[Osmf-talk] Community, criticism and diversity

Ben Abelshausen ben.abelshausen at gmail.com
Fri Oct 31 09:35:46 UTC 2014

Hi fellow 'community-members',

disclaimer: frustration and some anger speaking!

I have been passively reading all information and discussions going on
about the OSMF, a discussion that is needed and that is hopefully going to
lead to a better situation. Let's keep it going.

BUT: First of all OSM is not the same as OSMF. Some 'community-members'
have been saying on mailing lists, twitter facebook or whatever favourite
channel things like 'OSM is a terribly unwelcome community' 'The OSM
community is broken' or 'The OSM community is racist or routinely

Please think about this before stating these things as truth. 'Thé OSM
community' does not exist.

We have a few prominent people that are present here a lot on the
mailinglists and are talking talking talking and then talking some more and
have as a consequence of that a certain degree of authority when speaking
about our community. This is because your voice is louder and you are well
versed in English NOT because you are an expert.

Take into consideration all the 'smaller' or underrepresented communities
you are harming or also targetting by comments like the above. We have
communities everywhere now, in Sweden, Danmark, Belgium, The Netherlands,
Senegal, Cameroon, France, Indonesia, Japan, Ivory Coast, Benin, Portugal,
Spain, Slovenia, Russia, Viet Nam, Norway, Italy, Togo, Burkina Faso,
Niger, ... (do I need to go on?)

Not all of these are racist, broken communities!

Name things correctly when spewing this kind of critique because I know for
a fact that a lot of these communties are nothing like what is being
desribed. Diversity also means, thinking about everyone when thinking about
problems. Something that is completely neglected in almost every
discussion. And please don't say we are one big community because that is
just not true, we are very diverse but unfortunately not diverse together.

I would like to state that the mailinglist-based (maybe even
english-speaking) 'subcommunity' is broken and even stating that is just
focusing on just a tiny part of the participants, so just stop.

Organize a mapping party or meetup. Do a Missing Maps mapping party! Send
emails to people/organisations or attend events to promote OSM and focus on
underrepresented groups in your community if you want. Or even better, do
some mapping or help/train people to do some mapping! This is how problems
get solved, by doing.

Some things are broken but not everything and everyone!

Met vriendelijke groeten,
Best regards,

Ben Abelshausen
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