[Talk-us] Some observations and motivation

Alexander Jones happy5214 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 20 15:18:13 BST 2012

I know that this probably isn't the best forum for what I'm about to write, 
but I feel this should be heard by a wide audience. And yes, this is on-


What is OpenStreetMap? Well, the way I see it, OSM is a community. A 
community of volunteers, drawn together by the common goal of making this 
the best map in the world. Sometimes, we disagree on things. Whether it's 
tagging or policy, we work through this on a daily basis.

You see, I come from a free software world. Not unlike this project. I 
believe that if you see something wrong, you fix it yourself. You don't 
complain about issues. You come up with solutions. I don't claim to be the 
best mapper. Or the best at anything I do. But I give my best to OSM.

I think very highly of this project, and I dedicate much of my own time to 
improve it. With that said, there are problems that this project is 
currently facing. I would definitely recommend OpenStreetMap to anyone with 
an interest in mapping, and a sense of community. Sadly, though, I just feel 
that I can't recommend OSM, especially in its current state, to say, my non-
technical mother.

However, instead of assigning blame, I see this as a call to action. OSM 
isn't striving to be the best. It is the best. Not because it's the most 
complete, or the most usable, not even because it's free. No. OpenStreetMap 
is the best map in the world because it is built on the ideals of community. 
Community involvement drives this project. We would have nothing without 
this community. It's the best because it's ours.

So, let's stop bickering, and make it even better.


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