[Osmf-talk] Announcing my candidacy for the OSMF Board Elections 2017

David Dean ddean at ieee.org
Wed Nov 22 23:49:44 UTC 2017

Hi everyone,

I would like to put forward myself as a candidate for the OSMF Board at the
2017 AGM election. I have put a candidacy statement up at
http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/David%20Dean/diary/42796 and will start
answering questions on the talk page within the next few days.

My statement is also attached below.

Happy Mapping,

- David

I have been an active OpenStreetMapper since 2007 (and an OSMF member since
early 2016), and have been organising Mapping Parties in my local city of
Brisbane, Australia since 2008 (although both activities were a bit quiet
for a few years in the middle there - sorry about that!). I want to join
the OSMF Board to primarily help increase representation from the
AU/NZ/South Pacific Region, and indigenous populations worldwide, and
secondarily to bring my decades of expertise in machine-learning to
the upcoming
challenges of integrating automated mapping with the local-community focus
that should always drive OSM contributions.

Since coming back into OSM solidly in the last 5 months, I have re-caught
the mapping bug big time. I have mapped locally, and across the world for
the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, every single day since July! I am
working on re-ramping up my involvement in the project significantly, and I
am performing outreach in the local spatial community to increase the
awareness of both OSM and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. I particular
enjoy teaching and introducing new members to the project, and have run two
Missing Maps events, alongside other local Mapping Parties, and I will
continue to organise events locally every month.

I am an active participant of HOT mapping efforts, and I believe strongly
in the ability of remote mapping to provide a great starting point for local
communities to take ownership of their maps. In fact, I believe that this
is the first and foremost principle of OpenStreetMap, that if anything is
taking away, or discouraging, local ownership of the map it is probably not
a good idea.

If elected, I would seek to improve the representation of the needs of
Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific mappers towards the OSMF
Board. In particular, I am very interested, and already working towards,
how the OpenStreetMap project and communities can extend our community,
models and techniques towards indigenous populations around the world.
Indigenous populations often look at the world differently than the
Euro-centric origins of the OpenStreetMap project, but I believe that some
of the valuable lessons already learnt by HOT in how local disadvantaged
communities can take ownership of their maps can be extended and improved
upon for the indigenous populations of Australia, New Zealand, the South
Pacific, and around the world. To be clear, I am not indigenous myself, but
I am in already in the process of building relationships to work towards
this goal in the Greater Brisbane area, then hopefully across the entire
region, and the world!

One other aspect that I would like to bring to the board will be the
present and future impact of automation, machine-learning and/or artificial
intelligence on OpenStreetMapping, both generally and specifically for
Humanitarian Mapping. It might appear that this is antithetical to my
belief in local communities owning local maps, but that is why I want to
focus on using these powerful techniques in ways that promote, rather than
degrade, local ownership.

I have more than a decade of machine-learning experience, and I want to
investigate existing techniques in development by Facebook, Development
Seed and others, and develop new ones, and I am working with a team at the
University of Queensland to begin a study on how these and similar
techniques can be opened to all mappers through the Humanitarian
OpenStreetMap Tasking Manager and editing tools in a way that ensures that
remote and local mappers are assisted directly in our mapping tools, rather
than having the output of an algorithm imported widescale without their
direct involvement in the process. I am in particular interested in efforts
that can focus on getting ML to people on the ground in things like
FieldPapers, and in apps like StreetComplete, Kort and OpenMapKit. We need
many more of these great simple-survey focussed approaches, and I think ML
can help with guiding these efforts.

You can find out more about me at https://dbdean.com, and my OSM profile at
https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/David%20Dean contains links to my many
OSM-related activities. If you have any questions, or want to get in
contact, please don’t hesitate to ask me here, by email at ddean at ieee.org,
or at the Election to Board Talk Page at
where I will begin to wade through the many existing questions shortly.

Thanks, and Happy Mapping!

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