[OSM-talk] advertising

Andreas Putzo lists at putzo.net
Mon Jul 2 21:15:21 BST 2007


On Jul 02, Etienne wrote:
> In my capacity as Treasurer of the OpenStreetMap Foundation I'd like to
> respond to some of the points raised in the many recent messages about the
> introduction of adverts on the main page slippy map.  I'd also like to
> explain the role of the OpenStreetMap Foundation in a little more detail.

Thanks for this very informative mail. Much appreciated!

I am one of the +30 new members of the foundation who had taken the
opportunity while signing up for the conference.
I'm fairly new to the OSM project at all but i am really thrilled
about it and i hope that it will continuing to be such a fun and success 
as it is currently.

> Advertising:

However, it puzzled me a bit that the first mail after signing up i
received was about that new advertising feature. Based on the subject 
at first i thought that it was spam and only after a second glance i realized
what this mail was about. Ok, i thought, maybe i missed the discussion
because i'm a new member and also wasn't able to read the mailing lists
much  the last few weeks. As it turned out, it seems that this feature
was implemented more or less without a discussion about it.
As for me, i don't like it very much - at least in the
current form it shows on the map.

> 1  Mappam is a commercial web site run by ZXV Limited.  Steve Coast is a
> director of ZXV Limited.  Mappam is a new venture which Steve has just
> launched and is very excited about.
> 2  Mappam advertising is being trialed on the OpenStreetMap's slippy map.
> The deal is that 100% of advertising revenue generated in the first month
> goes to the OpenStreetMap Foundation.  The revenue split thereafter has not
> been decided but would likely be commercially sensitive information.
> Currently ZXV is not benefiting financially from advertising on the OSM
> slippy map.

Ok, that's a good thing and it's great that people thought about it
and already did most of the work. I realize that it is meant as a
trial that should help both osm and mappam.

> Given that there are already commercial sponsorship messages on the main
> page

This is not the same thing as showing ads on the map itself.

> OpenStreetMap Foundation:
> Thirdly, the Foundation provides a vehicle for fundraising to support the
> project.  As a non-profit organisation its articles of association legally
> prevent it from making a profit.
> Last, but not least, the Foundation is owned by its members.  The membership
> scheme provides a mechanism for interested people to have a say in the
> activities of the Foundation.

As i understand it most people (including myself) are not totally
against showing ads but didn't like the way the decission were made
and the whole thing was communicated.
The project and the foundation become larger and this implies that
decissions should be made more carefully in comparision of what might
have been feasible and most practical in the past.
An appropriate way from my point of view would have been 
- publicy point out that the foundation needs to raise funds
(obviously) somehow 
- discuss possible variations of fund raising in the public and try to
find some ways where at least most people can agree with.
- if it is just not possible to make a decission, for example whether
ads should be rendered directly onto the map, call for a vote.

> It is important to understand that the OpenStreetMap Foundation is *not* the
> same thing as the OpenStreetMap project.  The Foundation does not own the
> OpenStreetMap data, is not the copyright holder and has no desire to own the
> data.  Anyone can setup a few servers and host the OSM data using the same
> or different software.  In this respect the Foundation is an organisation
> that performs fundraising in order to provides servers to host the project.
> It's role is to support the project not to control it.

Of course, but you agree that the project is  and should currently be 
mostly represented by the main openstreetmap.org site which is 
run by the foundation, right? It's not only about the db.
The foundation is part of the project, isn't it?
I believe that showing ads on the map discourage people to add data or 
contribute in other ways to the project which would therefore be 
contrary to the project goals.
Perhaps a better way to show ads on the map *and* helping osm to
improve data and therefore the map is asking companies to spend money 
to the foundation and providing geo points to their businesses so that
they can be included into the map. I'm thinking for example about gas
stations, restaurants, postal offices, etc. They can be shown on the
map if *i* want to see them. I know that is not the same as just
showing ads but it might be a way both raising funds and improving 
the map. 

Anyway i am happy that i became a foundation member as i can help the
project by just paying my membership fee and can continue collecting
data or contribute in other ways (including funds raising) i like to.


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