- SOTMUS Locations
- Lodging Options
Traveling to Richmond
Attendees are responsible for their own transportation planning. The conference team cannot provide assistance and does not take responsibility for getting attendees to the venue. The information below are recommendations for attendees to take into consideration when making travel arrangements.
Flying into Richmond - The closest airport is Richmond International Airport (RIC). RIC is approximately 2 hours away from the venue by public transportation, or 20 minutes by car. App-based ride services (Uber/Lyft), or car-pooling with other attendees is recommended for transportation to and from the airport to the venue.
Flying into DC - Ronald Reagan International Airport (DCA) in Washington, DC is within two hours of Richmond by car, or 3 ½ hours by Amtrak Train, serving as alternate option for those flying in to the conference. DCA is a larger airport with more direct flights (domestically and internationally), which may reduce costs for some travelers. If you opt for flying into DC, Amtrak and Flixbus tickets are as low as $12-15 if booked well in advance.
Via Amtrak - Richmond has two Amtrak train stations. Staples Mill Road Station (RVR) is further west of VCU and a cab/Uber/Lyft is recommended to get to the venue. This is the recommended station if you are traveling to Richmond via train. The Main Street Station (RVM) is closer to VCU but typically has fewer train options and higher associated costs. It is not walking distance, however (it’s over 30 minutes to walk). We recommend taking an Uber/Lyft or take a GRTC bus.
Via Flixbus - Flixbus offers low cost bus transportation to Richmond, VA from locations as far away as Dallas, TX and Boston, MA. Costs vary based on location and time of booking. Explore their map for options (bonus: they use OpenStreetMap as their basemap!)
Getting around Richmond
There are many ways to get around RVA.
As a college town with lots of social activities, Lyft & Uber are quick and accessible options.
Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC), the city's public bus transportation system, offers a free bus fare policy (through June 2025). There are a number of local bus routes and the GRTC Pulse, a bus rapid transit system that serves a 7.6-mile route.
Richmond offers a variety of options for cyclists. RVA Bike Share is a great resource with bike stations close to VCU campus. Looking to cycle for fun? There are hundreds of miles of mountain bike trails and the Virginia Capital Trail you can ride both within the city and in outlying areas.
With the James River running through the city, there are endless opportunities for urban hiking and biking throughout the park system.
Electric scooters are also popular in RVA. Local e-scooter operators include Bird, Bolt, Lime and Helbiz.
The area around VCU is pedestrian friendly with the Fan District, a neighborhood of bars, restaurants, and historic homes nearby.
OpenStreetMap US has made arrangements with both the Graduate Hotel and VCU for great accommodation deals for State of the Map US attendees.
A short 10 minute walk through Monroe Park, the Graduate is the recommended hotel to stay at for State of the Map US. The special rate for SOTMUS attendees is no longer available but there may still be rooms at the normal rate. Please check directly with the hotel.
VCU Gladding Residence Center (Dorms)
State of the Map US will be taking over part of the VCU Gladding Residence Center for the conference. Completed in 2018, the 12-story Gladding Residence Center at VCU is a modern, 356,000-square-foot facility conveniently located near the conference venue. Please note this option is limited to ages 18 & up. Bookings have now closed! If you booked a dorm room, OSMUS & VCU will reach out to you directly with more information.
Several other hotels are within walking and biking distance of the VCU campus, particularly in the down. These options are especially close:
- The Commonwealth - Downtown Richmond with rates around $200 per night
- The Jefferson Hotel - Downtown Richmond with rates around $400 per night
- The Boulevard Inn - near Carytown with rates around $300 per night
Over 100 homes are listed in neighborhoods surrounding campus, many within walking distance. Listings start as low as $100 per night.
Interested in sharing lodging with another attendee? A lodging share page will be added to the OSM wiki soon!
Visiting the U.S. in 2023
If you are travelling internationally to attend State of the Map US, it is your responsibility to understand, meet and adhere to CDC international travel requirements.
A foreign visitor entering the U.S. is generally required to present a passport and valid visa issued by a U.S. Consular Official, unless they are a citizen of a country eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, or are a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. or a citizen of Canada.
Here is a list of countries eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. In other words, if you are a citizen of the U.S., Canada, or one of the following countries, you do not require a Visa:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United Kingdom**
**To be eligible to travel under the VWP, British citizens must have the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.
Based on information from the U.S. State Department, if you require a Visa to visit the U.S., please make sure you've submitted the application by July 7th, 2019. This is 60 days before the start of the conference.
The U.S. State Department's goal is visa delivery no more than 30 days from the time of application in most cases, although cases that require administrative processing could take longer. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of application. Here is a link to our visa Law and Policy.
Here is the URL for electronic Visa application.
If you plan on attending State of the Map US and are not a resident of the U.S., please make sure you know your rights. As far as we understand, anyone is subject to potential screening and questioning upon entry into the U.S., no matter what country you are traveling from or where your citizenship is from.
This page tells you about your basic rights. It is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact an attorney if you have been arrested or believe that your rights have been violated.
REMEMBER: It is illegal for law enforcement officers to perform any stops, searches, detentions, or removals based solely on your religion, race, national origin, gender, ethnicity, or political beliefs. However, law enforcement officers at the airport and at the border generally have the authority to search all bags and to ask you questions about your citizenship and travel itinerary.
Funding made possible by our generous sponsors. Learn more about sponsorship.