[Osmf-talk] What's all this stuff about HOT, and how is it relevant for OSMF.

martin at noblecourt.eu martin at noblecourt.eu
Mon Dec 4 15:59:32 UTC 2017

Thanks Mikel, very useful, looking forward for the next episodes 
(couldn't help but notice an early presentation at our GeOnG... 2008!)

I would also like to use this thread to point back at what is (IMHO) the 
real question at stake here: the composition and election of the OSMF 

Basically, the core concern many express here is that one organization 
from the OSM ecosystem (HOT) has too much influence on the board and 
thus on the OSMF.
As I already put forward, my long-term solution for this would be to 
have a board (also) representing local chapters rather than mere 
individuals. But this could also be extended to any other organization 
evolving in the community like HOT but also companies like MapBox, 
universities, or any other major stakeholder.
I don't have a comprehensive proposal for it but it could be envisioned 
that the board includes both representatives of the individuals members 
(elected here) and representatives of local chapters and 
partners/members organizations (currently OSMF only allows "corporate 
members" that are sponsors, but there could be also a space for non 
profit organizations like NGOs and universities; for instance CartONG is 
as an organization a member of OSM France), with a pre-defined number of 
seats for the different groups. It wouldn't probably be 1 chapter (or 1 
partner) = 1 board member, but since they are already in the Advisory 
board, they could choose representatives there to go to the board.

This is just a suggestion and potentially too early given the low number 
of official local chapters (and the lack of official status for other 
type of partners except corporations). Frederik's question after my last 
email where also very relevant and show the limits of my current 
proposal. This discussion would certainly need more thoughts, 
potentially via a dedicated working group or directly by the newly 
elected board? However, I'd be interested to see the candidates' 
position on it.
(I'm not adding a question on the Wiki since this is basically a 
clarification/extension of my previous question)

Going in this direction would, I think, clarify who is representing 
himself (as an individual) or his organization and alleviate certain 
suspicions that are constantly polluting the debates.
OSMF has grown too much to just rely on the personal trust between a 
handful of passionate people (a bit sad, but also a sign of success), 
but I feel it's membership is still too narrow to represent OSM as a 
whole. Hence my suggestion to better represent the ecosystem.

Finally, I don't have the technical background to assess his 
proposals/concerns, but I support on principle Darafei's questions about 
the technical infrastructure, this should indeed by the first priority 
of OSMF.



04/12/2017 15:51, Mikel Maron wrote:
>> I think having a comprehensive description of your side of the story
> would indeed be very useful.
> Thanks. It's going to take some work! To start, I do put together a
> history from 2005 to the start of the Haiti response in 2010
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZyLZpz5XBA [3]
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Humanitarian_OSM_Team/History [4]
> Next would be to look at 2010 - 2013, when HOT registered an
> organization and formalized, and began to engage with the requirements
> to run field operations.
> -Mikel
> On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 5:03 AM, <martin at noblecourt.eu> wrote:
>> Mikel,
>> I think having a comprehensive description of your side of the story
>> would indeed be very useful. Séverin made the effort to describe
>> his point of view, it would be fair that yours would be developed
>> publicly since you were nominally criticized there.
>> I understand it must be tiresome for parties involved to relive
>> again and again the same conflict, however I'm thinking of the many
>> OSMF members that weren't HOT voting members when this all happened
>> (including me) on for whom all we get is secondary explanations.
>> This would also as you mentioned help settle this debate that seem
>> to restart here and there regularly and disturb various OSM
>> communities.
>> Let's not forget a majority (I have no numbers but I would expect it
>> is a rather large majority) wasn't directly involved in this
>> conflict and has no will to see it deter the quality of the
>> interactions in the broader OSM ecosystem.
>> Best regards.
>> Martin
>> On 04/12/2017 04:21, Mikel Maron wrote:
>>> Hey everybody
>>> A few notes, on all this discussion of HOT, and what’s actually
>>> relevant from that for the OSMF.
>>> I understand that this recent flurry of emails about HOT are
>>> pretty
>>> confusing. We all had the same audacious dream to bring
>>> OpenStreetMap
>>> to the humanitarian world, but we believed in different ways to
>>> accomplish it. Whenever there has been a HOT election over the
>>> past
>>> four years, we’ve had these arguments within HOT. It’s
>>> impossible
>>> for me to discuss adequately without providing a tremendous amount
>>> of
>>> missing context in years of history in HOT -- going all the way
>>> back
>>> to when I first started developing the idea of OSM for disaster
>>> response in 2005 (http://brainoff.com/weblog/2005/12/22/16 [1]
>>> [1]). For
>>> those that are interested, and to hopefully head off repeating
>>> these
>>> discussions again in the future, I am working on writing up a full
>>> public history.
>>> For now, sufficient to say, Nicolas and Severin are upset that HOT
>>> did
>>> not take the direction they wanted. Both of them were employed by
>>> HOT
>>> and served on the Board. As an organization with partnerships and
>>> contracts with humanitarian organizations, and that works closely
>>> with
>>> responders amidst disaster activations, I felt and still strongly
>>> feel
>>> HOT required clear lines of accountability for some key roles and
>>> responsibilities within the bigger open community. This is
>>> standard
>>> for any organization operating in the humanitarian field at
>>> anything
>>> beyond small scale, and really most any organization anywhere in
>>> the
>>> world.
>>> This is settled within HOT. I think it is unfortunate that the
>>> largely
>>> irrelevant fight continues in OSMF. There is no one standing in
>>> the
>>> way of their efforts with Projet EOF, which has had good results,
>>> and
>>> they can operate however they see fit. There is no monopoly of
>>> working
>>> with OSM in disasters and preparedness, and Nicolas and Severin
>>> would
>>> find support for their work from the broader community --
>>> including
>>> from me. HOT is just one of many interrelated organizations and
>>> initiatives working to better the world within the OSM community.
>>> So what about this is relevant for OSMF?
>>> The main point of bringing up HOT seems to imply that the HOT Code
>>> of
>>> Conduct led to silencing over disagreements, and that the same is
>>> a
>>> risk for OSMF. However, HOT developed its code after the OSMF, and
>>> the
>>> starting point as we developed that policy was the OSMF very own
>>> etiquette and moderation rules. Etiquette rules have not been used
>>> unfairly in OSMF. And neither have they in HOT. A few are
>>> understandably upset about that HOT was not shaped in their
>>> vision,
>>> but that’s a separate issue from the Code of Conduct.
>>> The OSM Foundation serves a much different purpose and is very
>>> different kind of organization than HOT. OSMF is the supporting
>>> legal
>>> entity at the nexus of the complex and multifaceted OSM community.
>>> There are hundreds of individual members, tens of thousands of
>>> mappers
>>> and organizers, local groups in various states of organization to
>>> very
>>> informal meetups to formal Local Chapters in their own right,
>>> developers companies and institutions working within OSM some of
>>> which
>>> are Corporate Members. In short, OSMF helps hold the enabling
>>> environment for an incredibly diverse array of interests to work
>>> together in the map. It’s pretty unprecedented, and very
>>> different
>>> from HOT.
>>> -Mikel
>>> Links:
>>> ------
>>> [1] http://brainoff.com/weblog/2005/12/22/16 [1]
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> osmf-talk mailing list
>>> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
>>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk [2]
> Links:
> ------
> [1] http://brainoff.com/weblog/2005/12/22/16
> [2] https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk
> [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZyLZpz5XBA
> [4] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Humanitarian_OSM_Team/History

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