More than 150 people turned out Wednesday evening for the first MapNight, organized by BendTECH, the city’s tech-focused coworking space. The goal was to offer people working with and interested in GIS a chance to meet others, learn about Bend GIS companies and generally geek out over mapping software.
It worked. The coworking space and Stackhouse coffee were packed as people listened to presentations from SJ Camarata, director at ESRI and long-time Bend resident, as well as from GIS startup founders Sam Lanier of FireWhat, and Jereme Monteau of Trailhead Labs.
Tierney O’Dea, BendTECH’s manager, says that the mission of the coworking space is to boost the startup and tech community and bring people together.
“There are a whole bunch of GIS people doing great things here,” she says. “I think lots of people made connections last night, formed friendships and shared knowledge that will be helpful going forward.”
The free event attracted developers, startup founders, designers and journalists. In addition to the speakers, several organizations and companies hosted booths including Deschutes County, Crook County, COCC, Public Science League, Real Geographics, GeoEngineers and SOAR Oregon. FireWhat even brought the mobile trailer — action center — that the company brings to fire sites.
All in all, it was an inspiring evening filled with people working on cool stuff, many of them new to Bend. Excited to see what happens next.
You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].