[Osmf-talk] OSMF and evangelism (was: Conflict of interest)

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 30 20:12:14 UTC 2009

Frederik Ramm wrote: 

> *If* OSM project members want to go out
> and share their good news with the world - all right, it's something I
> do all the time. If someone comes to OSMF and says "I'm a lone mapper
> here in Kenya and can you help me to get some leaflets printed" - I
> wouldn't hesitate for a moment to allocate funds and find people to  
> help
> him. But that's where I draw the line. If I see that the map in Kenya
> leaves things to be desired, I would *not* want OSMF to allocate funds
> to go search for people we can send to Kenya to improve mapping there,
> or whatever.

Nick Black wrote:

> Ok, there's a source of mis-understanding perhaps.  What I would  
> advocate - and I'm being quite serious - is that we reach out to a few  
> Kenyan mappers (there are some on the OSM Dev list for example) and  
> see if they need any help.  The Foundation could sponsor some of the  
> lead mappers to attend SOTM.  The Foundation could develop an  
> educational syllabus for Kenyan university students so that they can  
> use OSM data and OSM tools in the classroom.  The Foundation could put  
> its support behind renderings of the map in Swahili, or provide money  
> so that Kenyan mappers can host tile servers in Nairobi, rather than  
> pulling tiles from the OSM London tile server - and suffering from  
> terrible latency.
> All of this, I believe, is in the roll of the OSM Foundation.  Maybe  
> not today, but in the future.

As someone who is already working very hard in outreach,
in Kenya particularly (I'm helping to organize a project to map slums, throw mapping parties, 
teach open source geo), I definitely believe the OSMF has a role to support growth of OSM 
in these places, and when the opportunity arises, directly engage in projects.

The Kenyan project is not directly an OSMF project at the moment, Other projects,
like the OSI SOTM scholarship project, were not funded from our general funds,
but were funded by external entities, through the OSMF, for a particular aim.
These type of projects will hopefully continue.

I guess the debate here is over potential allocation of OSMF general funds.
One of the first things the OSMF will need to do following elections is draw up
financials plans for the next year, and longer time frames. Myself, I will be advocating
that as opportunities arise for evangelism, the OSMF give serious consideration
to allocating resources towards those projects.

There's quite a lot the OSMF can do in just a supporting, guiding role for growth in new regions. 
OSM outreach materials need organization and focus, so the mappers in Nairobi 
(or Naples or New York) can very easily organize mapping parties, approach universities
and govts for support and data, etc. Statistics on data growth, and membership 
activity, etc, needs to be sliceable by country and regions, to measure the effectiveness
of mappers and any funded efforts. Translation of the websites and data can be
more comprehensive.

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