[OSM-talk] [OSM-dev] What is OSM and what isn't?
christoph at b3e.net
Thu Apr 30 14:51:01 BST 2009
in my opinion OSM should not try to compete with mapping websites by
offering more and more tools for using maps. This is because I think
such an endeavour would have three problems: First, how to decide
which of the hundreds of tools out there are integrated on the OSM
website and which are not? People will surely have very different
opinions about what an online map needs. Second, offering map services
to the end-user will bind a lot of resources (humans & computers) which
could otherwise be used to improve the data. And third, I think, it can
lead to a centralisation of the OSM ecosphere with projects not being
on the main website not gaining much attention since they are not
considered a real part of OSM anymore.
However, OSM obviously needs some showcase to advertise what you can do
with the data. But why not creating a real showcase then? A set of
webpages which explain with some examples what it actually means to
have open geo-data and not just a free-beer map. The showcase could
show examples for common use cases like user-defined renderings,
different routing services, etc and provide links to pages offering
these services. The main website website could then just have a big link
saying: "See what you can do with OpenStreetMaps!"
A disadvantage of concentrating solely on the data is that normal
website users will be unlikely to ever see the OSM website and thus
never become aware that they can help to improve the map they are
seeing on a website.
I think this problem could be approached by encouraging users of OSM
data to add links like "Are things missing on this map?" or "Is there
an error on this map?" to their maps which link to a page explaining
that the map used on the website is an open map and that users can
easily add the missing data themselves if they want to (or they could
at least create an Openstreetbug).
"Andy Robinson \(blackadder-lists\)" <ajrlists at googlemail.com> schrieb:
> 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 the data.
> >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 web.
> >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
> 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- 388298
> >dev mailing list
> >dev at openstreetmap.org
> talk mailing list
> talk at openstreetmap.org
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