[Osmf-talk] wish list to osmf board

Joseph Reeves iknowjoseph at gmail.com
Tue Dec 5 14:34:28 UTC 2017

Hi Simon,

> to a model more Wikipedia like

To be honest, the "model" I was thinking about was more related to John's
mention of:

> over $80M USD in revenues in 2016

That's a lot of money that could be spent improving OSM for the
contributors :-)

I don't wish to see the OSMF change to a WM model, or to radically change
how things are done here (less arguing and conspiracy theories, perhaps). I
don't want the OSMF to become a defacto services provider. I'm don't edit
wikipedia articles. The change I was inspired by in the original emails was
the ambition of the scope; more people are contributing to OSM and more
people are using the services (through third parties, often without
realising) - I want to see the OSMF utilise this growth to benefit the
membership. We can be inspirational drivers of this technology and
contribution method - we can build the best map of the world - without
monopolising services.

That's the sort of thing I want to see from the Board and this, I argue,
would take leadership that some of the candidates were offering. I tried to
convey that sort of attitude a couple of years ago, but either people
didn't want to hear it, or from me, or they were put off by my previous

Cheers, Joseph

On 5 December 2017 at 14:19, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:

> Hi Josph
> Am 05.12.2017 um 14:36 schrieb Joseph Reeves:
> I would argue that many consumers are accessing OSM via one of the
> professional geodata providers: These providers are providing,
> professionally, OpenStreetMap data.
> You don't need to argue that, because it is clearly the case, -by design-.
> ..
> I don't believe there will be a breakdown, there just won't be the
> realisation of potential. I'm hoping the future Board, and any others
> beyond that, will release the potential of OSM in ways that we haven't even
> started to dream about yet.
> If I understand you correctly, what you are saying is that you want to
> change the business model OSM has working in, since OSM as we know it (aka
> 2007) exists, to a model more Wikipedia like. That is not a new discussion
> (and I've blogged about this before), but nobody has seriously proposed it
> for a long time, likely because:
>    - the model with OSM not providing end user services and leaving lots
>    of space for third parties, commercial and other, to provides services
>    based OSM data has been very successful: we're still around and for many
>    things are by far the best open dataset that exists.
>    - while we could easily put the map related parts of Mapbox, Mapzen,
>    Graphhopper, HOT etc out of business, it is rather unlikely that we could
>    do that for google, Here and Tomtom (well maybe I should move them to the
>    first group :-)). In other words it is rather unlikely that we would
>    achieve the de facto monopoly status WP has and without that it is very
>    unlikely that we would be able to achieve the revenue necessary to operate
>    the whole thing (as in a couple of $100 million).
> Now historically we've shied away from providing anything "google maps"
> like on openstreetmap.org, feature creep has naturally still led to that
> happening a bit, mainly because there was this notion of a large player
> taking our data and providing this all singing and dancing g-maps
> competitor.  That hasn't happened and is rather unlikely to in the future,
> with Mapquest really being the only company that made motions in that
> direction giving up two years back. So maybe we should reconsider that
> aspect, but finding funding for a google competitor that is just going to
> burn money in an endless fashion is rather a hard sell (not saying that it
> is totally impossible, just hard).
> Personally I would prefer the OSMF doing what it is actually tasked with,
> supporting the contributors and improving the infrastructure for us.
> Simon
> Cheers, Joseph
> On 5 December 2017 at 13:23, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> 2017-12-05 14:12 GMT+01:00, Joseph Reeves <iknowjoseph at gmail.com>:
>> >> once a group takes on responsibility for providing reliable services
>> at a
>> >> global scale,
>> >> with industries of small, medium, and global businesses depending on
>> the
>> >> underlying infrastructure and millions of contributors, amateur
>> >> structures
>> >> break down.
>> >
>> >
>> > This is something I agree with, although I wouldn't have been able to
>> > make the points in the two emails as eloquently myself.
>> If this were true, why are people choosing OSM and not one of the
>> professional geodata providers? OSM was founded in 2004 and has since
>> been managed by amateurs, why is it still operating and not "broken
>> down"? Or is it broken down, and I just don't see it? Or is the
>> breakdown imminent?
>> Cheers,
>> Martin
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