[Talk-ca] BC2020i OSM Distributed Model and Education

OSM Volunteer stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Sat Feb 3 00:04:42 UTC 2018

I repeat myself:  less buzzword-compliance, please.  More embracing of tried-and-true OSM tenets and culture, like front-loaded planning, ongoing, wide-area project management on something with nationwide scope as this, wiki writing/updating both intent and ongoing status, making available short video clip "flight plans" (OSM curriculum specific to entering building data) to explain process to various audiences in Canada....  You have Ottawa as a "good acorn," clone what was learned there into the wiki (better than now) and target other cities and audiences to harmonize with slow-yet-steady OSM-style growth.  That is how this turns into "mighty oaks."

I met Clifford in Seattle two summers ago, he presented some excellent OSM community-building strategies at SOTM-US, I had a contract with Telenav for a while, I know maps.me, and I watched Philly Fresh Food turn into rather impressive results, as it was well-planned and was ready to receive beneficial and unexpected synergies.  (That didn't happen because somebody said "synergy," by the way).  I've been around the OSM block and I'm obviously passionate about it yielding awesome results.  But only when some awesome happens up-front.  Otherwise (and I've both seen it and cleaned it up), it gets messy, and fast.

Yes, gathering "how" intelligence from existing projects is smart.  Yes, learning that concerns like liability and a PERCEIVED "lack of control" in an open, public, crowdsourced database like OSM can pose problems, but only if you push through these perceptions with an understanding of previous pitfalls, and the commensurate good planning and active management which can and do avoid these.  With both, you can address not only these (perceived) issues, "you" (and who is that?) can "drive" the project virtually anyplace desired, provided it sticks to OSM's good tenets and keeps the finish line in sight while hewing to good bounds to get there.  This project does better at that now, I think it will continue to do so.  It seriously needs a flight crew, steering committee, whatever you wish to call it.  While those specific individual human beings might be in a government bureaucracy (or, they might not), they MUST (I repeat, MUST) be steeped in culture and methods of OSM.  Knowledge of ArcGIS or other GIS/cartography experience is fine, knowledge of other sorts of crowdsourcing can help, yet the way that things are well-built and work in OSM is unique to OSM.  Embrace that, and fly.  Don't, or put too much emphasis on "the way we've always done things here" and you create more difficulties.

It is getting better.  (As my tone hews closer to honey than vinegar, it will get better).  Again, I've said it and said it and said it.  So please:  do it.  The good intentions to do so are clearly there, that is a terrific place to be to continue onto the next steps.


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