[OSM-talk] [Osmf-talk] Candidate's views? Re: Board decision on Crimea complaint

Guillaume Rischard openstreetmap at stereo.lu
Tue Dec 11 10:50:00 UTC 2018

Hi Rory and fellow members,

I am a candidate in the board election, and have underlined in my manifesto how important it is that decisions like this are taken transparently. The detailed reasoning behind this decision must be published without delay.

The lobbying from Ukrainians over the last days has been heavy. However, the on-the-ground rule is one of the very core values that we have built OSM and the OSMF on.

https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Mission_Statement says that OSM favours objective ‘Ground Truth’ over all other sources. The ‘Scope of the OSMF’ section says that it does not decide what to map or how to map.

The on-the-ground rule has served us well on disputed borders: there is no other reasonable and possible alternative. Creating an exception in Crimea, without any justification, opens Pandora’s box. Would the OSMF react similarly to an appeal concerning other disputed borders? There should never be an arbitrary decision on these issues but only well-defined and established policies.

You could claim that we haven’t followed the on-the-ground rule in Crimea for the last four years. I know that the Data Working Group, which I am a member of, has treated Crimea with kid gloves after the Russian invasion. I haven’t been on the DWG that long; this was decided way before my time. We act more as firefighters than as gardeners, work more reactively than proactively, and always have enough new issues to prevent us from reexamining old ones.

I really think it is now time to apply the on-the-ground rule. We should use the opportunity to reaffirm our core values, review with the community’s support where we have taken decisions on disputed territories, and make sure that we apply the same rules in the same way everywhere.

Guillaume Rischard (personally, not on behalf of the Data Working Group)

> On 11 Dec 2018, at 11:18, Rory McCann <rory at technomancy.org> wrote:
> Hi fellow members,
> I am curious what candidates to the board think about this decision. I
> know there was the existing questions, but this is a new topic which
> came up recently. But if you're a candidate for the board, and you have
> an opinion on this, I'd like to hear, and I'm sure other members would
> too. How would you vote if you were on the board now? What
> do you think? Please don't be afraid to say something publicly (here,
> the wiki, user diaries, etc).
> Rory
> On 10/12/2018 17:55, Martijn van Exel wrote:> Hi all,
>> On November 17, the OSMF Board of Directors received a request to review the Nov 14, 2018 Data Working Group decision regarding Crimea.
>> The Board decided that this decision is to be reversed and the previous situation, as laid out in the May 5, 2014 Data Working Group minutes, is to further remain in effect.
>> The board highly values the Data Working Group’s work and appreciates the difficulty and complexity of the cases they are asked to review on an ongoing basis.
>> A more comprehensive statement will follow in the next weeks.
>> Best regards,
>> Martijn van Exel
>> Secretary, OpenStreetMap Foundation
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