[Talk-in] OpenStreetMap workshops

Kenneth Gonsalves lawgon at au-kbc.org
Sat Oct 3 15:26:30 BST 2009

On Saturday 03 Oct 2009 1:48:10 pm Kiran Jonnalagadda wrote:
> > I am sorry to say that my reaction to this totally negative. Why should
> > we be
> > dependent on foreign funds to conduct workshops?
> I'm not sure I understand you, Kenneth. What does foreignness have to do
> with it?
> NLnet's charter says nothing about geography or economics or anything that
> raises the issue of foreignness. They fund any sort of open source or
> community development activity. We can do a workshop series without them.
> We can also do it without invoking Indian pride, because that has nothing
> to do with mapping. By that logic, you should not even use OSM because it
> is a foreign project mostly built by foreigners with foreign funding. Same
> goes for Python. Where do you stop once you go down this path?

the analogy is not correct. Computers also were not invented in India, so we 
should not use them. In fact we should not use anything foreign. We should all 
clad ourselves in Khadi and mine salt. In fact I am amazed that you, instead 
of facing the concerns I have raised head on, are trivialising the argument 
like this. I am not talking about Indian pride. I am talking about 
sustainability - I have had decades of experience in dealing with this issue, 
and believe me, any movement not dependent on self generated funds lasts 
exactly as long as the funds last.

> I talked to CIS in Bangalore before NLnet, but their funds are fully
> committed for the year. I happened to hear of NLnet just in time for their
> bimonthly deadline, and happened to talk to Pradeep since he and I have
> been thinking of running workshops for some time, and so went ahead and
> wrote a proposal, and wrote *to this list alone* that I included an SotMI
> stub in the proposal based on my discussion with Pradeep. It does not
> exclude anyone else from having any thoughts on SotMI, nor does it ask
> NLnet to fund it.

why are you talking to CIS, NLNET etc? If you want to conduct workshops, the 
people to talk to are the people on this list and the people concerned with 
freeing digital mapping in India. If you want to contact geography departments 
of universities, contact them. (In the last three years spent in an academic 
environment, I would say that these are the last people to be contacted. As 
far as university departments are concerned, they will not lift a finger unless 
there is money involved. The Nagarjunas, Rais and Prabhus of Indian 
universities can be counted without removing one's shoes). Ok, you want 
workshops? Done. As far as Chennai is concerned we can easily do this without 
any funding at all. And we have donated Arun to Bangalore - so I would venture 
to say that a Bangalore workshop is also a trivial matter. As is Hyderabad. 
And if we poke the hyderabad guys they may approach IIIT which is a centre for 
Asia for mapping - we do have contacts there. We did conduct a sprint in 
Mumbai, and the people involved with that have offered space (sat and sun) for 
more such events. I am not familiar with the scene in the North, but I am 
quite sure Delhi could organise a workshop too.
> Please tell me what you find so offensive in this.

see above.

Kenneth Gonsalves
Senior Project Officer

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