User:Lxbarth/2012 OSMF US Chapter Board Elections Manifesto

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OSMF US Chapter board elections are on: learn how to cast your vote

My Bid for the 2012 US Chapter Board Elections

My goal for this bid is simple: help the US OpenStreetMap community grow and improve the US map. In my mind this will involve above anything else quality improvement tools, support for local communities, growing the US chapter membership base and promoting OpenStreetMap.

Martijn has shown a great path forward with his Remap-a-tron tool for remapping US highways. While being on the board, this was largely Martijn's private effort. The US chapter should put resources behind such tools, help expand them and make them sustainable. From keepright, mapdust, geofabrik tools or our own experience we know there's much work to be done, let's make it easy to act on. As main priority I see tools that improve the [TIGER import](, I know that some in the community are really interested in seeing routing on the US map improve. I see supporting quality improvement tools not just as a great way to help build a better map, but potentially the most material reason for why a mapper would want to be member of the US chapter.

In my work as a strategist and programmer in the open data space I am surprised to walk quite frequently into high profile events in the government or international development space without an OpenStreetMap presence. OSM is one of the best examples of a functioning open data project out there providing incredibly important geographic base line data, yet we are missing in important conversations. The International Open Data conference in July at the World Bank in Washington DC or the Open Government Partnership meetings in March in Brasilia are some such examples. I bring up OpenStreetMap wherever I can and I have organized mapping parties or workshops around such events, but I think the OSM US chapter should make a concerted effort to be present as such events. Recognizing these opportunities with a more 'official' presence will bring us more attention and ultimately more contributors and data users which in turn means a better map. As OSM-US we should actively maintain an event calendar and send board members or high profile community members to speak about OpenStreetMap where possible.

Lastly, I am looking forward to help figure out how the US chapter can support local communities. The DC and NYC communities I am familiar with are fairly self sufficient and in terms of 'air support' the most compelling example seems to be better QA tools I've described above. Yet the larger question of governance in OSM becomes virulent as OSM grows and expands geographically and culturally. This includes the question of the role of chapters. A well run US chapter can serve as an example of how the OpenStreetMap Foundation as a whole can scale and serve its communities better.

If you have any questions, I would love to hear them, please drop me a line through my user profile, ask publicly on the talk-us list or tweet at me @lxbarth.

More about myself

I am data lead at MapBox, we create open source mapping tools like TileMill and provide an OpenStreetMap-based map of the world. Among others, we helped Foursquare switch to OSM this year.

My background is in open source and open data as developer and strategist with Development Seed and MapBox. I contributed 5+ years to the Drupal open source project and have switched a while ago to the fun world of Javascript, node.js and site generators. I help our partners build apps like InfoAmazonia or the Global Adaptation Index and have been a key advisor on open data strategies to organizations like the World Bank, leading up both the build and launch of in 2010 and helping scale this to cover 20 times that much data in the following years. In what almost seems another life now, I have built robots and other machines with Time’s up, set up wireless networks in Nicaragua and organized an exhibition about export processing zones in Nicaragua. Also, I LOVE photography, cycling and Schnitzel. I was born in Austria where I lived until 2004, I've spent over a year in Nicaragua and since 2006 I'm living now in Washington DC.

Some of my recent OpenStreetMap related activities include:

My OpenStreetMap user handle is lxbarth.