[Osmf-talk] Humanitarian work (was: 2018 a third episode...)

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sat Dec 15 10:56:17 UTC 2018


changed the subject again into something less combative.

On 12/14/18 11:08 PM, Simon Poole wrote:
> OpenStreetMap is a proper noun not a verb (if that wasn't clear).

Frankly that is more puzzling that what was said before but I think I
get the direction.

The problem is that with the name it has, HOT practically lays claim to
all humanitarian work in the OSM context. The name is so descriptive
that everyone who thinks of a humanitarian project with OSM, thinks HOT.

And many of us are actually furthering that conception by pointing
everyone to HOT when it is about anything humantiarian - e.g. if someone
contacts the board of directors or CWG with an inquiry that somehow
includes an aid project, they are certain to get the recommendation of
talking to HOT.

We don't do that in other departments. When someone emails board asking
"where can I buy map tiles" or so, we'll take great care not to point to
one specific provider, but point them to a list on the Wiki where
everyone can add themselves.

Until now the existence of HOT has basically been a reason for OSMF to
keep out of anything humanitarian. We act as if HOT was "our department"
for humanitarian work, while at the same time having zero influence on

Perhaps this should change! Why don't we accept the fact that HOT is
only one of many groups doing humanitarian work, and embrace the topic
ourselves. Let us create a "humanitarian working group" of the OSMF
which is then our go-to group for anything humanitarian, and this
working group can then either have small projects of their own, or
advise third parties, or interface with HOT and other groups where
necessary. If it works well, then this group could also provide advice
and coordination for humanitarian mapping projects in general.

That would then hopefully end the "special status" of HOT, and serve to
reduce sentiment against HOT or humanitarian mapping altogether, because
humanitarian OSM work would then have its proper place inside our
organisation where currently there's just a void.


[*] "zero influence" is not fully correct since we own the OpenStreetMap
trademark and could stop HOT from using it in their name, but that would
be a really drastic action that we'd probably only take if HOT stopped
doing OSM mapping and produced wellington boots instead.

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

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