[Osmf-talk] OSM and Diversity

Joseph Reeves iknowjoseph at gmail.com
Fri Jul 28 17:30:47 UTC 2017

Hi Kate, fellow OSMF members,

I don't have any great insight into this, but my favourite way of thinking
about the treatment of minorities, online or elsewhere, is the description
of minorities within any group as like racers in Mario Kart: The people at
the back get the sweet power ups, and those winning the race don't. This
makes it more fair and enjoyable for all.

I'd say that your contributions to OSM over the years have been the Mario
Kart lightning bolt for a wide range of people the world over. This has
been to the benefit of all of us.

I hope the email lists I'm subscribed to are not representative of the
views of a wider OSM community.

Thanks, Joseph

On 27 July 2017 at 16:40, Kate Chapman <kate at maploser.com> wrote:

> OSMF Diversity
> Hi All, Remember me? The only woman who has ever managed to serve a full
> term on the OSMF Board? The fact that we continue to have these superficial
> debates makes me wonder if I've just wasted the past decade of my life
> being involved in OpenStreetMap. (In just typing this I'm waiting for
> someone to go, oh wait a woman is wrong on the Internet. Kate has only done
> OSM for ~8.5 years not 10).
> I don't see much disagreement that OpenStreetMap does not represent the
> make-up of the world we are trying to map. What I do see is disagreement is
> if it is an issue, if the community is causing it and disagreement as to
> what to do about it.
> Is it an issue? Yes. It is pretty simple, if we are trying to create a
> detailed worldwide map then we need to map childcare, strip clubs and even
> chicken statues (my town has at least 10, no they aren't all mapped yet).
> People from different backgrounds have a different worldview, different
> items are important to them and they will help make the map just that much
> better.
> Is the community causing it? I would say partially. I'm only saying
> partially because of the general sexism, racisim and classism already
> existing in society. We certainly aren't doing much to try to make it
> better though. In OSM it is death by thousand cuts though. Before elected
> to the OSMF Board I was told I would never win because I was a woman. That
> is one cut. As Chairperson being called Chairman is another one. Clearly
> the position was made for a man. Seeing subtle sexism on mailing lists, yet
> another.
> How to fix it? There is a simple thing everyone can do, everyday to help
> in a small way. Make room for other types of people. For example Frederik,
> instead of spending 2 hours analyzing Dr. Stephens' work because she was
> "wrong" in 2013. I have a suggestion. Just don't. It happened years ago and
> it doesn't matter. Often in OSM we get caught up in people not doing it
> "our way". Don't just narrow in on a technicality. Rather than looking at
> how the tagging methods she looked at were incorrect maybe we should ask
> ourselves how we should change this? Other ways to make room, communicate
> more gently, assume good intent, let people just be wrong sometimes, the
> world won't explode.
> -Kate
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