[OSM-talk] Foundation Elections - Challenge the Candidates

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 3 15:39:12 BST 2007

I'm a candidate for one of the Member at Large positions, and my focus would be "external affairs" -- to facilitate the participation of external organizations, companies, governments, universities, etc. in OpenStreetMap. This covers both groups that would like to contribute to OpenStreetMap in some way, with donations of data, money, equipment, expertise, etc, and groups that want to use OpenStreetMap data.

As OSM grows and its influence extends into industry and government, these kind of opportunities will appear more and more often, and OSM and the OSMF need to be prepared to work with these external groups. Every situation will be unique and unpredictable, so through experience over the next year we'll work out rough guidelines for how to do it. This position won't need to be directly involved in every negotiation or point of contact, but can help manage the work in these communications and can also simply act as a resource for any OSM participant who wishes to work on behalf of OSM -- we are all empowered in OSM to make things happen.

Certainly a part of external affairs is the licensing. I'm not an expert on the legal issues, that's what our lawyer is for. We've had several offers of assistance in hiring a lawyer, and we need to act on it. My opinion of the moment is that existing licenses are inadequate for OSM, that OSM is the trailblazer here in open licensing of geodata, and that likely we'll need to draw up our own license which covers legitimate use, as we see it.

Additionally, I think there's great potential for OSM is mapping the developing world and in disaster response .. places where maps are lacking entirely and sorely needed. So, I'd be putting significant effort in this direction.

On a tangent, I'm curious to see if the remit of the OSMF could/should extend beyond OSM. There are many interesting projects in geodata -- for instance there are discussions about "Open Aerial Mapping", to collectively produce amateur aerial imagery. The Wikimedia Foundation supports many related projects beyond Wikipedia. Could the OSMF function similarly?

My qualifications? I've already been acting in this capacity somewhat, negotiating with Yahoo to use their imagery, working with Nestoria to use our Isle of Wight map, and introduced AND to the project leading to their donation. I often speak at conferences and write about OpenStreetMap, and discuss it as much as possible. I have many contacts within the UN and NGO community. I'm mapping Brighton.


----- Original Message ----
From: Nick Black <nickblack1 at gmail.com>
To: Talk Openstreetmap <talk at openstreetmap.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 2, 2007 5:35:00 PM
Subject: [OSM-talk] Foundation Elections - Challenge the Candidates


According to:


there are six people up for election in the upcoming AGM, and only five places.

I haven't heard anything so far about the policies of the people
standing for election.  I'd like to know why I should vote for you?
What will you do for the Foundation?  What will you do for OSM?  What
are your policies towards, for example, licensing the data, the
structure of the Foundation - what do you think the Foundation should
do and what shouldn't it do.

What do you think the problems are with OSM/OSMF that electing you
will help solve?  How would you have dealt with any problems that you
have seen over the last 12 months differently?

Nick Black

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