[OSM-talk] The Working Groups need you!

Paul Norman penorman at mac.com
Mon Oct 27 16:12:01 UTC 2014

With the recent interest in the OSMF, I'm hoping to capitalize on this 
and boost working group participation.

There's a full list of the working groups at 
http://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Working_Groups, but I'll go over the 
list, and skills useful for participation. These aren't official, but 
gathered by working with the other WGs as well as their minutes.

Communications Working Group (CWG)
This WG handles OSMF communications, and writes blog posts for some of 
the communication channels. They handle the official tweeting too. Other 
work involves decisions and policies related to communication. Skills 
useful include writing and translation. Other skills would be those 
useful with press releases. 
https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2014-June/002418.html has 
more information

Local Chapters Working Group (LCWG)
The LCWG has been involved in setting up the Local Chapters agreement, 
and some local groups are becoming involved in officially becoming local 
chapters. I wish I could say more, but I'm not really involved, and the 
form of the LCWG may change once agreements are in place.

Engineering Working Group (EWG)
The EWG serves a dual purpose, to boost development of OSM software, and 
the discussion and coordination of pull requests to core OSM software. 
Membership is open to anyone who shows up to the IRC meetings. Activity 
has been very low lately, but if people are interested in resuming the 
EWG's work, the venue is there. Skills would include some kind of 
experience with software development.

Operations Working Group (OWG)
The OWG handles the planning of OSMF hardware. It doesn't do the 
day-to-day running of servers, nor authoring software of the servers 
which are the jobs of the sys admins and development community 
respectively. I don't think the OWG is actively looking for more. Many 
of the people in the OWG are also involved in developing OSM software, 
and I would guess that helping there would be a better route to getting 

Strategic Working Group (SWG)
Currently inactive. There have been proposals to restart it, Dermot is 
the best contact there.

StateoftheMap Organizing (SOTM)
Organizes and executes the annual SOTM conference. There is the local 
team and the international team. The local team requires being local to 
the conference, obviously. I would expect the international team 
requires conference organization skills, but there have been no minutes 
published since 2010 and the members list has not been updated since the 
2013 conference.

Licensing Working Group (LWG)
The LWG handles license-related matters, external parties violating the 
license, as well as some other general legal matters. Day to day matters 
are primarily answering questions, generally by pointing at existing 
guidelines. We haven't had the time or capacity to take on issues of new 
guidelines and longer term projects like we would like to. Skills needed 
include experience with open data licensing.

Data Working Group (DWG)
The DWG handles resolution of copyright violation within the OSM 
database, and vandalism and disputes beyond the normal means of the 
community. Most of the work is dealing with disputes and vandalism 
referred to the DWG from the community. As most situations involve 
people who will be upset, a thick skin is important. Other skills 
include dispute resolution, vandalism detection, and complex reverts.

One idea for a new working group would be one for funding. This would 
take some of this work off of others who are currently doing the work, 
even though it's not their primary function. I also see numerous 
proposals for things that would require additional money, without 
discussion of how to raise the money. This includes my manifesto 
proposal of hiring a facilitator. Volunteers for this are probably best 
off contacting management at osmfoundation.org

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