Foundation/AGM2023/Election to Board/Answers and manifestos/Manifestos

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Manifestos: Roland Olbricht -- Guillaume Rischard -- Daniela (Dani) Waltersdorfer Jimenez -- Włodzimierz Bartczak -- Ivo Reano

Roland Olbricht

About Me

I'm Roland Olbricht (drolbr). In OpenStreetMap, I'm best known for the Overpass API. I have developed it and maintain the public servers that are available now since more than eleven years. I'm now also for some years member of the Engineering Working Group. In addition, I'm serving since two years as board member and in that role as the treasurer of the OpenStreetMap Foundation.

My largest mapping project so far has been to map and complete the about 1500 bus stops in my home city Wuppertal. For that purpose I have written (many years ago) the public_transport plugin for JOSM. Now my mapping interests are in particular on pedestrian routing, in particular for non-standard people like wheelchair users. Part of the challenge there is to figure out what is actually relevant to map, thus communication on top of surveying.

I'm Dr. rer. nat. since 2008 for my works in Pure Mathematics. Since October 2014 I'm a software developer at Mentz in Münster (Westfalen), Germany. My business account is drolbr_mdv.

My day job is developing software for public transport ticketing: It is quite common in Germany that dozens of operators cooperate to offer a uniform combined tariff to the passengers. Thus, dealing with multiple stakeholders with often conflicting interests is part of my day job. And even more: helping out customers whose tariff data turns out to be so full of faults that it needs to be sanitized or completely rewritten, although the customer is sure its data is perfect. This is always a communication challenge.

Beside living in Wuppertal, Münster, Frankfurt and Bonn in Germany, I have also spent four months in Grenoble in France. So I'll answer mails in German, French, and English.

About OpenStreetMap

More important than my personal background is my understanding of OpenStreetMap: There are many sources of free data, and geo data in particular.

The heart of OSM is thus the mapper community. The data structures in OSM are designed to facilitate peer review, i.e. the mapped data is not so much the physical world but the consent how to interpret it. The On-the-Ground-Principle ensures that it is as close to the physical world as useful.

It also means that we offer a virtual venue to communicate about general purpose geodata, and to help out people who want to get done something new or specific. It also means that it is a place where a developer can make a real difference by helpful software.

In addition, OSM offers fine grained general purpose geo data in a worldwide uniform format, and means to stay always up to date. Thus, we are attracting data consumers as long as we ensure that the mapper community maintains the map.

Mappers get their positive feedback from applications where they can see that their contribution makes a difference. This is a task often overlooked by data consumers:

  • Not all data consumers have the attribution as clear as we mappers require by the license.
  • Very few data consumers tell explicitly which tag structures they process and which not. We see this even within the project by disputes over the map style rules for the default map.
  • We are missing out many mappers, in particular from minorities, because there is no respective service that shows the data that really matters to the potential mappers.

Why Do I Candidate for the Board?

There are two competing paradigms about what the board should be:

  • The expert paradigm: The assumption is that the voters should elect the super-experts of OSM, and that those do not have to take too serious working groups because the board members were anyway greater experts. It were ok to have a hierarchy of informedness.
  • The trust paradigm: Voters should ensure that there are members on the board whom they trust that they represent their interests. Expert knowledge is more likely to indicate a conflict of interest than being a requirement.

I subscribe to the trust paradigm:

  • Keep the trust: The board's communication is only open enough if the community has no doubts left.
  • The experts are at working groups: The board will not override the (recent and conscious) decisions of active working groups. Beside working groups, reaching out for experts for ad hoc topics on the OSMF communication channels makes sense as well.
  • Sustainable funding: Assure that OSM will remain here and stay independent for many years ahead.

I'm confident that I can speak up for developers in the OSM ecosystem and for many of the subgroups of mappers, but I'm aware that interests are diverse enough that conciliation like in the iD case may also be required. I'm happy to help data consumers to understand mapper's needs and OSM intrinsics.

I do on purpose refrain from stating strategic goals. The board has meanwhile completed the Strategic Plan. It is an act of good teamwork to let existing ideas flourish and getting things done within the trust paradigm instead of throwing in further ideas and completing none.

Manifestos: Roland Olbricht -- Guillaume Rischard -- Daniela (Dani) Waltersdorfer Jimenez -- Włodzimierz Bartczak -- Ivo Reano

Guillaume Rischard

Community at the heart: a manifesto for a third term on the board

I'm writing this manifesto after an intense weekend at State of the Map Europe. After 12 years of mapping, I'm still amazed by this community. The smart ways people come up with to hack or improve the data. The dedication of those keeping the show going, from fixing routing in their region to restarting database servers in the middle of the night. Those pushing their work to use OSM and support it. The close personal friends I've met through OSM - I even know couples who have met through it. The fun, the banter, and the jokes. You too? Would you be reading this if you weren't somehow amazed?

The growth of OpenStreetMap has been strong, but it isn't unstoppable or self-sustaining. Bad governance will kill the best of projects. Locally, or in some important projects in the OpenStreetMap ecosystem, there has been stagnation. It is the job of the OSM Foundation to nurture the health of the OpenStreetMap project.

Our financial model leans heavily on large tech corporations, a risky dependence in an unpredictable economic landscape. To mitigate this, diversifying our funding sources is crucial. We should actively seek partnerships with NGOs and government organizations, entities that already benefit significantly from our work. We will also continue fundraising from a broader base - when you renew your OSMF membership, for example, you will be asked if you want to donate above your membership fee.

If I'd chosen not to run for board again, the most senior candidate, Roland, would have two years of board experience. I am not questioning the term limits that we have, but we have an institutional memory and continuity challenge. Hiring an executive director within the next six months will support the stable operation of the Foundation, serve as a singular point of contact, and alleviate the board's operational bottlenecks.

The recent cases of vandalism in Ukraine and Israel have undermined trust in our data; some data consumers have stopped updating their maps there. Investing in advanced tools to aid the Data Working Group is imperative for enhancing prevention, detection, and reversion of vandalism.

A lesson from Overture is the importance of understanding user needs. OpenStreetMap must prioritize tools that facilitate the blending of our data with other datasets, such as open data address databases or building polygons. Moreover, we need to streamline our tagging system. The current approach often leads to frustration, confusion, and inconsistency. Adopting a liquid democracy system for tag approval, where OSMF members have direct input, could be transformative. We have relatively little insight from how our data sometimes gets used, and our next survey should also target data users.

Strengthening local chapters is vital, not just for diversity but to encourage local initiatives that improve quality. We should enhance the incentives for becoming a local chapter, not just financially, but in governance participation as well. For example, if a majority of local chapters propose a motion, I commit to presenting it to the OSMF board.

Moving our operations to the EU could offer numerous benefits, from database rights used by the ODbL to banking ease to VAT savings and easier hiring within the EU. This move would also facilitate our recognition as a charity, streamlining donation processes.

Approximately 25% of our expenses are administrative - an example of a figure that should be easily accessible and transparent to members and donors. Enhancing financial reporting is a priority to ensure confidence in how funds are utilized.

Feedback at the SotM EU board AMA highlighted a need for better communication from the board. I intend to improve this, ensuring members are regularly informed and engaged. Clearly, the board meeting minutes aren't the best way. I intend to look at possible ways of improving this with the Communication Working Groups. The Foundation section on is underused, which we should remedy.

We should explore support for temporary data like festivals or roadworks and maybe even real-time data integration. This could significantly enhance the utility and relevance of our maps.

2024 promises to be an exciting year with the launch of our new vector tiles. These will be open-schema, minutely updated, and designed for easy remixing with personal or open datasets. This is not just a step towards better map, but also addressing user needs akin to those identified by Overture.

The mobile editing experience needs a major overhaul. A user's first interaction with 'edit' on a mobile device should be intuitive and seamless, encouraging participation.

As we look to the future, the collective effort of our community will be our greatest strength. I invite each member to engage, contribute ideas, and help shape the trajectory of OpenStreetMap. Together, we can ensure that our map continues to be a dynamic, inclusive, and invaluable resource for the world. I will be happy to discuss my manifesto in more detail on

Manifestos: Roland Olbricht -- Guillaume Rischard -- Daniela (Dani) Waltersdorfer Jimenez -- Włodzimierz Bartczak -- Ivo Reano

Daniela (Dani) Waltersdorfer Jimenez

Who am I?

Hello, my name is Daniela Waltersdorfer, and a lot of times go by Dani. I am from Lima, Peru and after some moves, my family and I ended in the U.S. Fast-forward to now, after a few moves on my own, and now I find myself as a resident of the wonderful District of Columbia, U.S. I’ve had the pleasure and joy of serving in the OSM US Board for the 3 years--very special and difficult years. Specially those that fell right on the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a professional I work in the Transportation Industry, where I help many transportation agencies with their transit, logistics, supply-chain, and asset management needs. I love cities and advocate for proper accessibility and mobility for people and goods. In the past, I’ve led Maptime Boston and Maptime Miami, where I (along with my awesome co-leads) provided GIS and mapping education to the local communities, led mapathons, and hosted a space for everything map-related in our respective cities. In 2019 I joined in on the OSM US Code of Conduct Committee, developed to lead efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive OSM US community, and in 2021 the first ever and this first ever OSMU US Code of Conduct was published ( Additionally, as a member of OSM US Board, I was the representative attending the OSMF Meetings.

My experience in the OSM US Board has been an amazing one, and I'm truly thankful to have represented and listened to the OSM US Community. I hope to be able to continue serving the OSM Community, but this time beyond the U.S. I'm eager to learn from all chapters and its members, continue promoting the amazing project OSM is, and push for transparency.

Why am I running?

OpenStreenMap US is an organization that means a lot to me. It has welcomed me with open arms, introduced me to some of my best friends, and has provided me a space where I feel safe asking questions.
This was OSM US, but there's a whole global community, the OpenStreetMap Foundation! Now this, one should be as welcoming as ever, always eager to connect and learn from the various communities and chapters it represents. I want to run to promote this, to promote and achieve a sense of welcoming and connectedness amongst all the chapters and groups that make the global OSMF be what it is and should be. To begin with, I think representation matters, and as such the Board representing the overall OSMF should try to represent its diverse community as much as possible. Granted, I am a latino woman living in the US, I may not represent that many, but I can stand and support other women and spanish-speaking mappers. I can be your liaison for when you need to reach out to the Foundation. I will try as much to help you and make you feel welcomed and listened. I want this space to make everyone feel safe. A place that is not intimidating or that makes others feel less because "they're not a programmer", or "they're not a man", "or they're not European." We're working towards making an open map of the world, so let's welcome the world. Yes, there is a key difference between the OpenStreetMap Project and the OpenStreetMap Foundation, the OSMF is there to support the project and the various communities working towards mapping the world. The OSMF has the best task, bringing people from the whole globe together. Thus, we have to be a safe and inclusive community.
If you've read through the answers to the questions provided (which by the way, thank you all--- great questions), you may have learned that I am not a software developer or programmer. And most if not all of my involvement with OSM is volunteer work. I trust this project and am passionate about it. I'm passionate about teaching others about OSM, encouraging people to add to the map, and promoting the power of Open Source Data and Initiatives. Something I also listed quite a bit in my answers is that we have to understand that "one size does not fit all" or that everything cannot be "black or white". We, as a the people representing the Foundation, have to understand our diverse community, which includes the differences in how chapters (and potential chapters) run, what they need from us, and how we can aid them to promote their growth and well-being.

I may not have hundreds-of-thousands of edits under my name, but I have taught and led mapathons which has led to a small branch turning into a tree of branches of edits. I hope you also take that into consideration.

I have never served in such a big role, but I'm eager to 1.) listen to you; 2.) learn from you; 3.) work together. The Board members are not leading the Foundation, they are those representing you. Thank you for taking the time to read this and considering me to represent you. Please feel free to reach out should you have any questions. Si tienes preguntas en español, o quisieras este resumen (mi manifesto) en español, por favor contactame.
Twitter: @DWaltersdorfer

Manifestos: Roland Olbricht -- Guillaume Rischard -- Daniela (Dani) Waltersdorfer Jimenez -- Włodzimierz Bartczak -- Ivo Reano

Włodzimierz Bartczak

Hello! My name is Włodzimierz Bartczak and I am an OpenStreetMap addict. Professionally, I have been involved in retail industry for more than 30 years. I am currently coordinating the development of one of the retail chains in Poland. In my daily work I often use GIS analytical tools. I divide my free time between mapping (Cristoffs) and being active in the Polish OpenStreetMap community. Since 2019, I have been a member of the board of the OpenStreetMap Poland Association (OSMP). I am also involved in a program aimed at universities, which involved conducting classes promoting OSM and teaching students the basics of editing.

On the OSMF management board, I would like to focus on activities supporting Local Chapters and cooperation between them. I hope that such activities will result in increased community activity and that I will also contribute to increasing willing volunteers in individual DWGs.

Manifestos: Roland Olbricht -- Guillaume Rischard -- Daniela (Dani) Waltersdorfer Jimenez -- Włodzimierz Bartczak -- Ivo Reano

Ivo Reano

Who am I?

Hi, my name is Reano Ivo, alias Jrachi and UNGSC-Jrachi on OSM. I was born about 63 years ago in a small town at the foot of the Alps, my childhood was spent carefree walking among meadows and woods. The basic education resulted in the acquisition of a diploma as a Chemical Expert and my work experience developed in the technical field as a chromator of special steels. A few years ago I left physical work and after a dark period I joined the UNGSC team. In my spare time I had already created some experience by mapping the territory in which I live and I participated massively in HOT projects, concentrating mainly in Somalia. This experience allowed me to join a fantastic group where we work in a very friendly environment and with the awareness of doing something to help populations that suffer constant wars.

Why am I running?

Honestly, only because it bothered me to read several communications about the lack of applications. So I'm just doing it to try a new experience? Certainly! I don't know what, but I can certainly invent a position on any topic and support it; and if I lack technical knowledge I will be able to inform myself and acquire the necessary experience. My experience in the associative field has seen me as a member of the local section of the Italian Alpine Club for several years, for three years I held the position of president and I continue to be an active member of the council in the various forms offered by this association of volunteers dedicated to the study and to frequenting the mountain environment. For several years I have been a member of Wikimedia Italia, the local chapter of OpenStreetMap, in whose life I participate almost exclusively to spread knowledge of OpenStreetMap, participating in various types of courses.

OSM Foundation's board election 2023: official questions
Q01 Strategic Plan | Q02 On imagery sources | Q03 On Diversity and Inclusion | Q04 On Fundraising | Q05 On appointive board-adjacent positions | Q06 OSMF and Overture Maps Foundation | Q07 OSM Data: Protection | Q08 OSM Data: Legal Threats | Q09 OSM Data: Vandalism
All board candidates' manifestos

2023 OpenStreetMap Foundation's: Board election - Voting information and instructions - Annual General Meeting