[Osmf-talk] [OSM-talk] Candidate's views? Re: Board decision on Crimea complaint

Rihards richlv at nakts.net
Tue Dec 11 16:59:03 UTC 2018

On 11.12.18 17:50, Christoph Hormann wrote:
> On Tuesday 11 December 2018, Rihards wrote:
>>> And here you are disqualifying yourself from the discussion because
>>> you essentially reject the possibility that OSM can function as a
>>> cross cultural, cross ideology project to document the verifiable
>>> geography of the world.  If you don't think that is possible and
>>> think that OSM when mapping the world has to take a political side
>>> maybe OSM is not the right project for you.  Because that is the
>>> most fundamental idea behind our project.
>> Christoph, you have been on the receiving end, people suggesting you
>> should be disqualified from discussion because of your aggressive
>> comments. I disagreed with those people, and I disagree with your
>> attack about being "disqualified" in this case.
> Please don't mix up discourse based on arguments and reasoning with use 
> of communication style arguments to shut down or discredit inconvenient 
> voices.  I have no problem with the tone of Vladimir's statements and i 
> did not in any way imply i have.

Point taken on form/content distinction. I still disagree on your claim
that voicing an opinion on political truth affecting mapping somehow
disqualifies one from participating in the discussion.

Quoting somebody from IRC (omitting the user information, please feel
free to claim authorship):

"(borders by their very definition are a legal/political construct and
are not surveyable; the only way to handle them without generating
diplomatic incidents is to take the google approach of showing the
borders recognised by the country of the viewer. Any other approach is
de facto taking a political stance.)"

No matter what our stance on political borders is, simply claiming that
somebody holding that opinion is so wrong as to disqualify them seems so
wrong I hope you reconsider your statement.

> I would very much welcome any actual arguments that OSM cannot map the 
> on-the-ground verifiable geography without taking sides in political 
> questions but i re-emphasize that making a dogmatic claim to that end 
> without actual arguments and reasoning disqualifies from the 
> discussion.

The sentence you quoted did not seem to imply what is suggested above.

"Pretending OSM is out of politics when solving an inherently political
issue does not help, because then you take a political side implicitly"

> Until such arguments are provided and convince me i will continue to say 
> that advocating the on-the-ground rule and the concept of verifiability 
> for all data in OSM - including administrative boundaries - is not a 
> political statement, it is a statement of support for the fundamental 
> values of OpenStreetMap and as i have said repeatedly already in the 
> past this seems quite evidently the only basis on which OSM can hope to 
> accomplish its goal to map the world geography in its diversity based 
> on local knowledge of the people living in it.

There are many legal implications in border mapping, not limited to
visas, sanctions, taxes or restrictions.
There is a lot in OSM that relies on legal documents, not found on the
ground (or at the site, if you will) - as a very simple example, a
number "50" enclosed in a red circle does not tell you anything on its own.
Borders are a more complicated relative of that. Think protected areas -
you cannot survey most (and mostly) of them on the ground, you rely on a
legal document to map them.
Borders that involve international politics are way more complicated
than that in turn. Borders that involve military conflict and more are
to be treated with diplomacy.
I see myself as an IT geek, and we like things to be black/white, 0/1 -
simple rules that give binary answers. I'm not saying we cannot or
should not have such rules for border disputes, I'm saying these should
be layered to include more than "on the ground control". Think of this
as nested if statements instead of just one.

> Also note that this part of the discussion which has no connection to 
> the board decision on the appeal to the DWG decision any more does not 
> belong in osmf-talk.  This is a matter for the whole OSM community to 
> discuss and not just the OSMF members.

While I agree with that in general, I do not have the capacity to
participate in talk at . I do not object and welcome crossposting and
sharing the content - but personally I'll concentrate on communicating
with my OSMF fellows.

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