[Osmf-talk] Elections: Avoid Mandate Creep

Jean-Guilhem Cailton jgc at arkemie.com
Sat Nov 12 12:26:13 UTC 2011

Le 12/11/2011 11:24, Holger Schöner a écrit :
> Hi,
> Am Sa, 12. November 2011 schrieb Frederik Ramm:
>> Now I'm reading this report from the recent board meeting in the US:
>> http://opengeodata.org/thanks-to-the-2012-openstreetmap-foundation-b


This time I agree with what Frederik wrote, and also with the well
formulated thoughts of Holger.

I would add that what particularly scares me about this blog post is the
presentation of HOT as some kind of model for governance. It seems that
the self-satisfaction that it expresses is for example unaware of the
missed opportunities because of that closed, self-elected (in the HOT
case), centralized governance model. And regarding "transparency", there
is no comparison between HOT and OpenStreetMap France, for example.

Before reading Holger's view on initial motivation for joining OSM (that
I share), I wanted to refer to Yochai Benkler's writings on
"common-based peer production" (an expression longer but probably better
than "crowd-sourcing"). One of the key advantages of this organisation
model over others (like hierarchical management command system or market
based organisation) is the self-allocation of participants.

Let me quote this extract of "Coases' Penguin":

"Commons-based peer production, the emerging third model of
production I describe here, relies on decentralized information gathering
and exchange to reduce the uncertainty of participants. It has particular
advantages as an information process for identifying and allocating human
creativity available to work on information and cultural resources. It
depends on very large aggregations of individuals independently scouring
their information environment in search of opportunities to be creative in
small or large increments. These individuals then self-identify for
tasks and
perform them for a variety of motivational reasons that I discuss at some

I think that the 'Mechanical "Turk"' view of crowd-sourcing misses a lot
compared to Benkler's view above.

For a concrete example, I am pretty sure that all that was produced
during the mobilisation after the 2010 Haiti earthquake could in no way
have been reached only with the kind of organisation that HOT currently has.

And I find very paradoxical, and even kind of scary, that some members
of the OSM-Foundation Board seem to forget the underlying mechanism that
makes OSM possible in the first place.

So maybe some board members should have more respect for all (kind of)
OSM contributors, and be more careful about "shaping the project"
(instead of supporting it, as they were supposed to).

Best regards,


gpg 0x5939EAE2

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