[Osmf-talk] Elections: Avoid Mandate Creep

Kai Krueger kakrueger at gmail.com
Tue Aug 30 15:28:17 UTC 2011

On 08/30/2011 07:11 AM, Serge Wroclawski wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 02:17:57PM +0200, Frederik Ramm wrote:
>> "Let OSMF  be the simplest thing that could possibly work."
> Frederik,
> I'm glad you're bringing this up, it's maybe the first time in this
> election people want to discuss differences in view.

yes, it is good that this discussion is coming up and I hope the other 
candidates and members of the osmf could voice their opinion on this 
subject, too

Apart from the whole licensing debate, the level of service the osmf 
intends to offer (and the resultant financial consequences) are perhaps 
some of the most important and particularly visible to the rest of osm 
decisions the board is likely to make. So knowing both how the board 
members see this point as well as how the rest of osmf members / osm 
community wish to see osmf and making sure they align is important.

Overall, there seems to be a range of opinions within osmf, ranging from 
those who advocate that osmf should be as minimalistic as possible and 
only provide the technical infrastructure for getting data into the API. 
I.e don't provide / support / fund any form of usage of data like tile 
servers, quality assurance tools or routing, as those services should be 
run by independent third party entities outside of osmf. This has the 
advantage that osmf requires comparatively minimal financial support and 
that it prevents osmf from controlling the project, as it isn't "doing 
much". The other extreme is to considerably expand the level of service 
osmf provides, either in the sense of supporting the developer community 
by providing the hardware resources for people to come up with new and 
exiting projects and don't have to figure out how to fund the necessary 
hardware, or in the sense of providing user oriented services in order 
to reward joe mapper for their effort to add to the map by providing 
them with something more useful than a 20 Gb XML dump.

Similarly the question of level of service comes up in other areas than 
the technical infrastructure, so again the question is how much should 
osmf or is willing to spend on additional level of service.

It would be great to hear from all candidates what their opinions are 
and where on this scale of "level of service" they see the osmf or would 
work towards getting the osmf to be in the future. Perhaps give some 
examples of the kind of service that you as a board member would 
authorise osmf to fund and what consequence that would have on the 
required fund raising practices.

Personally I would like to see somewhat of an increase of level of service.

In order to do something useful with OSM data, you nearly always need a 
considerable amount of hardware resource, as well as technical skill if 
you start from the raw planet data. So only a very few people have all 
of the necessary skills and resources available (mostly those who work 
with OSM professionally). There are probably more who have a subset of 
the required resources / skills.   So there is imho a need for a body to 
bring together those who have the technical skills to do things, with 
those who have the financial resources to provide things with those who 
have the ideas and design to make great things from osm data (and also 
with those who then consume those services). Although this organisation 
doesn't have to be osmf, it imho seems the most logical organisation to 
provide this support to osm.


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