[OSM-talk] Some thoughts against remote mapping

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Sun Jun 14 11:35:05 UTC 2015

On Sunday 14 June 2015, Sarah Hoffmann wrote:
> The One Map we currently show caters mainly to the overrepresented
> tech population (or, in the case of the HOT map, to NGOs) and that
> gives the impression that the same is true for our data (which
> isn't). So maybe both, the diversity movement and humanitarian
> efforts should focus less on data collection and more on the data
> representation, i.e. make specialised maps. Lots of them.

Yes, it is remarkable that we have all kinds of specialized, often local 
maps for certain purposes - hiking, sports of all kinds etc. covering 
subjects popular in 'developed' countries despite the fact that the 
main map already well addresses the needs of people there but hardly 
any maps that specifically target the needs of locals elsewhere.

It is certainly much more difficult to teach people to create their own 
custom design maps in a self-determined way than it is to enable them 
to do mapping, it requires a much more abstract view both in terms of 
dealing with data and in terms of human perception in maps reading.   
This is also something that came through in the talk you linked to i 

What i would really like to see is developers and map designers getting 
to listen to and communicate with people with a more diverse cultural 
background.  This is going to be hard though - getting a productive 
communication between a map designer and an average map user from for 
example Europe is already tough, working around wrong preconceptions, 
dealing with the problems of technical language etc.  But doing this 
across significant cultural and geographical barriers is a whole other 

Christoph Hormann

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