[Talk-de] Hello from England

Peter Dörrie peter.doerrie at googlemail.com
Mo Jun 29 17:05:53 UTC 2009

Hi Steve,

thanks for taking the time to keep in contact with communities from other
countries. I personally think that it would be a great idea to hear from you
(or others from the foundation) more frequently on the talk-de list.

I am personally not very afraid that the whole license issue will turn up
something bad. As you said, you are OSMers like us, so why should you
implement something bad?

But there is another topic, where involvement of you and OSMers from other
countries would be greatly appreciated from my point of view. There have
been some very lively discussions on this mailing list about the future of
OSM regarding decision making processes and mapping standards. Maybe it is
due to us being German, but it seems to me that many people feel that there
should be some kind of formalised "leadership" in the mapping communities. I
do not want to pitch any concrete idea myself, but I think that this is
something which should be discussed intensively on an international level
and that your opinion would be valued.



On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 6:50 PM, SteveC <steve at asklater.com> wrote:

> Hello
> So, first I apologise for writing in English. My German is very poor.
> Several people have volunteered to translate back and forth.
> Recently I had the luck and privilege to travel to some places in
> Germany, Italy and other countries and meet OSMers. This was very
> educational and I learnt a lot about how the different communities
> work in these places. There are some subtle differences between
> different countries and how OSM works in each one. Some have more
> mapping parties. Some have meetings like Stammtisch. Some have PR.
> Some organise on the mailing list. These are healthy differences.
> One thing I noticed a lot everywhere though was some misunderstandings
> on what the foundation, the OSMF, are doing. It feels a little like
> FUD[1]. These misunderstandings related to the license, the servers,
> the working groups, the software, the State of the Map conference and
> other things.
> What I quickly found was that these misunderstandings could be
> corrected easily with some discussion. It seems I and the Foundation
> have tried to include people from Germany many times, but we have not
> tried hard enough. This is partly because the volunteers from the
> foundation are already doing a lot of work and are busy we sometimes
> overlook things. It was a big surprise to me that people I met in
> Germany said I should post to talk-de@ in English and this would be a
> good thing for example. We have always assumed you would not like this
> in a big way. So I learnt something very important.
> So, in the spirit of communication I would like to say I am here to
> answer any open questions you have. You might have heard that I am
> Evil[2] or that we are changing license to be Evil like CDDB[3]. In
> general this is not the case, and we are OSMers like you who are
> trying to make it better, safer, more reliable and of course map more
> things. So please assume anything here you see as negative is not
> meant to be.
> Let me tell you a story about the Italian OSM.it conference I went to
> a few weeks ago. They had a lawyer do a talk about the new ODbL
> license to check that it was not Evil and what the points of it were.
> Half way through the lawyer said something like "yes you should use it
> as it does basically the same as CC-BY-SA but it much better and
> applies to data better". There was visible relief and smiles from the
> audience when he said this. I just turned up to the conference without
> any warning and had nothing to do with it. I have cc'd a leading
> Italian OSMer, Simone, who can verify this. I don't think I will be
> able to bring a similar happiness to you all by talking on the mailing
> list here, but I hope it helps.
> So, can I answer any questions or do you have any comments?
> Best
> Steve
> [1] - http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_Uncertainty_and_Doubt
> [2] - http://fakestevec.blogspot.com/
> [3] - http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gracenote (this could do with a
> better link I think?)
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