[Osmf-talk] Calm down, dear

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Wed Mar 21 13:10:36 UTC 2012

In the UK there's a really annoying TV advert in which Michael Winner
(past-it film director and restaurant critic) urges "Calm down, dear. It's
only a commercial". You can find it on YouTube if you want. Our beloved
(ahem) Prime Minister used the phrase to slap down a critic in the House
of Commons and was rightly panned for it.

So I realise I'll probably be panned for saying the same, but:

Calm down, dear. It's only a free map of the world.

The amount of drama (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=drama)
in OSM at the moment is quite bewildering. It's almost as if we've decided
to stop being "Wikipedia for maps" and start being "Encyclopaedia
Dramatica for maps". We have whole conspiracy theory threads because ESRI
expressed a mild preference that mentioning the actual sum of their
donation in the press release would be tacky, or something. (It was $25k.
I've probably broken some embargo or something. So sue me.) This has now
morphed into "OSMF is institutionally broken" via some thought process I
can't pretend to understand.

Meanwhile on talk@, some poor student who posted an innocent survey got
jumped on. And the licence change... oh my lord. Rather than accepting and
offering help to the kind, generous guys who are actually committing vast
amounts of time and branepower to get it done - and maybe we'll hit 1st
April or maybe it'll be a few days after or well, whatever, it's not the
end of the world - we're all running round, on-list and off-list, shouting

There is so much good stuff to celebrate in OSM right now. We have never
been so popular nor had so much media attention. There are people planning
to spend almost $1m to make OSM easier to use. The remapping work has
picked up momentum way beyond my expectations.

Everyone, basically, loves OSM. Let's remember that; value the
contributions of other volunteers; and try to actually enjoy ourselves. I
hope you will slap me down next time I'm a drama queen on the lists, and
in turn, I hope you'll all accept this friendly "calm down, dear" in the
spirit in which it was intended.


[cross-posted, please consider trimming follow-ups if replying]

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