To know my customers, and to align what I do with their needs…
I traveled to Boston, Cambridge, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre this week. I met with over 30 people on Monday and Tuesday. The photoshop rendering is based on a photo I took on my walk from downtown Boston to the Cambridge Development Department.
Why Cambridge? The City of Cambridge was one of the first cities to use WikiMapping about five years ago. I’ve been impressed with the projects they’ve set up. WikiMapping got its start with the Minuteman Bikeway. We’ve biked on it as a family. I visited two outstanding planning firms in Boston and my cousin David McIntosh, who wrote The Art of Business.
Monday was a long day. Up at 3:30 to catch a 5:40 flight. And I left my meeting in Cambridge at 4:20 and was back at Logan Airport via the subway and shuttle by 5:15. The flight departed at 6:00. Short term parking at Philadelphia Airport cost $25. My transit fare was $11 for the day in Boston. I never had time to eat lunch.
On Tuesday, I picked up Bob and Doug at Noble Train Station and we drove to meetings in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. My comment in the car was that I really like the people we work with in NE PA. I’m happy to work on a bike plan there, helping with public engagement. And I really felt appreciated.
Thank goodness for my calendar, or the rest of the week would have been a blur. I made travel plans, participated in conference calls, answered WikiMapping questions, and helped a few people set up their projects. Most of my time was spent writing and rewriting and rewriting my priorities for WikiMapping. And I reflected on how valuable it was to meet with people who use our service a lot.
I have a lot of work to do on the WikiMapping home page. Some links broke, I want to use a cleaner theme, and I want to add more videos. I really had hoped to develop cartographyclass.com as well, but Wikimapping gets 90% of my attention now. The other 10% goes to cartography projects – The D&H and the Genesee Valley Greenway and The Genesee River Greenway.
On the backend – I’m pretty happy with gitlab, the tool we’re using to deploy wikimapping and track issues. In the past we’ve used github and bitbucket. And I’m relying more on ZenDesk since I took email off of my phone. I’m reading Cal Newport’s new book, Digital Minimalism this week. This kind of goes along with removing email from my phone.
Change is constant. I’ve set goals for wikimapping, and I am excited to talk to people about it. I have the best archetype – talented complete streets planners. Along with Boston, it’s exciting to see WikiMapping used in cities such as Portland, San Jose, Los Angeles Minneapolis, Missoula, Charleston, New York, Austin, Davis, and even Davenport, Des Moines, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids (go Iowa!). I have no shortage of people to meet. The people I meet or help on the phone are the best thing about WikiMapping.