehe.

By the way, I asked Hory regarding the publicized BMW Navigation system. I’m not sure if I remember correctly, but I think Hory said that the 30K unit was too expensive and I’m surprised when he said that. Well, these are people who own BMW cars that are worth more than a million pesos and they (or at least Hory) seem to think that BMW’s product is not worth the price. They would actually go with buying more affordable GPS units and loading it up with OpenStreetMap (or Imagine that?  :-D

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