We are hosting the second ever Mapnik code sprint the weekend of June 16 to 17 at MapBox’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Organized by the venerable Richard Weait, this gathering will build upon the successful first sprint that Tom and AJ attended back in 2010 in London.

The Mapnik project’s lead developer Artem will be joining us from the UK, and I will be flying out from Seattle. Remarkably even though Artem and I have coded together for years on Mapnik, this will be just the third time we have met in person. Rare in-person gatherings like this are not only fun (and pub filled) but provide a critical opportunity to think big and tackle hard problems.

The goals of the sprint will be to brainstorm and share ideas about future features for Mapnik and how to make existing features better. For example we’ll be discussing how to refine and build upon the new compositing framework in the latest release of Mapnik that AJ recently demoed. We will likely discuss the possibilities for new tiled Mapnik datasources and ways to transform vector geometries by offsetting, clipping, or bezier smoothing. We are also nearing the release of Mapnik 2.1, over eight months in the making, so prepping for the release will be a big part of what I plan to work on.

Most Mapnik core contributors are spread across timezones, and the map above plots the various routes they would have to take to arrive to DC. Realistically, few can travel as far as DC for just a weekend, so each day of the sprint we will open a group skype chat to gain participation from remote contributors.

For all the details about the sprint, see the s print page on the Mapnik wiki.