[Talk-us] Facts about the world

Eleanor Tutt eleanor.tutt at gmail.com
Sat Apr 4 15:09:35 UTC 2015

Hi, Serge.

As a member of the chapter board, I feel a bit erased? misrepresented? by
your email. It hurt, especially because I think you and I share some common
ground about why we map and that it is important to feel a connection to a

At any rate, while you are more qualified to speak to the history of OSM as
a whole than I am, I do want to say a few things that will maybe help you
get the know my personal history with OSM:

   - When I was new to OSM and first learned about editathons, I didn't
   know anyone involved with OSM or have any preconceived ideas about the
   project.  All I knew was that editathons sounded amazing, so I made the
   effort to connect with other local mappers and start building more of a
   community in my region.  My first editathon - led by another community
   member - involved walking around outdoors on a college campus.  My second
   editathon - led by myself - involved walking around outdoors in a
   neighborhood commercial district.  In my experience, editathons have always
   been a way for community members to get together and map in whatever manner
   made the most sense - sometimes outdoors, sometimes indoors.  There can be
   value in both.
   - I remember Paul's post, I was elected to the chapter board, and - it's
   true! - I don't have very many OSM edits compared to many members of the
   community.  That doesn't mean I don't go out and map my community - I
   described in a different email how I do so.  But I contribute in other ways
   as well.  Last month, I led a group of students in a survey of a nearby
   neighborhood.  I spent hours walking through the neighborhood with them,
   helping mark points, and then helping them enter their data when they
   returned.  I did not personally make a single edit with my OSM user name.
   However, I contributed to those edits invisibly, behind the scenes, and I
   believe several of those students will become regular contributors.

Thanks for reading!

On Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 1:55 AM, Serge Wroclawski <emacsen at gmail.com> wrote:

> Eleanor,
> I want to clarify some things:
> On Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 1:06 AM, Eleanor Tutt <eleanor.tutt at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Paul - If perception of mapping in the US isn't aligning with reality, we
> > probably *do* need to do a better job as a chapter board of telling the
> full
> > story.
> I believe that the story that the board tells reflect the overall
> experience of the board. Paul did an analysis of the mapping activites
> of the prospective board members before they were elected. Some of the
> board members are not active OSM mappers, so it shouldn't come as a
> surprise to anyone that people who don't do manual surveying don't
> talk about manual surveying.
> > I see what you mean about the blog posts, though I do think your
> > interpretation is a bit harsh. For example, the mapathon post that you
> > characterize as an "indoor event," while it does admittedly have a photo
> of
> > people at computers, also makes it clear that the theme for the upcoming
> > mapathon is "the great outdoors."
> The events are characterized as "Edit-a-thons" and they were designed
> to be run indoors. They were essentially a response from some members
> of the community who felt that Mapping Parties were not for them. The
> advantage of an Edit-A-Thon is that they can be run indoors (unlike
> Mapping Parties), but if you look at most Edit-A-Thons going on next
> week, and you look at the history of them (look at the talk-us
> archives) they're still largely indoor events.
> The only reason that OSM NYC runs them as outdoor events is that I
> believe strongly that the experience of going out and surveying has
> value- not only data quality value, but emotional value. There's value
> in being connected to the place you live that can't be captured via
> areal photo or governmental dataset.
> - Serge
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