[Osmf-talk] Balancing the presence of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team at the OSM Foundation in 2017

Jean-Guilhem Cailton jgc at arkemie.org
Sun Dec 3 00:41:19 UTC 2017

Le 30/11/2017 à 16:09, Blake Girardot a écrit :
> Hi Simon and fellow OSM supporters,
> Leaving aside some of your more provocative statements Simon, I do
> feel compelled to comment on some of what you said.
> By way of introduction to myself, I am HOT member, past President of
> the organization and seriously dedicated to HOT's work and mission and
> feel the same dedication to OSM.

Blake, this could have been an opportunity to make your introduction
more complete, and state that you resigned from the Board to take on a
position paid (by HOT US Inc.) in the development of version 3 of the
Task Manager…

As Simon message included criticism both of technical choice for TM, and
of the development policy for the tools, and the related financial
circuits, it is quite possible that you may have felt “interested”.

The mere fact that you didn’t refrain from intervening in this
discussion – by calling his statements “provocative” –, in spite of your
experiences as HOT US Inc. Board member and president, and in spite of
Simon himself recalling the definition of Conflict of interest according
to the relevant UK law – in the same thread and less than 24 hours
before your post –, is an interesting and visible example of the
differences in the notions of Conflicts of interest on each side of the
Atlantic Ocean.

I would have wished it were possible for members of the OpenStreetMap
Foundation to discuss about the appropriateness of a candidacy without
being submitted to the influence of those whose interests are involved,
whether they feel like acknowledging it fully or not. This includes
direct and indirect interests, in terms not only of employment or money,
but also of trips, recognition or any other more or less subtle interest
(and also less subtle, though sometimes unconscious, such as national
interest). And also indirect in the sense that the interest may be
connected to a partner or friend of yours.

If such a basic ethical rule had been followed, most of the most
virulent critics against Séverin, and also the most vocal supporters of
Heather, would have had to abstain. This example shows how much the
debates here would be different if only between members unrelated to the
interests involved. And especially volunteer mappers.

(Or, at least, members who had really, completely, truthfully, honestly,
transparently disclosed all their interests potentially linked — after a
serious effort to look even for the unconscious links that they
apparently had rather hide even from themselves, even when they are
pretty clear from the outside).

>From my point of view, this is the best thing that could happen to OSM

And, unfortunately, it is urgently needed (and maybe even too late), in
front of the current attempt of a small group of connected interests to
take control of the OSMF, after having previously taken control of the
“humanitarian” branch of OSM.
(And yes, Frederik, there does exist really well hidden influences. At
least from this membership, as can be seen by reading the recent
exchanges on this list, and not seeing certain facts mentioned. Or
seeing manipulations and lies apparently unnoticed and accepted).

Best wishes,

P.S. : Having read the more recent threads, specially about the abuses
of HOT CoC to censor well founded criticism, I now see that some of
these carefully hidden facts are starting to emerge.

It is pretty late here, and i am feel tired, but i can support Séverin’s
testimony, and say that the most ignominious actions i was personally
confronted to in my life were from the Board of HOT US Inc., when Mrs.
Heather Leson was its President (at about the same time when Séverin was

> On Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 12:37 PM, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:
>> What if HOT Inc. would stop pretending that they are morally better people
>> and are "mapping for good", contrary to the other lesser beings?

Indeed, especially when you are aware of the reality of the behavior of
some, behind the nice looking PR.

>> In my book all contributions to OSM are "humanitarian".

I remember what the late and regretted Bernard Lortic (a great
geographer, engineer and mapper working at IRD – French Research
Institute for Development) told me, when I had the good fortune to meet
him :
“I don’t know what humanitarian mapping is.
I only know mapping.”

>> Simon


“Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.”
Transparency International
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