[OSM-talk] Crowdfunding for OpenStreetMap in Bénin : 275km² high resolution satellite imagery for Cotonou by 1-May 2016!

nicolas chavent nicolas.chavent at gmail.com
Mon Apr 25 22:26:00 UTC 2016

Hi there,

Wow! None of the folks from the Association OSM Bénin nor those from the
collective ProjetEOF who worked with the Benin mappers on this crowdfunding
for imagery on 275km2 of Cotonou would have expected that email traffic.

Great to see this talk on the talk list!
Great also to read that this talk may develop into future new creative ways
for Digital Globe and Map Box Satellite to assist OSM in Benin (many places
outside of Cotonou which is likely to be handled through this crowdfunding)
and in Western Africa (many places also) not to mention other places of
this earth. I am not sure Christoph, if Kevin and Mikel will meet your
criteria of 100% opendata imagery, surely this would be creative and

A couple of points from my side, prior the mappers from Benin will talk and
share their perspectives on this topic and the reasons that lead them to
crowdfund for Cotonou and to bring this project to its end.

At reading this thread in my late evening, comes first the surprise, that
Simon puts up nicely, I am re-using his very words:

*I'm slightly taken back by the number of people wanting to jump in and
make decisions for a local community on a topic that has little bearing
outside of their region. Surely is must be their prerogative to decide how
best to get imagery for their area, if at all (I do suspect that they will
welcome alternative offers, but that is obviously up to them). Further I
don't quite follow Christoph's argument. There is very very little imagery
used in OSM that is available on open (data) terms. As long as the results
of tracing etc  are essentially unencumbered nobody seems to have had
issues with using non-free sources starting off with yahoo in 2007 and yes
we've paid with money and in other ways for imagery in many places.*

Frederik, field work is highly valued and practised in Benin and Western
Africa as reflected in mappers stats, lists, wiki, social media (Twitter
and Facebook) of mappers and local groups. The Benin guys as emailed have
been actively mapping via field survey and remote mapping in Benin and
Western Africa over the past 3 years. They have been active also in Cotonou
through this time, with their own means, voluntarily in a poor country.
They figured out that this situation had to change in Cotonou and got
organized. One thing, you can be positive about, is that access to high res
imagery over Cotonou will not kill their appetite for field work.

Christoph you are right. Yes, it would have been better to acquire an
imagery that could be fully distributed in opendata and not for tracing in
OSM only the way this work for Bing, MapBox, specific humanitarian contexts
(some Charter activations, the Imagery To The Crowd/ Map Give program of
the US State Department) but this was out of reach. Shall the Benin folks
have to keep surveying voluntarily the economic capital of their country
instead of making the current compromise which has many precedents in OSM?
Although the imagery is not fully served and distributed in opendata,
through the generating of OSM data over Cotonou, it will mark a
breakthrough for the local opendata movement by making the OSM base map of
the city available to all. Like in many other places, this eventually will
foster over time via a critical mass approach, the opening of geographical
information. This is in that sense that opendata is meant in the email,
blog post and project description in Ulule. Last, I agree with your idea
(seeking full opendata imagery) but think that in making it happening one
shall differentiate territories and contexts and that Cotonou, Benin is not

John, Ulule does not charge 40%, the fees reasonably amount to 7 or 8%,
that's a notable difference.

John, Kevin and Mikel. Without commenting any further Simon first
paragraph. Technically, what you are proposing (*using the crowdfunding
money for other purposes*) may not even be possible or at least is not a
good practise (not to say more). This may result into back clashes and
distrust with the over 56 people who funded this project (*the purchase of
high resolution imagery over Cotonou for OSM Benin*) or a bad record with
Ulule. This can be negative for OSM Benin folks in the future shall they
decide to crowdfund again for a similar or a different need.

Kevin and Mikel, the @OSMBenin twitter account indicates that
- your offers to assist OSM Bénin on Cotonou with imagery on the behalf of
Digital Globe and Mapbox have been well heard.
- the imagery need over that part of Cotonou will be addressed via this
- OSM Benin is keen on submitting other Areas Of Interest (AOIs) in Benin
and in Western African in coordination with other Western African local OSM
groups, they indicate that they are working on a uMap with priority AOIs.
This could be a creative and positive development of this crowdfunding.

Last, John which charities have you in minds to come to Benin and do the
field work Kevin alluded to for the amount OSM Benin proposed to raise E
2,2k and how do you see this relating to the work of those mappers from
Benin ?


On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 10:47 PM, Martin Koppenhoefer <
dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:

> sent from a phone
> > Il giorno 25 apr 2016, alle ore 20:41, Christoph Hormann <
> chris_hormann at gmx.de> ha scritto:
> >
> > what is most readily available and most convenient for them and there
> > is little incentive in providing alternatives just because they are
> > open if they don't provide significant advantages for practical use.
> regarding Bing aerial imagery, other imagery will likely be better
> referenced, at least this is my experience around here, even if the
> resolution of Bing might be higher.
> cheers,
> Martin
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk

Nicolas Chavent
Projet OpenStreetMap (OSM)
Projet Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT)
Projet Espace OSM Francophone (EOF)
Mobile (FRA): +33 (0)6 52 40 78 20
Mobile (CIV): +225 78 12 76 99
<nicolas.chavent at hotosm.org>
Email: nicolas.chavent at gmail.com
Skype: c_nicolas
Twitter: nicolas_chavent
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