[Osmf-talk] a receding opportunity

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 1 10:57:33 UTC 2012


Hi

> We have this open license so that anyone can use our data within the limits of the license. Other than that we don't mind. We don't run after our users and try to understand what 
> exactly they are doing or not doing. If they want to engage in a dialogue with us then fine; if not then, not.
 
That's not a true view of how OSM has developed. Since the beginning, we have done so much substantial engagement and outreach, built relationships. While it's totally true that anyone can use the data, and that's great, we don't just sit back and let it happen. 

It's true that OSMF hasn't done this in a coordinated way, but it has done it. Steve has done a huge amount of it. I have as well, especially in the humanitarian field. 

If you're arguing that the OSMF shouldn't do this in a coordinated way, and the rest of the membership agrees (by some kind of vote, not by participation on a mailing list thread), then perhaps it's time to "fork the OSMF" and consider starting another organization that actually has the balls to do something.

> Do you mean they don't have any productive outlet because

>
> 1. they don't know about OSM, or
> 2. they know about OSM but OSM is not productive for them because their Apple map product doesn't use OSM data in the area where they live?


They don't know about OSM. It's totally unclear if OSM is used in their area on the iPhone (most likely not). There's obviously a built up demand for what OSM does, for participation in making maps. But instead, people start a tumblr, so much wasted energy.

> I'm still not sure what direction you are going into. Are you saying that Apple might be violating the license by their process of combining our data with theirs and not releasing 
> anything? Or are you saying that we should simply cash in more on the PR opportunity? Or are you saying we should actively try and get Apple to use OSM in their mapping 
> product?


You characterization of any kind of action as "cashing in" is wrong. It's about taking an opportunity. It's not about PR, but about improving the map.

Apple are using OSM. They're not doing it very well. Ignoring their position is naive.

> In your picture, where are those businesses that are part of the OSM ecosystem and sell or provide alternative mapping solutions on iOS - like Skobbler with their ForeverMap, or 
> the pioneering Offmaps. Should we be trying to cut them out by dealing with Apple directly, make Apple use OSM and make those applications obsolete - or should we be trying 
> to get these manufacturers to work with Apple, given that they already have the experience in the field? Would it be totally naive to assume that these manufacturers will already 
> attempt to talk to Apple, spending more time on it than we possibly could?
> 
> I fear a slippery slope here. We have no obligation towards these businesses but actively calling for Apple to ruin the market for these applications might be going too far?


OSMF should have a fair way of dealing with business users of OSM data. At the moment, we have no mechanisms or strategy to do this. Doing nothing is not a strategy.

> I'm not so worried. I think that the whole episode has got people thinking about where the map data comes from. Even those who, previously, just took whatever Apple served 
> them, might now stop and think about that. A few days ago I was called by a journalist who wanted to take the opportunity to publish a well-researched piece about map data, 
> how it is made, where it comes from, and so on. (*)

I agree that it's gotten people thinking. And I'm not worried. I just think OSMF should be proactive.

> I don't own an iPhone and I don't live in the US; maybe that's why I am sometimes surprised about the concept of "oh god oh god I think Apple has blinked WHAT DO I DO 
> NOW???". Or is it my age? For me, what Apple does or doesn't do is completely irrelevant and I certainly won't support treating Apple any different than any other large maker 
> of consumer electronics.


I have no idea why you think the way you do, or make outrageous characterizations of other people's comments. 

But you make a fair point about treating Apple the same as other large consumer electronics makers. If Samsung wanted to use develop an OSM based map app, and floundered a bit, I'd expect OSMF to make some approaches. Or if they approached OSMF, that we have a good way to relate with them.

> There's certainly nothing wrong with a strong public statement about how OSM works, but the "how we perceive iMaps" and the "open invitation" should be worded in a way 
> that they apply generally, and not to one particular product of one particular manufacturer. Everyone is welcome to use our data and to work with our community, including but 
> not limited to Apple.

Ok, talk specifically about Apple, and also say they apply generally.

> As for "pushing the back channels into Apple", I don't think there's much room for secret diplomacy in a project like ours. We can't, and mustn't, sell our (project) soul for five 
> minutes in the iOS limelight; if we do too much through "back channels", the project as a whole will suffer from that.

I don't like it much either. But ignoring the occasional need for confidential conversations makes OSMF irrelevant to these organizations.

-Mikel

* Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron


>________________________________
> From: Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>
>To: osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org 
>Sent: Monday, October 1, 2012 11:15 AM
>Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] a receding opportunity
> 
>Hi,
>
>On 10/01/12 09:35, Mikel Maron wrote:
>> On the other hand, we still have zero real understanding of how and
>> where OSM might be used in iMaps. We have some strong suspicions of
>> where it might be used. We don't understand exactly how the data is
>> being combined or not-combined with other sources. We don't have an
>> effective, confidential communication channel inside Apple. Apple is
>> famously quiet with outsiders, of course. No one from Apple is speaking
>> at SOTM-US.
>
>Frankly, I don't think we should be concerned.
>
>We have this open license so that anyone can use our data within the limits of the license. Other than that we don't mind. We don't run after our users and try to understand what exactly they are doing or not doing. If they want to engage in a dialogue with us then fine; if not then, not.
>
>Millions of people have used OSM on their iPhone even before iOS6, and not a discussion where you won't find somebody point out that "pure OSM" apps exist for those who are interested.
>
>> Meanwhile, more people than ever before are getting obsessed with how
>> their home is mapped. And they don't have any productive outlet.
>
>Do you mean they don't have any productive outlet because
>
>1. they don't know about OSM, or
>2. they know about OSM but OSM is not productive for them because their Apple map product doesn't use OSM data in the area where they live?
>
>> OSM has had a real opportunity in this whole thing, to add a new voice
>> to this conversation. Explain how we do things, and how powerful it is.
>> Open channels to Apple to show what OSM could really do here. Win over
>> new mappers. Make the map better, and more used.
>
>I'm still not sure what direction you are going into. Are you saying that Apple might be violating the license by their process of combining our data with theirs and not releasing anything? Or are you saying that we should simply cash in more on the PR opportunity? Or are you saying we should actively try and get Apple to use OSM in their mapping product?
>
>In your picture, where are those businesses that are part of the OSM ecosystem and sell or provide alternative mapping solutions on iOS - like Skobbler with their ForeverMap, or the pioneering Offmaps. Should we be trying to cut them out by dealing with Apple directly, make Apple use OSM and make those applications obsolete - or should we be trying to get these manufacturers to work with Apple, given that they already have the experience in the field? Would it be totally naive to assume that these manufacturers will already attempt to talk to Apple, spending more time on it than we possibly could?
>
>I fear a slippery slope here. We have no obligation towards these businesses but actively calling for Apple to ruin the market for these applications might be going too far?
>
>> But we haven't been able to do anything. OSMF does not move
>> pro-actively, in the media, with data users. We're essentially a
>> reactive organization, and that is costing us a substantial opportunity
>> right now.
>
>I'm not so worried. I think that the whole episode has got people thinking about where the map data comes from. Even those who, previously, just took whatever Apple served them, might now stop and think about that. A few days ago I was called by a journalist who wanted to take the opportunity to publish a well-researched piece about map data, how it is made, where it comes from, and so on. (*)
>
>I don't own an iPhone and I don't live in the US; maybe that's why I am sometimes surprised about the concept of "oh god oh god I think Apple has blinked WHAT DO I DO NOW???". Or is it my age? For me, what Apple does or doesn't do is completely irrelevant and I certainly won't support treating Apple any different than any other large maker of consumer electronics.
>
>> It's not too late. A strong public statement, explaining how OSM works,
>> how we perceive iMaps, and a real open invitation to Apple is what I'd
>> suggest.
>
>There's certainly nothing wrong with a strong public statement about how OSM works, but the "how we perceive iMaps" and the "open invitation" should be worded in a way that they apply generally, and not to one particular product of one particular manufacturer. Everyone is welcome to use our data and to work with our community, including but not limited to Apple.
>
>As for "pushing the back channels into Apple", I don't think there's much room for secret diplomacy in a project like ours. We can't, and mustn't, sell our (project) soul for five minutes in the iOS limelight; if we do too much through "back channels", the project as a whole will suffer from that.
>
>Bye
>Frederik
>
>(*) The journalist was already well informed about OSM because he had interviewed me earlier, and now wanted to know details about TeleAtlas and Navteq, so I deflected him to a contact there.
>
>-- Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
>
>_______________________________________________
>osmf-talk mailing list
>osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
>http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk
>
>
>
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