[Osmf-talk] DWG survey on organized editing

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sun Oct 8 09:40:12 UTC 2017


On 08.10.2017 10:28, Manfred A. Reiter wrote:
> One of my biggest reservations is the fact that the survey is being
> conducted in English only.

True, and we discussed ways around this but found none that were
practicable. Neither DWG nor the OSMF as a whole are in a position to
provide authoritative translations into the breadth of languages used in
OSM. And saying "we do this in English, French, and German" (which would
have been possible) would have been a reason for even more criticism
(why not <other language>, why the bias etc).

The way the OSMF works at the moment, you do need English to achieve
anything. You need English to be part of a working group, you need
English to be on the OSMF board. You need English to participate in a
General Meeting, and the Articles of Association and changes to it are
written and discussed and voted on in English. There's no way around it.
Someone who speaks, say, only French, will have to trust others from his
or her community to represent their views internationally.

(As a side note, you are also expected to be able to communicate in
English if you make edits in a region where you don't speak the local
language. If you only speak German then edits in Spain are a no-no and
vice versa. Which is a bit unfair because every local community is, by
extension, expected to be able to "defend" their local customs in
English to an internationally active mapper. Perhaps a topic for another

In the long run, with local chapters getting more of a "seat at the
table" through their presence in the Advisory Board, this will improve,
and a few years from now, when doing a survey like this, we'll perhaps
be able to simply ask the local chapters to run the survey locally and
compile the results later.

We have a field in the survey asking which country people come from, and
that will hopefully allow us to see whether, say, people in Latin
America see things differently from people in, say, England. We won't
have captured the voices of those LatAm contributors who don't read
English well enough, but we will nonetheless be able to get an idea of
whether LatAm "thinks differently".

Trust me, I'd have loved this survey to be perfect but it was difficult
enough as it is. And: Nothing the OSMF does, no policy it creates, is
set in stone; whatever we come up with at the end will reflect the views
of the current English-reading community and the current English-elected
board and so on, but all this can and will change over time.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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