[Imports-us] OSM US Import Committee

Carol Kraemer cakraemer at northrivergeographic.com
Mon Nov 4 19:01:39 UTC 2013


Of course, but I'm not sure how this is going to be received. Though I'm
definitely stirring things up right now, I'm not trying to just pick a
fight but I'm afraid this might be interpreted as doing just that. Keep in
mind, that none of my comments, observations, or suggestions come with
emotion attached to them. I'm not upset or hurt or trying to make anyone
else feel that way. I'm simply trying to get a better understanding of what
it means to be OSM and hopefully help with improving the experience for
others. With all that said, here we go....

If the Import group trumps the Import-US group, then shouldn't the base
guidelines, or "laws", from the Import police be the first thing covered by
the Import-US neighborhood watch team? Again, looking at the Import OSM
wiki page, I don't have a sense that that is what is happening. It's a
mashup at best. Nothing is defined as "These rules from Import are the
baseline" along with the regional add-on rules. I can truly appreciate the
level of frustration that has come with this very convoluted guideline
system. The differences by region in access to good, free, publicly
available data is surely the driving force behind having such differing
opinions concerning any import. Second, of course, to don't screw anything
up. However, with all that being said, I thought that local communities
were drivers in determining which data they wanted for their communities'
maps. I understand this isn't a free for all and you can't just do what you
want, but there has to be some kind of baseline, unified, global opinion of
what OSM wants to help guide communities, knowing that unique situations
will always exist. That's the starting point since that is what will govern
everything else, including any efforts done through Import-US. Your email
just makes it seem like there is no dialog present addressing this so how
can anything within OSM be governed at all?

I watched your video when you posted it some time ago and even tried to
discuss it with you. You mentioned in the video on a slide as well as here
that you are interested in creating a more welcoming community for OSM, but
you've blocked most questions and concerns I have had that actually deal
with that. Is the push back coming from Import? Import-US? Or just you?
I've made several efforts to reach out so who is it that Import-US actually
wants to welcome if not me? Sorry, I have to ask at this point.

You are doing a good thing, Serge, by recognizing that there needed to be
more acceptance of the unique offerings we have in the States when it comes
to access to geospatial data. From what I can tell, you have moved "import"
from being taboo, to just a dirty word that makes certain people cringe a
bit when they hear it. Yes, that *is* progress. Kudos to you and your team!
But in my experience with OSM, there seems to be another dirty word called
"GIS" which often goes hand in hand with "import". It was mentioned by
someone else that OSM cares more about the people than the data. Well,
"GIS" is the people and "import" is the data. If you are going to change
people's perception of imports, you have to also change their perception of
GIS. We have the data, the skills, and just the right level of geekitude
that could make for a powerful OSM ally. The fact that you have brought up
on many occasions that GIS folk couldn't possibly understand how perform
high level geospatial problem solving is quite frankly more than a little
insulting. It's confusing that this connection between imports and GIS is
mostly ignored or avoided. So we have some work to do here, together.

Having a landing page that is welcoming is a great idea but, again, if the
meat behind the message isn't there, you're not going to fix the problem.
If I understand you correctly, it seems like you and Alex are ready to
start taking on the meat which may involve the larger governing bodies of
OSM. It seems like the time is ripe for that discussion. Let me know if I
can contribute and help.


Carol Kraemer
North River Geographic Systems, Inc
404.431.0125 cakraemer at northrivergeographic.com

On Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM, Serge Wroclawski <emacsen at gmail.com> wrote:

> Carol,
> Can you elaborate on what you find confusing?
> - Serge
> On Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM, Carol Kraemer
> <cakraemer at northrivergeographic.com> wrote:
> > Serge,
> >
> > As a new person trying to understand the OSM community and culture, I
> find
> > this more confusing though it is insightful in and of itself.
> >
> > -Carol
> >
> >
> >
> > -------------------------------------
> > Carol Kraemer
> > North River Geographic Systems, Inc
> > http://www.northrivergeographic.com
> > 404.431.0125 cakraemer at northrivergeographic.com
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM, Serge Wroclawski <emacsen at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> 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
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Imports-us mailing list
> >> Imports-us at openstreetmap.org
> >> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/imports-us
> >
> >
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