9 years 1


Give me a bit of slack with this post and I will try to contrive a link to geo before the end. Promise!

The ‘monkey’ is off our backs after 9 years wait for silverware 🙂

Those of you who know me, follow this blog or my twitter stream will know that my passion for the Arsenal ranks up there with, or even in front of, my love of geo, things open and mistrust of conservative politics. Having  dined on caviar for a number of years, we Arsenal fans have had a pretty lean diet of success over the last 9 years, actually so lean that we have starved! Lot’s of people have been so kind to remind me of this 9 year void quite frequently. The last time Arsenal won a trophy was the 2005 FA Cup in Cardiff, I was there with my two boys. At the time of writing, it’s almost 90 hours since we last won a trophy, the 2014 FA Cup and I know because I was at Wembley with my two sons on Saturday 17th June 2014.

So while people have been banging on about 9 years, getting the monkey off our backs, the beginning of the next phase etc, I have been thinking about 9 years for me and my football loving sons. Never mind Arsenal look how those boys have grown up

Leo (16) and Toby (7) at the 2005 FA Cup Final in Cardiff.

Here are my boys in Cardiff 9 years ago, a miserable goalless game that Manchester United dominated but which we won on penalties after extra time? We didn’t play well or even deserve to win, but who cares?The boys didn’t when we lifted the cup.

9 years later ….

A very happy trio at Wembley after Arsenal had won the 2014 FA Cup Final

Look how those boys have grown 🙂

Hardcore FOSS4G folk will recognise ‘the shirt‘ that I am wearing (has FOSS 4G on the back, football style) which Ken Field and Mark Iliffe presented to me at the closing party of FOSS4G 2013 along with a delightful pair of Tottenham Hotspur shorts with the word ‘ARSE’ on the back which I decided not to wear to Wembley.

So one of my treasured thoughts about the last 9 years is not the trophy but how my two sons have grown up and now tower above me.

Enough of the football you are saying, where is the geo link? Well forget the 9 years for a moment, Arsenal’s finest year in living memory has to be the 2004 season (I know but just hang in there for a minute more) when we went through the whole season undefeated (that’s 38 games in a run of 49 games undefeated across 3 seasons) and won the Premier League – that’s 10 years ago.

What were you doing 10 years ago? What did geo look like to you 10 years ago? 10 years ago a guy called Steve Coast had an idea for an Open Street Map, the rest is history and it is a history that has changed the world of mapping. Steve blogged a couple of days ago that the company he now works for, Telenav, is in the process of switching its millions of navigation users to OSM because they believe OSM is now ready to provide first class navigation services.

So in addition to my boys growing up, Arsenal winning a trophy, the last 10 years have also brought us OSM and it has grown up to be a fantastic community creating amazing map data, it’s not even a teenager yet. OSM deserves a trophy too.

I haven’t been a member of the OSM community for 10 years but I have been contributing in one way or another for over 5 years. There’s another post coming soon on getting sucked into OSM, getting things wrong, having fun, stress therapy, challenges and hopefully helping people in crisis (a tiny bit) but that will have to wait until I have finished celebrating. Did you know that Arsenal are the most recent trophy winning club in the English Premier League?

See, I got there in the end


One thought on “9 years

  • Thierry_G

    Nice one Steven. Speaking of then and now, what I find most remarkable is that these days photos don’t fade anymore. Looking at digital pictures from 10 years ago, people still look just as sharp & real then as they do now (illustrated by your sons), which is a bit weird. It’s almost like we are now able to maintain multiple versions of ourselves, and maybe the same is true for maps (to add another contrived link…).

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