A couple of back to back work trips in the past 10 days.

Downtown Austin TX as seen from Long Center patio

Last Thursday through Sunday I was in Austin, TX to give a talk at GeoRodeo, a one-day geospatial technology conference put on by the folks at TNRIS. The event was fun and I got to present on OpenStreetMap and OpenStreetCam.

I had never been to Austin or to Texas, so I was excited to extend my stay into the weekend and take a day to explore the city.

travels in Austin

I enjoyed the neighborhood I stayed in, Hyde Park, a lot. It is perhaps not ‘weird’ but it is quiet, pretty and it smells nice (trees, flowers). Bus service was good and cheap. I did not get to try the light rail :(

I started my Saturday exploration with the UT campus, which is big but overall not very interesting from an architectural point of view. I would have liked to go see The Color Inside, but I neglected to make the required reservations ahead of time.

UT Austin, main building

Austin is undergoing a period of rapid change. Lots of new (highrise) upscale apartment / condo construction points to a growth in well-paying jobs. (Tech?) With money comes gentrification, which is palpable in the ‘SoCo’ (South (of?) Congress) neighborhood. The main drag, South Congress Avenue, is dotted with obviously recently opened high end clothing / accessory / baby stores.

SoCo, Austin TX

The neighborhood just east of South Congress, Travis Heights, is pleasant and quiet – and expensive. Some ‘Austin weird’ to be found though.

Mirrors, a bearded guy, Travis Heights, Austin, TX

I got lucky with the weather. It was a lovely day to be out, with temperatures in the mid 80s. Folks were enjoying kayaking and paddleboarding on the (other) Colorado River.

The 'other' Colorado River, Austin, TX

The weekend before that, the OpenStreetMap Foundation board of directors met in Karlsruhe, Germany. We only meet in person once a year, and there was a lot to discuss.

OSMF board in Karlsruhe

I didn’t have / make any time to travel or do anything else while in Germany, so all in all that was an exhausting trip. I did get to eat some very German food though.

Zwiebelrostbraten / Spätzle