[OSM-talk] [OSM-dev] What is OSM and what isn't?
Andy Robinson (blackadder-lists)
ajrlists at googlemail.com
Thu Apr 30 12:18:49 BST 2009
Moved to Talk.
Jochen Topf wrote
>Sent: 30 April 2009 8:41 AM
>To: dev at openstreetmap.org
>Subject: [OSM-dev] What is OSM and what isn't?
>The discussion on using Cloudmade routing on the OSM website points to a
>deeper question: What is the OpenStreetMap project and how do we want
>to present it on openstreetmap.org?
>When giving talks or generally talking to people about OpenStreetMap one
>of the questions I hear the most is: "Is OpenStreetMap planning to do X?"
>X beeing a "routing service" or "a website where people can upload their
>hiking trails, photos, whatever" or many other things people think can
>be done with the maps. And I try to explain people that OSM is providing
>the data and the maps and that its not the goal of OSM to provide every
>conceivable map or mapping web site or service. Thats the mindset people
>have gotten into: We wait for Google or Yahoo or Microsoft to come up with
>the service and thats it. I think we should encourage people to build
>their own, to build a whole eco-system of different websites and
>services, not try to get too many things inside the core OSM project.
>We should make clear what the OSM part in this eco-system is: providing
>I think we should come up with an idea what the "core" of the OSM
>project ist and those things should be on the openstreetmap.org website
>and maintained by the community in an open fashion. Everything else can
>be done on different web sites and be linked to. Thats the power of the
>Once we start bringing in other services, where do we stop? There are
>already hundreds of web sites with OSM based maps, routing services etc.
>All of them could argue that they want to be on openstreetmap.org.
>Surely the ski lift map is useful when entering data for ski areas.
>So I think we should distinguish between the core, the open community
>project, on the one side and other projects (commercial or non-commercial)
>which build upon OSM.
I agree, its good to have the discussion and I'm fully with Jochen here that
OSM is currently (and personally I feel should remain) about the data; how
it is put into the database and how maintained.
For background, many moons ago we needed in a hurry to come up with the aims
of the project and the little ditty that was produced ended up in the OSMF
Articles of Association. It states:
"OpenStreetMap Foundation is dedicated to encouraging the growth,
development and distribution of free geospatial data and to providing
geospatial data for anybody to use and share."
It's right that these aims are debated by the community from time to time.
Now is as good a time as any.
The above breaks down into the following:
1. Encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial.
2. Providing geospatial data for anybody to use and share."
So anyone with strong views on whether these two aims are still appropriate
or whether they feel we should have other aims as well please air them.
>From the Foundation point of view, any change in the Article of Association
related to this or any other matters needs debate by members of the
Foundation plus a vote at the next AGM (unless an EGM is called), so its not
a simple process to change the guiding light but important to understand
that we can and should where a vote agrees it with benefit.
>Jochen Topf jochen at remote.org http://www.remote.org/jochen/ +49-721-
>dev mailing list
>dev at openstreetmap.org
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