[OSM-talk] Foundation Elections - Challenge the Candidates

Mike Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Tue Aug 7 11:46:00 BST 2007

At 05:35 PM 2/08/2007, Nick Black wrote:
>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? 

I am Mike Collinson and I am standing as a member at large.

Why I am standing

I am standing for the very specific purpose of  assisting the general secretary with membership issues: handling administration concerning sign-up and help to individual members and setting up appropriate website/web-pages to publicize the OSMF as a distinct organization and allow folks to sign-up easily.  I am particularly concerned to broaden membership outside the UK as well as outside the advanced economies.

What I stand for - OSMF has an important potential fundraising function.

OSMF is not OSM.  May be it will be, may be it won't be.  That will depend on events over the next 18-months or so and on the broader OSM community.  I believe resolution of the licensing issue will have a major impact on its future role - the less "public domain" the license, the more OSMF will have to / will have the opportunity to get involved.  However, whatever happens, I believe it will have a major role in fund-raising for OSM and that is why I want OSMF to become a fully functioning, responsible, audited organization.  People and companies, particularly the larger givers, will be much happier to give to a legal and properly registered charitable organization.  I predict that OSM will end up becoming the Wikipedia of the geo world and will end up directly running some sort of super slippymaps and geographic based information search.  That will be looked at by thousands and perhaps millions of people and be beyond our current ad hoc voluntary resources.  That will need money/organization and OSMF is based suited for that.  I'm also interested in the possibility for OSMF to do tie-ups with commercial companies, such as Google, to provide funding (GPS devices, broadband connections, perhaps stipends) for mapping countries such as the Philippines and contributing a copy of the data to OSM.  That would greatly enhance the global coverage and present a fantastic educational/working opportunity to folks who cannot currently afford GPS devices and find it difficult to be involved.

Who I am

I'm fairly prolific OSM mapper - Australia, Philippines, Wharfedale (UK), Stockholm and Vilnius.  I started life as an exploration geophysicist, giving me about enough knowledge to know what I don't know about map making.    My later 20+ year professional life as an IT manager/businessman had led me through a series of start-ups from an early wireless Internet to a large digital animation studio that did work for the Matrix movies - I'm used to the problems involved as well as provisioning, budgeting and contracts, experience that might be useful to an early OSMF.   I'm an ex-pat Brit and have worked nearly all of my adult overseas - I believe that has made me a person that listens very carefully to others, particularly non-native English speakers, and I generally operate by reaching a practical consensus rather than imposing my own views rigidly.    I'm currently based in Stockholm.  

I declare I have a potential professional interest in the gathering of geo-referenced information (Points Of Interest) as a possible business; that got me interested in OSM to start with but it very quickly became a very absorbing and interesting obsession, er, hobby, in its own right.

I'm happy to answer further private or public emails about who I am or my views.


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