[Osmf-talk] Balancing the presence of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT US Inc) in the OpenStreetMap Foundation

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Wed Nov 25 15:54:39 UTC 2015

Most of the issues raised in this thread have been mashed through
multiple times before in the history of the OSMF and many of them remain

The OSMF board has clear legal responsibilities with respect to the
operations of the OSMF itself, but outside of that, its role in the OSM
ecosystem is very fuzzy. Is it a representative body? Is it the body
that determines long term strategy (if yes then of what?)? Is it the
body that provides legal oversight? Is it a vehicle to foster individual
careers?  Is it simply the people that do the day to day drudgery that
nobody else wants to do?

In my experience it tends to be a bit of all of the above, which (small
digression) is very similar to the boards of small associations in
German-speaking countries. The good and the bad of that is that it
allows everybody to project their specific views on to the board and
complain that it doesn't quite work out as they expect.

The current board has left the questions above unanswered just as those
before it. If at all it has muddied the waters further by abolishing the
management team and not replacing it with a sane operational body. It
undid the only small step towards clarification of the boards role made
in the history of the OSMF. Note: I'm on the record of not being a fan
of the management team implementation as it was, but was willing to live
with it because of the clarification (at least theoretically) it brought
with it.

Back to this years elections.

I'm not that concerned about the representative aspect of the boards
make-up, but if I was to claim that it doesn't make a difference if you
vote for the GOP or the Democrats just because they are all Americans, I
suspect there would be a rather large outcry. I think the candidates
backgrounds and affiliations (not just HOT and MM) are something that
should be taken in to account.


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