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

Greg Morgan dr.kludge.gm at gmail.com
Thu Apr 28 06:55:11 UTC 2016

On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 10:52 AM, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:
> 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.

> Simon


This is one of the most positive things that I've heard you say about
a local community deciding what to do!  Thank you.

The problem I have with both Christoph and Frederick statements from
Germany are that the comments have a feeling of not invented here and
more imperialism.  There is a smack of what's good for Germany is good
for everyone local mapping group out there.  Germany is about the size
of Montana USA.  Germany has a population of about 89 million people.
Montana has a population of around one million people.  Arm chair
mapping is perfectly good solution in this and many other cases.  The
whole meetup/pub mapping event just won't scale in areas like Montana.
I laugh when you want me to run out and GPS every node that I put on
the map where map density isn't there like in Germany.  Moreover,
there's this idea that consumer grade GPS devices are so much more
accurate compared to imagery.  What I have now is a _useful_ map using
all these tools regardless of their perceived accuracy.  Any way or
idea that builds upon the existing useful map is a great idea.

What I find interesting is that at least one of links shows Bénin
mappers using paper and pencil survey work.  It sounds like they want
better imagery to complement paper survey work with arm chair mapping.
Both types of mapping complement each other.  In both cases, errors
can be introduced into the map.  So what.  We are an Open Source
project with the idea of "release early and release often".  In
addition, OSM has a wonderful complement of tools to help correct any

When I read stories like this from MapBox...
"...And when we can make it better, we flag the area as a priority
collect. This creates a system where developers using the map SDK will
get the most updated imagery specifically where their users need it.
...I get it.  MapBox is company that has to serve priority markets.
However, if all the the developers are in rich urban areas of the
world, then other areas may not see new imagery.  MapBox needs to pay
the bills to keep the lights on. MapBox may not be the solution in
this case.

>John, Ulule does not charge 40%, the fees reasonably amount to 7 or 8%, that's a notable difference.
>If I donate $100 to a charity the net cost to me is $60 and $100 is more or less available at the end.
> If I donate $60 to the crowdsourcing then $55 arrives at the end.  So if we can get creative with a charity
> the money goes further.  Different western countries have different rules but basically if it can be channeled
> through a charity more cash ends up on the ground.

So don't contribute to the crowdfunding effort.  Many businesses will
take something that was purchased for $50 and sell it for $100.  They
have to cover overhead and make a profit to stay in business. A loss
of $5 to overhead for $60 dollars sounds like a very efficient method
to channel funds to where it is needed.  For  example, I don't donate
to Unicef. I used to go around and collect pennies for that group when
I was young.  It was disturbing to find out that only one US cent of
each dollar actually made it to the children in need.  I don't know if
they improved their record from those days but in my case the damage
was done.  The crowd funding example that has been cited is not the
same kind-of overhead.

> nicolas chavent  wrote
> There is a local OSM group active in Benin since mid 2013,
> This group is skilled they got trained via (capacity building missions run
> by the collective Projet EOF) and had been always self training and growing
> their skills, growing their community and training Academic, Benin Red Cross
> Volunteers, Civil workers from local government, folks from the local tech
> scene etc...
> This group has a few equipments at hand,
> They share a co-working space (Blolab) in Cotonou with other tech actors,
> They have been active in their country (several places and various mapping
> project) and in Western Africa through regional 3 to 4 weeks long capacity
> building missions involving a lot of field and remote mapping work
> They operate mostly on a voluntary basis with low means and they grow their
> map and their community.
> They decided to crowdfund for these 275km2 high res imagery in Cotonou
> because this has been blocking them and that a few additional GPS Units will
> not make the difference, but this imagery will do!

 I don't see what the problem is.  Bénin mappers have already
performed an analysis of the problem.  I don't see why they cannot
proceed. If Digital Globe, MapBox or any other organization what to
contribute to the Bénin project, then then that is even better.  The
Bénin mappers are very savvy.  They have used a crowd funding site to
freely advertise their efforts and perhaps receive direct
contributions.  Well then, it might be smart for Digital Globe,
Mapbox, or another organization to setup a crowdfunding section of
their websites.  A 501C section of the said firms could collect money
to fund some of these efforts without the overhead of crowd funding
sites.  The reward would be great publicity. More that likely, there
still will be costs that cannot be absorbed by goodwill alone.


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