[Osmf-talk] a receding opportunity

SteveCoast steve at asklater.com
Mon Oct 1 21:22:09 UTC 2012


Fred

I echo Tom, I'm afraid. Your long emails on and off the board, personal accusations and, I hope and believe, unintentional continuous disruption are becoming an issue.

I ask you take a deep breath, assume the good faith of those working toward the same goals and as you said I think in your manifesto, when the majority votes differently to you or disagrees you drop it and move on.

You are a fantastic asset to this project but you're getting caught up in the micro politics and fights over vision and leadership; it's not worth it when we need your energy and vision elsewhere.

Lets just move on and work together toward achievable goals.

Steve

On Oct 1, 2012, at 3:12 PM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Tom,
> 
> > To Frederick; his fork in this conversation is flippant and
> > unproductive. Not responding to any of his arguments here.
> 
> Not responding to someone else's arguments is OK, nobody can be bothered to read and engage with everything.
> 
> But reading it, and then discounting it altogether, publicly claiming that it is not worth responding to, is not only impolite but also an intellectual affront. I believe that I have made a number of points that are very relevant to your position.
> 
> My core message was "we don't need to worry, all is fine"; your core message is "we need to do more, else we'll sink into oblivion". I can't see any of these two messages being more "productive" than the other; both advise a certain cause of action and nothing more. Both give detailed reasons on why the course of action makes sense to the writer. I can't see anything in your message that would give you the right to brand mine as "unproductive", at least without putting your own in the same class at the same time.
> 
> > We need to be proactive here for the same reason why we need to be
> > proactive in more and more media releases;
> 
> There are many blogs, and there are many stupid blogs. TechCrunch, for example, once famously reported that we were controlled by CloudMade. They simply don't check twice what they write, and so it comes as no surprise that they botched the Knight grant issue as well. Can we really spend time to fight all the stupidity in the world?
> 
> I think that having sensible online material and a communications working group that replies to inquiries in a correct, readable, and timely fashion is certainly a goal worth aiming for. An occasional blog post whenver there's something new and interesting can't hurt. (On the other hand, we shouldn't join the media attention rat race and attempt to fire out "releases" even when there's nothing to say.) Perhaps your position and mine aren't too far apart - I never advocated being "silent". Maybe you should define what you mean by "proactive". I think that CWG have already built a few contacts to the press that come back to us when they're looking for something - that sounds sensible, but as Christian has said, it happens as much or even more at the local level as it happens globally.
> 
> When you say that "we must do more" of something, what is your reference figure. Are you at all familiar with the work of CWG and with any "proactive" activities on the national and local level? Or are you just looking at the effect ("56 blogs have misreported something about OSM this week so we're clearly not proactive enough")?
> 
> > Apple would be, simply, the largest consumer of OpenStreetMap. This
> > would matter. Even their 'filling in the spaces' usage of OSM is
> > massive.
> 
> Apparently you have information about where exactly they are "filling in the spaces", since you say it is massive. Care to share?
> 
> > We cannot ignore this potential for generating contributors,
> > corrections, and understanding of where OSM fits into the world.
> 
> I think there are two separate concerns here.
> 
> 1. Should we use the opportunity, just as we have used previous similar opportunities, to say something that people will listen to? - Yes, that would be a good idea, however *can* we say something except that "to the best of our knowledge, Apple are currently using some of our data of an unspecified vintage in some areas of the world"? Should we welcome the new users that this epsiode brings, just like we have welcomed new users in the past? Certainly. (Also see Richard Weait's Welcome initiative.)
> 
> 2. Should we treat Apple any differently than other data consumers? - No. There are many pieces of software that display an OpenStreetMap map on iOS. Some of them are more widely used than others. Some of them are from businesses, some from open projects. One is made by Apple.
> 
> If I understand you correctly, you would like us to go beyond simply saying "yep, folks, the Apple app uses OSM and you can sign up and edit the data here", but you'd like us to invest time to give them special treatment; maybe find out how we could help them make things better, how they could refer editors to us, maybe help them to update their map faster or what not. Am I right in this, or have I misread you? I have no intention of setting up a straw man here.
> 
> If I am right, then the question is, why don't we help others in the same way. Why do we, for example, not decide to collect a grant somewhere and contract someone to write the "OpenStreetMap App" that RichardF mentioned here, or why don't we call up OffMaps or Skobbler and ask them if they need any help given that their applications are prominent in the iOS sector.
> 
> If your point is that yes, Apple deserve special treatment because they're so big - then how big does one have to be to get this treatment; are there any objective criteria beyond your personal opinion that "Apple would be the largest consumer of OpenStreetMap"? And: Is it in our interest to invest into making especially Apple's map product better; should we not aim to have an OSM "ecosystem"?
> 
> Without wanting to go down the "Apple is evil" road, it is a fact that just as quickly as Apple can decide to use OSM they can decide to dump OSM, and I'm pretty sure that those who know more about Apple than I do will agree that Apple wouldn't ask us for our input to such a decision. Anything we invest into forging bonds with Apple is totally at their discretion - whereas if we were to invest the same hours into getting our own map app up and running that would still be alive even if Apple decides to return to Google maps or whatever.
> 
> Maybe cautious words are "unproductive". But is a frantic call to "do something" really better?
> 
> Bye
> Frederik
> 
> -- 
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
> 
> 
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