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

Heather Leson heatherleson at gmail.com
Sat Dec 15 12:00:28 UTC 2018

Hello if we are going to convene another working group, can it please be
"community" first? The membership WG does not have the TOR or the bandwidth
to tackle the larger community needs. They are great volunteers. Truly, but
the gap is very obvious.

Honestly the level of engagement by all members and the community is
shocking. The dominance of narratives goes beyond organizations. There are
definitely key people (who are valued volunteers) on these mailing lists
and the working groups who have a voice. Often their voices drown out
anyone else.

Regarding humanitarian activities, I personally think there are people
doing incredible work that are not in HOT and are humanitarians. The
humanitarian space knows them. Trust me. I have been in meetings across the
clusters and heard fantastic things about CartONG, EOF etc. Ask the Center
for Humanitarian Data - who is publishing and advocating open data for
humanitarian action. If other individuals and organizations are tailoring
datasets for humanitarian action using OSM, this is where people access it.
To widen the definition, there are great people doing urban planning for
resilience and tackling the SDGs (also humanitarian actions)

The larger issue remains - OSMF governance and community engagement are not
necessary fit for future.

Now, I am going outside. I hope you do too.


Heather Leson
heatherleson at gmail.com
Twitter/skype: HeatherLeson
Blog: textontechs.com

On Sat, Dec 15, 2018 at 11:59 AM Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> 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
> HOT.[*]
> 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.
> Bye
> Frederik
> [*] "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"
> _______________________________________________
> osmf-talk mailing list
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