Mikel Maron     mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Washington, DC

Work Experience   

co-Director : GroundTruth Initiative : February 2010 - present

GroundTruth was started in early 2010 to support the work of Map Kibera. We work with a number of collaborators and friends, in locations across the globe.

We are a new media and technology consulting company specializing in community-based participatory technologies, especially mapping and citizen journalism, in poor and marginalized regions throughout the world. We help expand the conversation and bridge technology gaps by promoting the use of open data and collaborative platforms. We design projects, tools, and websites to empower people to harness the potential of the internet to guide their own development processes and become more active participants in democracy by amplifying their voices.

co-Founder : Mapufacture : April 2007 - August 2008

Mapufacture began as a simple experiment, and grew to a promenant GeoWeb aggregation and visualization startup. The platform was built in Ruby on Rails. Mapufacture was acquired by GeoIQ in August 2008.

At Mapufacture, as with most startups, I did a bit of everything, from coding to business development.

Freelance Web Developer : January 2002 - November 2009

I have been pursuing several projects, products and contracts, independently and in collaboration, based in web mapping, wikis and weblog architectures.

I am the developer of worldKit, and am deeply involved in OpenStreetMap, GeoPress, and Mapstraction.

I have supported and collaborated on mapping and web projects with a wide range of partners, from government and government-like institutions (UNDP, Ordnance Survey, UN INSTRAW, USGS, BBC, NASA and European Commission) to companies (Urban Mapping, Nestoria, San Jose Mercury News, Ning, MetaCarta and SiteMeter) to individual webloggers, artists and open source projects.

I have presented at Where 2.0, UN Web4Dev, XTech 2006, BlogTalk 2, FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial 2005 and ALife X conferences. And contributed articles to several books in the O'Reilly Hacks Series (Mapping Hacks, Yahoo Hacks), as well as published on the O'Reilly Network and GeoConnexion Magazine.

I have been deeply involved in the development and advocacy of GeoRSS. My work on weblogs, RSS, and aggregation frameworks was focused on several tools released for the Radio Userland platform.

Details on my current efforts, experiments and thoughts can be found on my weblog Brain Off.

Senior Developer : Yahoo! Europe : June 2000 - August 2001

Internal transfer to Yahoo! Europe, to lead personalization internationally. Monitored, contributed to, and guided core software development, especially relating to international deployment. Provided knowledge resources for international developers and producers. Built and maintained front-end and back-end servers.

Major projects included:

  • Launched and made significant contributions to European products -- Points, Message Boards, Corporate Yahoo, Finance, Wireless, Maps, News and Messenger
  • Brought European systems up to date, including OS, webservers, and databases
  • Internationalized My Yahoo content and simplified distribution
  • Built prototypes of Behavioral Personalization and SOAP interface to the User Database

Senior Developer : Yahoo! : June 1997 - June 2000

Engineer for My Yahoo!, and personalization accross the Yahoo Network. Drove growth of personalized content and functionality, integrated disparate systems, and made contributions to core software. Led a small team of developers focused on My Yahoo. Worked with practically all product and functional groups during the growth of Yahoo, from a post-start-up to multi-national corporation.

Major projects included:

  • Modules, content, and editing infrastructure of My Yahoo
  • Core infrastructure of Yahoo's web application platform
  • XML content distribution system
  • Yahoo Bookmarks, and personalization of many other Yahoo properties
  • Cobranded My Yahoo (including a DHTML version)
  • Membership statistics systems

Internet Programmer : Pheonix Media Group : October 1996 - April 1997

Web based programming in a Unix/Oracle environment on several large scale commercial projects. Assisted the System Administrator in configurations and installations and interacted with various departments in creation and maintenance of the websites at Personals Network and Boston Phoenix.

Major projects included:

  • Construction of Personal Pages system - users can create and easily revise home pages on the Personals Network. (U.S. Patent #6,253,216)
  • Developed an Advertisement "Click Through" tracking and statistics reporting system for the Boston Pheonix.
  • Developed an email address verification system.
  • Wrote software to construct natural language emails from raw data.

Other Affiliations OpenStreetMap Foundation, Board Member, 2008-present

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, President, 2010-present

Map Kibera Trust, Board Member, 2010-present

Public Laboratories, Board Member, 2011-present

Education and Internships University of Sussex
MSc in Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems
Completed with Distinction in August, 2004

Dissertation: An Ecological Approach to the Evolution of Complexity

Major projects included:

  • Evolutionary simulation of ant colony foraging
  • Simulation of Industrial Melanism
  • Research in spatial and stocahstic ecological models
  • Finite State Machine based web screen scraping (My Yahoo 2 RSS)

California Academy of Sciences & Center for Habitat Restoration
Intern, March - June 2003

Contributed to several restoration ecology projects in San Francisco; bird monitoring at Herons Head Park, water quality and zooplankton monitoring and analysis at Mountain Lake, and removal of invasive plants.

University of California, Santa Cruz
Bachelor of Arts in Computer and Information Sciences, Theory Emphasis
Graduated with Honors in June, 1996

Major projects included:

  • An adaptive agent for the game Othello
  • Hyperspace visualization application
  • An auditory cellular automata
  • Universal Turing Machine

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History
Intern, June - August 1995

Worked closely with curators to develop online exhibits for the Information Technologies, Textiles, and Numismatics divisions of the Museum. Provided networking and software assistance to the Smithsonian at large.