[Imports-us] OSM US Import Committee

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Mon Nov 4 17:09:05 UTC 2013


Hi all,

In light of recent activity, and frankly because we've had a large
influx of new members (especially new members from the OSM US board)
join the group in the last 3 days, I want to go over this group's
history, its mission and its scope.

For anyone who hasn't seen the talk I gave in San Fransisco, I
strongly suggest you watch my video on the topic of the group:

http://stateofthemap.us/saturday.html#schedule/saturday/the-u-s--imports-and-bots-oh-my

Basically, when we started this group, "import" was a bad word in OSM.
It was something that senior OSMers frowned upon, and there was a very
combative atmosphere even on the imports at osm mailing list.

I realized that this needed to change, that we needed imports, but
that the problems being pointed out were serious and needed
addressing. To that end, I decided that we'd make a new mailing list,
and have face to face meetings. That second part, the face to face
meetings, has been crucial. It has entirely shifted the tone of the
discussions in many cases.

And the results have been good, I think.

But what folks may not realize (and I may not be making clear) is the
very limited scope of the group within the OSM ecosystem. We're not
the same as the imports at osm list and we don't supersede it.

We also don't have control over the import guidelines. We can offer
our help in changing them, but we can't control them or override them.
We're like a neighborhood watch, we can work with, but never override
the police.

And so what is this latest draft? It's something that came out of the
discussion at last week's meeting where the osm.us site would have an
import onramp process, one which needed to be both welcoming and
warning at the same time.

So I've clearly not done a good job at conveying that, but also we
(this group) has no control over the DWG- outside offering our help in
order to change the process- and we have discussed doing that. But we
discussed doing that in small stages. Maybe, as Alex suggests, we
should take that on first, but that's something I'd like to discuss
first, before we act.

I hope this has cleared confusion, if there was any.

- Serge



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