[Osmf-talk] Fwd: Candidacy: OSMF Board

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Fri Nov 24 18:56:02 UTC 2017

On Friday 24 November 2017, Kate Chapman wrote:
> I can't speak for everyone involved in HOT, but I think it is
> possible that many people long involved in HOT have more global
> experience, which certainly changes methods and view. [...]

That is an interesting hypothesis but i do not observe a correlation 
between the style of communication, problem solving methods etc. of 
non-HOT people with a vast amount of international experience and 
people involved in HOT.  It could be (but i have no data supporting 
that) that for most HOT members their work on HOT (or related 
humanitarian work for other organizations) is the only or at least the 
dominating international experience they have which then gives them a 
fairly specific perspective on international diversity compared to 
those with international insights with a different background.

> Who is to say what the native culture is? Since I've "only" been
> involved in OSM for 9 years at this point am I not part of that
> culture?

I am not judging here - i just observe a distinct OSM culture, in 
particular regarding the style of communication and problem solving 
approaches that transcends the boundaries between local communities and 
languages and that i perceive to be distinctly different from what 
seems to be common in HOT - mostly based on occasionally reading the 
HOT mailing list and when HOT members participate in discussion on the 
OSM mailing lists (mostly here and on osm-talk/imports).

This is probably a bit biased because while i have a fair amount of 
insight into OSM communications in other languages my insight into the 
HOT communication style is almost exclusively based on English language 

I think the unifying element of the OSM communication culture is 
ultimately mapping - and the related process of establishing tagging 
conventions.  This is also probably what unifies and develops the 
culture across the language barriers.  You do some mapping at the other 
side of the world or in a neighboring country or observe someone else's 
mapping there, have some bumpy communication (due to language barriers) 
with the local people about tagging and this way create a cultural 

That there is no central authority in that is one of the defining 
elements of this.  The authority is always the local community and they 
decide in how far they adjust to the other local communities and this 
way create a more or less uniform global OSM culture.

> > If i am right about this you resigning from HOT membership would
> > indeed not change anything - even if it would be a visible
> > statement of course.  I don't think many people would brand you as
> > a 'HOT-gal' forever if they see you engage with the local and
> > global OSM community as one of them.
> What does it mean to interact with the global OSM community as a
> 'HOT-person'? I have attended and organized SotM-US, met with and 
> spoken about OSM on 5 continents (Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and
> Australia in case people are wondering). I'm part of the local
> community in Portland, Oregon. Though I get the feeling it doesn't
> matter, besides nobody should have to justify that they are in the
> 'in crowd'. Does being in the 'in crowd' mean that I send tons of
> emails on the mailing list? That is the only thing I can really see
> that would differentiate me. Frankly I find it an ineffective way to
> communicate.

I am not sure if i communicated my point well here.  What i wanted to 
say is that if you feel you are being treated differently because of 
your history with HOT that for most people is not a permanent 
unchangeable status.  People doing that will likely change their view 
of you if they routinely interact with you for some time and realize 
you are just like any other OSM community member (including the 
personal quirks everyone has obviously).

Personally i do not primarily view you as a 'HOT-person' but as an OSMF 
board member because i rarely observe you in OSM outside the OSMF 
context and because as you observed i did not really experience you 
when you were active in HOT.  I do not recall reading any changeset 
discussions where you wrote something, no diary entry other than OSMF 
business, no tagging discussions on the OSM wiki or on the tagging 
mailing list or any activity from you on OSM related software or map 
design projects i observe.  This does not mean you are not active in 
any of these - the world of OSM is vast and i see only a small part of 
it.  And if i was an Oregon local i would probably have interacted with 
you in the local community.

> I think of membership by invitation differently. I wonder how many
> more people would join the OSMF if they were personally invited to
> join. What if someone came and said "you really care about OSM, we'd
> love for you to join the OSMF?" I think there are advantages to that
> method and it allows recruiting people that might never think "oh
> they meant me!"

Personally approaching active mappers to join the OSMF would probably be 
a good idea and could be fairly successful i presume.  But making 
membership depend on such an invitation would IMO not be.

Note the big principal difference between the OSMF and HOT is that the 
OSMF's purpose is to represent the whole OSM community.  Morally all 
mappers in OSM have the right to be considered by the OSMF in its 
decisions and if the OSMF stops representing significant parts of the 
OSM community it would loose its raison d'etre.  To ensure this does 
not happen a proportional representation of the OSM community in the 
members would be very important.

HOT on the other hand does not have such a claim of universality.  They 
want to support and organize humanitarian mapping but they do not 
require themselves to represent all humanitarian mapping in OSM.  

Christoph Hormann

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