[Osmf-talk] Running

Kai Krueger kakrueger at gmail.com
Thu Oct 23 20:49:24 UTC 2014


On 10/23/2014 10:17 AM, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> Hi,
> On 10/23/2014 04:57 PM, steve at asklater.com wrote:
>> If elected I'll try my best to achieve what I outlined previously
>> here; 
>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2014-October/071135.html
> Frankly,
> your eminent goal sounds a lot like:
> "Let's collect one lat/lon pair for every address in the world."
If you turn it around, it sounds much more in line with OSM.

We want to collect an address for every object (in OSM) (that has an
Given we want to describe the physical world as well as possible in OSM
and addressing is an important aspect of that. So how collecting
addresses, just like speed limits and turn restrictions would not a core
aspect of OSM, I don't understand. Therefore trying to push that into a
different project doesn't seem to make sense to me.
> That's a lot less than OSM, and something that can probably be achieved
> better with different technologies, different people, different concepts.
> It's not even a geographic database with objects in topological
> relations, it's essentially a giant CSV file that you're after.
> An all for what? That we can be the world leader in supplying giant CSV
> files with lat/lons pinned against addresses, so that a random iPhone
> app can tell you how far away the nearest branch of a random chain store is.
> Frankly I can't think of a more boring use case than addressing. Yes we
> do addressing *too* but telling people that addressing should be made a
> *priority* would mean that you've very thoroughly forgotten what
> motivates this vibrant, grassroots community.
> You might belittle it as "having fun with swings and slides", but your
> alternative is becoming a project of corporate drones who do big
> businesses' bidding.
> Mappers are first an foremost motivated by the use that they themselves
> see in OSM. For the human mapper, geocoding comes long, long after
> drawing good maps and having good bicycle routing and helping disaster
> victims.

I would strongly disagree. It is mostly just my personal opinion, but I
think I mostly fall into the category of "grass roots mapper" or what
you called the group, so I think my opinion might mesh with many others
as well.

So far I have no commercial affiliation with OSM what so ever and it is
purely a hobby for me. I have started with OSM in 2007, so have been
around for quite a while, yet not from the beginning. I have contributed
both to mapping (by no means as much as many others have, but still imho
a substantial amount) and to developing tools and back-end infrastructure.

Yes, I most of the time only map what, where and when it is fun to me.
So there are many things that I could do that I don't, because I can't
motivate myself to spend my free time on it. I have done a little bit of
address mapping, but mostly not, because yes mapping address with our
current tools is just boring and tedious.

Never the less, I think addressing is incredibly important, especially
for the "grass roots mapper". If there is one feature I would wish just
magically appeared in OSMs data, it would probably be addressing! 
Again, I contribute to OSM, because it is fun and I enjoy it. But
hanging out with friends in a coffee shop or hiking a mountain is just
as much fun if not more. The reason I never the less spend time on OSM,
instead of just enjoying the outdoors (the way "normal people" do), is
because I think it is a valuable thing to do. I get my motivation out of
it by knowing that the effort I put in will help people, will make a
difference to others, will make the world a more fair society because
knowledge is freely shared, and because I feel part of a bigger thing.

However, nearly every time, when I try and show to friends and family
what I am doing as a hobby in OSM, they will look at it, try and search
for something, notice that they can't find it and say that project is
"rubbish", why are you wasting your time on it. I have tried several
times to convince family and friends to use OSM to navigate using the
various great SatNav apps for phone and WinCE devices. But again, every
time I wanted to demonstrate how cool and detailed OSM is, it failed on
the first step of geocoding. I even once nearly missed a transatlantic
flight, because I was using OSM as a SatNav. The navigating worked
perfectly, just that the geocoding found the wrong train station. Not
the main one, but a tiny one out in the suburbs.

If you manually select the correct target (or use google to geocode)
then OSM (despite its lack of turn restrictions, speed limits and lane
assist mapping) already often gives as good routes as the commercial
vendors, but without being able to find the location you are looking for
to start with, it is useless.

You can imagine how frustrating it is if you can't even convince your
family and closest friends to use OpenStreetMap instead of Google maps
or even paying for commercial maps like TomTom. So yes, to me as a grass
roots mapper, imho addressing  and the "commercial" usability is
incredibly important. Because the ability to use it as a replacement for
google maps and seeing others use it as a replacement for google maps is
my payment for all the effort I put in!

Now given that entering addressing is incredibly boring, I have no idea
how to achieve getting more addressing into the map. But any initiative
the achieves more addressing (while not causing problems to other
mappers), I would whole heartedly support. This includes large scale
imports from municipal data (or other sources), as that is the closest
to "magically appearing in OSM" which I mentioned at the beginning as I
can think of.

Given that OSMF has decided to deliberately not care about end users
(ignoring that all grass roots mapers are also end users and using OSM
is their reward), making sure that the data is as "commercially viable"
as possible imho becomes a high priority for the OSMF.

Just my $.02


> OpenStreetMap is not a business, and doesn't have to cater for business
> interests. Like many before you, you're making the "we can only survive
> if we're adopted by businesses big time, and we can only be adopted big
> time if we do <X>" argument. For some, <X> is "use different license",
> for you it is "prioritize addressing".
> I don't believe you're right, and I think you are doing the project a
> disservice if you try to reduce it to addressing (with everything else
> being "having fun with swings and slides").
>> I left a few years ago because I thought I was part of the problem
>> and was holding things back. It doesn't look like that was entirely
>> the case. Since approximately then I've got married and had kids and
>> see things in a different light.
> Are you saying that you see things in a different light and you have
> ideas about how to serve with your peers on the board of directors in a
> constructive way, or are you saying that you now think you've done
> everything right and you want to continue where you left off?
>> I'll also give transparent reports of what's happening at every board meeting.
> Does that mean you'd like to apply for the role of "secretary", writing
> and publishing the minutes, or does that mean you're in favour of
> letting all board members report on board meetings equally?
> I remember you, more than once, insisting that certain matters on the
> board were discussed exclusively on the telephone and not by email or
> even minuted, because otherwise they would be "discoverable" in
> hypothetical future legal proceedings. I also, more than once, heard you
> speak in riddles where you would only hint at someone having approached
> you about something, without telling us exactly who it was and exactly
> what they said. In fact I attributed some of the anti-transparency
> antics that I encountered with some longer serving board members to
> having learnt these habits from you.
> Do you see these things in a different light now too, or if not, would
> you care to describe in more detail where the limits of transparency are
> for you?
> Bye
> Frederik

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