[Osmf-talk] Welcome Mat for Organizations

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Thu Nov 29 11:16:33 UTC 2018

On Thursday 29 November 2018, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> The motive behind the "welcome mat" was initially a frustration about
> how many large organisations do something with or for OSM that
> affects us in some way, and we (the OSM community and the OSMF) don't
> hear about it until launch.

Note a specific focus on large organizations was never part of the 
documented plans for the welcome mat - on the contrary there were 
specific application examples indicating small businesses and 
organization being a target audience.

> The welcome mat is not a neutral and un-biased representation of how
> OSM works, and it is not intended to be. The welcome mat is there to
> help reduce the issues we often have with un-coordinated and
> occasionally backfiring "helpful" projects started by organisations
> everywhere.

If the welcome mat is not meant to represent how the OSM community 
presents itself to outside interests but purely a presentation of the 
OSMF how it sees the OpenStreetMap project or how it wants others to 
see OSM that should be made clearer in the presentation and it should 
IMO not be on openstreetmap.org (where as said it would be unique in 
being a part that is directly managed by the OSMF and not by the OSM 

As said my suggestion would be different:  Have trust in the community 
to develop this into an attractive presentation of the whole community 
in all its diversity to data users and other interested parties 
everywhere - from a small shop owner in South America to a big business 
in China, from a public administration in Canada to a local news site 
in Indonesia.

> [...] We don't want
> organisations to think "ah, if this project is mainly run by hobby
> mappers then I can do what I want" - we deliberately want to
> over-emphasize that there is some structure to OSM, and get outsiders
> to make contact with us, instead of treating OSM as if it were just a
> database with an API where you can do what you want.

The question here is if the OSMF wants to actually bring structure to 
OSM top-down where there currently is none or if it wants to present 
something that pretends (pardon: over-emphasizes) there is structure 
where there isn't.  Either of these options i could not support.

Christoph Hormann

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