[Osmf-talk] A Better Map

Kate Chapman kate at maploser.com
Wed Oct 22 21:38:34 UTC 2014

On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 1:51 PM, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:

> Am 22.10.2014 21:24, schrieb Kate Chapman:
> >
> Hi Kate
> Your position on this seems to be similar to statements made during the
> just past OSM-US board elections.
> They seem to repeat a preconceived notion of a OSM contributor which is
> extremely one sided. OSM contributors big and small come from a wide
> range of professional backgrounds and without even venturing in to the
> realm of casual contributors, we have a pool of 50'000 to recruit  board
> and working group members from. Many which will trash non-editing so
> called experts in any field with their right hand bound behind their back.

As someone who has taught workshops and met with OSM communities in too
many countries to count now I doubt that my views of contributors are
narrow. People are depending on OSM all over the world for not only a fun
weekend hobby, but to respond to Ebola, to have a detailed map to run their
mail delivery service, because it is fun or as an education tool, just to
name a couple uses.  Sure we have a wide range of contributors, but most
that get involved in the OSMF have what seems to me very similar
backgrounds. Why can't we recruit diverse people to help out?

> We simply face the same challenge that every popular pastime faces that
> promises  power, money and influence. The people that actually enjoy the
> pastime would prefer allocating their time to what they enjoy, instead
> of to managing the organisation and will need a lot of convincing to
> "waste" their time on meta issues and power games, leaving control to
> people with different motives. It is not by chance that this topic is
> rising now when OSM is a clear success.

I think everyone has different motives, whether they are affiliated or
not.  Do you have to enjoy editing to believe in the power of having an
open map and be an effective advocate? That is exactly the issue people
view things like being on the OSMF board as a "waste" or their time.

> You just need to look at the governing bodies of any major sport to know
> what happens. It isn't even necessary to consider the extremes of FIFA
> and the like. Though  I'm sure the arguments 110 years ago were very
> similar to those raised now. Non affiliated community members are
> already a minority in the OSMF board, not to mention OSM US that has a
> single token such member left.

I was not suggested the entire board would be non-affiliated.  There are
different approaches to this and you can look at other organizations with
mixed boards. Checks and balances are possible, especially with a
membership. That is if the membership can be engaged, which is an entirely
different problem.


> As of now, there is at least some democratic control by the cattle over
> these bodies, turning them in to self-electing masters of OSM  is just a
> step more to our very own Blatter.
> Simon
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