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Maptime, Motherhood and Martyrdom: When Running an Open Source Community Becomes Too Much


Beth Schechter 30min

This talk was transcribed.

In 2013, just a few days after attending my very first State of the Map US, I did something that ended up changing my life: I met up with some friends to work on some mapping tutorials, with the intent of just getting better at making maps myself. That little meeting catalyzed a not-so-little movement: an international learning community called Maptime.

Over the years, Maptime has been regarded as a huge success – and I couldn’t be more proud of it. But the truth is, that success has come with a heavy load, one that has challenged my ideals around volunteerism, open source projects, my duty as a founder, and who I am as a human being.

In this talk, I’d like to speak as myself and share some of the harder lessons I’ve learned running this open source learning community. It takes sunshine to make a rainbow, but it wouldn’t be possible without rain.