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

Blake Girardot bgirardot at gmail.com
Thu Nov 30 15:09:20 UTC 2017

Hi Simon and fellow OSM supporters,

Leaving aside some of your more provocative statements Simon, I do
feel compelled to comment on some of what you said.

By way of introduction to myself, I am HOT member, past President of
the organization and seriously dedicated to HOT's work and mission and
feel the same dedication to OSM.

On Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 12:37 PM, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:

> Lastly, I would hazard to say that most HOT mappers view themselves as OSM
> mappers that happen to do humanitarian mapping more than the other way
> around.

I agree 100% and I certainly hope it is true. Only speaking for
myself, but having seen others in HOT conduct themselves the same way,
my introduction to new mappers is that they are first and foremost
part of the quite amazing overall OSM project, they are OSM mappers
and HOT / Missing Maps is just a way to connect to humanitarian
organizations and local groups that make use of and benefit from OSM
in very different circumstances than I am in.

If HOT's / Missing Maps use case for mapping and creating OSM data is
compelling to people who want to help others by generating map data
and that brings them into the OSM community, great, many people are
motivated to help others and OSM mapping does that. I as a HOT
enthusiast am eager to highlight that fact and try and reach out to
people so they can be a part of the OSM project in whatever way works
for them for whatever reason motivates them.

> What if HOT Inc. would stop pretending that they are morally better people
> and are "mapping for good", contrary to the other lesser beings?

Please forgive me, but I understand from our previous conversations on
IRC a few years back that someone in the HOT community made what is
frankly a pretty dumb statement either to you, or in your presence
about how HOT mapping is somehow morally superior to other kinds of
mapping or other ways of helping the OSM community and eco system.

In my view nothing is further from the truth, it was a dumb thing to
say. There is no hierarchy of importance of mapping, all contributions
to OSM, in whatever way, even non mapping ways, coding, documentation,
support, promotion, encouragement, governance, guiding (e.g., tagging
list, imports list) etc are critical to the success of this project
and everyone's contributions, no matter how small or tangentially
related have make a huge impact in the lives of many people around the

I hope you might see your way past whatever, one off comment someone
made in the past. I know of know one in the HOT community who actually
feels this way, everyone I know and speak with understands the
importance of OSM contributions of whatever type, wherever they are
made and has no sense of superiority because of how or where they
contribute to the OSM map.

> In my book all contributions to OSM are "humanitarian".

I think this is 100% true and I say this all the time when speaking to
people about contributions to OSM.

 OSM is at its very heart a humanitarian project, #OpenData by its
very nature is empowering and equalizing. From my volunteer work in
the international humanitarian and disaster response communities I
know first hand how important all of OSM is and everyone who
contributes to it.

I sincerely thank you personally and every single person who has
contributed to OSM for creating, supporting and growing such a
meaningful and important project.

> Simon

Blake Girardot
OSM Wiki - https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:Bgirardot
HOTOSM Member - https://hotosm.org/users/blake_girardot
skype: jblakegirardot

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