The mark of a great conference is one that not only is well run and orchestrated, interesting from a content perspective, and full of bright minds, but also one that experiments with elements of interactions to maximize the value delivered to attendees. By these measures, the International Conference of Crisis Mappers (ICCM) succeeds. Normally, I struggle with the call to attend sessions vs. the conference hallway conversations which can be of such great value. ICCM provided enough context and structure for enjoying both, plus a number of other participatory structures in which to interact with and learn from other ICCM attendees.
For attending ICCM, I had plans to only hallway chat about http://OpenDroneMap.org, in order to get a measure of the culture and needs, and also of the interest for such a project from digital humanitarians in an effort to get enough interest to begin to garnish users and contributors. Thanks to some last minute slots opening up, and on the kind recommendation of Jen Ziemke, I was able to show OpenDroneMap at the Tech & Analysis Fair at Google at the start of the conference and also do a well attended deep dive session on Saturday. In each, I got great questions and recommendations, did a brainstorming session on use in the deep dive session, and had a thoroughly great time.
More later, but I will end with this — if you like technology, have empathy and a desire to apply empathetic design, development, and sweat equity to humanitarian needs, then get signed up at http://crisismappers.net, become a participant in HOT, join the Standby Task Force, and / or all the other work done by digital humanitarians, and make your way to Boston next year for the next ICCM.