[Talk-GB] Live OSM discussion in ~45 minutes (7.30pm UK time)

Dan S danstowell+osm at gmail.com
Wed Jul 26 20:02:11 UTC 2017

2017-07-26 20:14 GMT+01:00 Dave F <davefoxfac63 at btinternet.com>:
> What the !*&@
> Just tuned in & they're talking about hostility & sexism?!

Well, these are common problems in open/libre forums, well documented
in open-source projects such as GNU/Linux and Wikipedia, and it's not
unreasonable to consider them in a talk about the social dynamics of
an open data project. He didn't actually spend much of the
presentation talking about this, basically just quoted some of the old
well-known debates that were aired a few years back. The talk wasn't
an intro to OSM, it was some student's talk about social dynamics in
open projects.

I wasn't very keen on his talk, because he didn't really acknowledge
the fludity of tagging standards. He repeatedly spoke as if the wiki
was the law and people who "broke" the law might eventually be able to
change the law, which to me is a weird way of conceiving it. He also
suggested that OSM should have "mechanisms" to update this law based
on use, without acknowledging that fluid unstructured systems (the
wiki, mailing lists, the openness of osm editing) can perhaps already
be the mediums for it.

He also didn't discuss _at all_ the way that systematically-structured
data is produced from OSM in practice right now by consumers, i.e.

Andy: why did you ask the speaker "who is leading on addressing
[issues]?" I'd think you'd me much more likely to know the answer than
would the speaker.


> On 26/07/2017 18:45, Andy Mabbett wrote:
>> I've just learned that this week's Wikimedia Research Showcase,
>> streamed online TONIGHT at 7.30pm UK time, will focus on structured
>> data in OpenStreetMap. Details below.
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> The next Research Showcase will be live-streamed this Wednesday, July
>> 26, 2017 at 11:30 AM (PST) 18:30 UTC.
>> YouTube stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC1jgK8C8aQ
>> As usual, you can join the conversation on IRC at #wikimedia-research.
>> And, you can watch our past research showcases here:
>>     https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Research/Showcase#July_2017
>> This month's presentation:
>> Freedom versus Standardization: Structured Data Generation in a Peer
>> Production CommunityBy Andrew HallIn addition to encyclopedia articles
>> and software, peer production communities produce structured data,
>> e.g., Wikidata and OpenStreetMap’s metadata. Structured data from peer
>> production communities has become increasingly important due to its
>> use by computational applications, such as CartoCSS, MapBox, and
>> Wikipedia infoboxes. However, this structured data is usable by
>> applications only if it follows standards. We did an interview study
>> focused on OpenStreetMap’s knowledge production processes to
>> investigate how – and how successfully – this community creates and
>> applies its data standards. Our study revealed a fundamental tension
>> between the need to produce structured data in a standardized way and
>> OpenStreetMap’s tradition of contributor freedom. We extracted six
>> themes that manifested this tension and three overarching concepts,
>> correctness, community, and code, which help make sense of and
>> synthesize the themes. We also offer suggestions for improving
>> OpenStreetMap’s knowledge production processes, including new data
>> models, sociotechnical tools, and community practices.
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