Andy Robinson Andy_J_Robinson at blueyonder.co.uk
Fri Mar 31 11:58:43 BST 2006

Ben Gimpert wrote:
>Sent: 31 March 2006 10:43
>To: talk at openstreetmap.org
>Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] ANNOUNCE: OSMF
>Again let me make it abundantly clear as the first person to publicly
>commit to donating to OSMF:  I will not give a pence if the authority of
>the foundation's decision-making is shared with anyone who does not help
>write code or maintain servers.

I'll throw my 2p in here.

I don't see that OSM is only about its coders and server maintainers. Yes,
without them OSM can't function, but equally if contributions on filling the
database don't occur then OSM is dead too.

I'm not a coder or a network guru so I have to live with this latter
approach, the gathering of raw data and turning that raw data into something
that might be useful to me and more importantly anyone else.

Yes, OSM like every other group of likeminded individuals out there will
waste time and resources arguing the toss about trivial matters, but hey
it's a community of interested souls not a highly paid team focused on one
goal. If we jointly have a set of goals then maybe we can be more focussed
to the good of the project.

So this leads me on to the foundation. I still have a hard time seeing OSM
any differently from any of the other "clubs" that I am a member of. We have
a currently non-paying membership of those interested in this area of free
street maps/data and an ad-hoc organisation. Surely the next step is to have
a basic committee structure that represents all the parts of the project and
that committee decides if membership should be free or not (as required to
make the running of the project viable).

The same committee decides the objectives of the "club" and formally
establishes its entity (I still don't see why a basic charitable status
doesn't work here). 

Once the entity is established additional funds are sought through donation
and sponsorship as well as any membership fee, and if required any payments
for data taken out of the system (while striving to maintain the free data
nature of OSM).

With this money the committee establishes what the money is spent on and if
additional resources need to be employed to move the project on, that
principally being coders, hardware, hosting and possibly promotion.

None of this seems any different from the voluntary run clubs I am a member
of, including those that I am a committee member of, so why does OSM need to
be any different or complicated. Surely let's keep it simple at the start,
it can always change later as the need arises.

I'm sure someone will shoot me now ;-)



Andy Robinson
Andy_J_Robinson at blueyonder.co.uk

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