[Osmf-talk] Possible vote on membership prerequisites

Roland Olbricht roland.olbricht at gmx.de
Tue Nov 3 08:29:41 UTC 2020


first of all, I would like to thank the MWG and board to bring the
subject to the attention of the OSMF at large.

> Presuming that there is a delta between the fraudsters and the innocent
> OSM community members who don't meet the board's requirements,

No, there is not. The Global Logic incident had been detected by
statistical analysis of the MWG, otherwise it has been totally
unobstrusive. So had been another event many years earlier.

To continue with something unpopular: I do not even believe that the
managers at Global Logic acted in bad faith. If you are at a large
organization then it is enough if you confuse some aims of your
organization with some aims of the OSMF to distort the latter.

A good example are the numerous requests on OSM channels to make
OpenStreetMap a more cozy place for data consumers. Sounds credible, we
should not actively turn away people.

But on the other hand, there had been fanboy clubs for various data
providers long before OpenStreetMap, yet all data providers had poor
license conditions, poor data quality, and poor coverage. It are the
mappers not the consumers that make OpenStreetMap what it is.
Thus, whenver there is a conflict between mapper's comfort and
consumer's comfort, it is mission critical to side with the mappers.

Of course, there is no reason to make data consumer's life uneccessary
hard. They are just strictly second priority. This is difficult to
understand, and it is even more diffcult to apply to all the often
highly intricate decisions in technology choices, policies, legal texts
and so on.

And this is just one obvious example. There are more, e.g. criteria for
wheelchair mapping may clash with those for driving directions (when
lane mapping finally destroys sidewalk's geometry), railway mapping for
operators differs from those for passengers, and so on. Greetings to the
guardians of birds and caves, and to the endless field of database
rights, share alike, and other legal species.

No one, not me, not any director on the board, any corporate member, any
poster to this list, or you, dear reader, have exactly the same goals as
the OSMF. Thus it is a mere policy decision where we draw the line.

To close with something constructive, we could set the policy by rather
simple criteria:
* the person must control an OSM account, i.e is able to answer messages
on that account, that exists for at least three years
* the person must answer a short questionnaire to ensure that the
cultural values of OpenStreetMap are read and understood

I'm confident that the MWG will come up with something similar or
something better.

Best regards,


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