frederik at remote.org
Fri Oct 3 23:16:51 BST 2008
>> I could tell you about our plans for ice cream gloves but I think this
>> does it better:
> The difference being that you are planning on trading off of the back of
> the goodwill of many other people.
I'm not associated with Cloudmade in any way, and don't know any more
about their plans than you do. But I, too, am trying to make a living
from working with OpenStreetMap, through my company Geofabrik. So I feel
somewhat on the "same side" as Cloudmade, even though Geofabrik has a
style that is different from Cloudmade's in many ways.
I'm sort of taking offence at your implied suggestion that there is one
group of people who "give" to the project and another group, among whom
you seem to count Cloudmade and would probably also count Geofabrik, of
people who "take" from the project to make a business.
I feel that this is not true. I believe that in my capacity as an "OSM
businessman" I am actually doing the project more good than if - and
that'd be the alternative in my personal situation - I'd go freelancing
on non-OSM IT projects and just do OSM in my spare time. I do a lot of
OSM evangelism (even if I manage to get paid for it, it is still OSM
evangelism). I talk to people who have data that OSM would like to
incorporate and help them find ways to contribute their data *and* get
something out of it for themselves. I convince people to use OSM instead
of something else, of course with a business edge to it - if they use
Google then I'm out of the picture - but still furthering OSM's exposure
along the way. *And* I still get to do mapping.
Now I can't prove this to you and it's all a bit speculative what-if
stuff anyway but I am convinced that a number of healthy businesses run
"off of the back" of OSM as you say are actually good for the project,
and I believe if you could look into Cloudmade's books you would find a
whole lot of items where they either directly pay money for OSM things,
or allow their paid employees to do non-business-related OSM work during
working hours, or do general OSM evangelism.
Frederik Ramm ## eMail frederik at remote.org ## N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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