[Osmf-talk] Balancing the presence of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team at the OSM Foundation in 2017

Tobias Knerr osm at tobias-knerr.de
Wed Nov 29 22:35:43 UTC 2017

On 29.11.2017 16:46, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> There haven't been any board decisions which would directly affect HOT,
> and I certainly haven't seen anything in my time on the board where I
> thought that HOT was given an unfair advantage.

That's good to hear, and I generally trust our board members to handle
conflicts of interest responsibly. However, this is only the most
obvious potential issue – not the only one.

At least for me, the main concern with the disproportionate HOT
involvement in OSMF is more subtle: HOT has a somewhat different culture
from the larger OSM community in many ways, such as seemingly favouring
more traditional organisational structures (more structured,
"professional", with larger budgets, ...) and a different outlook on
mapping (e.g. less concerned about directed mapping, relying on more
clearly defined tasks instead of generalist contributors, ...).

Those are just broad tendencies, of course, and there is as wide a
diversity of opinions among HOT contributors as in any other subset of
the OSM community. Board members with a HOT background are still
individuals, after all, and don't represent HOT as an organization.

Nevertheless, our background and past experiences in the OSM ecosystem
inevitably shape how we imagine the future of OSM. That would be
especially relevant for people who have almost exclusively participated
in OSM through HOT-related activities, but is likely a noticeable
influence even for members with a more balanced OSM CV.

With that in mind, I would be far happier with a board member
distribution that was closer to the demographics of the OSM community.
That is, with a far larger share of volunteer mappers, and ideally no
two members hailing from the same company or organization.

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