Talk:Foundation/AGM10/Election to Board

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Candidate questions

Questions from FK270673

First of all, I would like to ask all candidates:

  • Do you have a photo or did you ever speak in an OSM-related video? --FK270673 12:06, 1 July 2010 (UTC)OK!
  • How many languages do you speak? --FK270673 12:06, 1 July 2010 (UTC)OK!
    • Two: English and German --LarsF 17:18, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    • Two fluently: French and English; One well: Spanish; Several a bit: Portuguese, Italian, Japanese; Two dead languages read: Latin, Ancient Greek -- Emilie Laffray 20:45, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    • Two fluently: English and German --Oliver.kuehn 21:27, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    • I speak English fluently and speak basic German -- Kate Chapman
    • I'm a native Spaniard, so Spanish; quite good English, and basic Portuguese. --Ivansanchez 23:44, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    • I speak English fluently and very, very basic Spanish -- Thea Clay

Questions from LastGrape/Gregory

To all candidates:

  • What are your (brief) thoughts on redesigning the homepage? --LastGrape/Gregory 19:11, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    • I don't have a strong opinion or either redesigning or keeping it "as is". It's fine as long as it gets the job done. --Ivansanchez 23:44, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    • I think we can do better than the current homepage but it takes a lot of work and the past has shown that a group effort isn't the best option here. So I hope for a few people with the necessary skills to step up and present a few examples on how a new home page could look like (or pay a few bucks and use something like Those could be improved later on. I am for the most part fine with the current layout but I recognize that it could be easier for new users (and nicer looking) --LarsF 01:27, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
    • My initial thought is that the topic of redesigning the homepage is not a topic for OSMF board. I think this belongs much more to the OSM community while the OSMF board is rather covering the organizational topics like licenses, funding and communication. My personal view is that the strengths of the OSM do not become obvious for users who have their first time contact with OSM on 06:58, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
    • I don't have a particular strong view on the website. There are two aspects to the website: graphical design, and functionalities (like routing, see Nick Roets recent email). A new design wouldn't necessarily hurt but is not overly important. The second question is more interesting as we have to ask ourselves about what we want to do with it. I am not sure that we want to become the next Google Map. If we decide to go that way, we will need to think carefully how to proceed and see if resources can be allocated without impacting the major function of OSM which is the API and basic map rendering - Emilie Laffray 9:34, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
    • I think the website in itself isn't the biggest barrier for contributing to OSM. Could redesigning the website make the barrier to entry less? Sure. So could have more polished training materials. Kate Chapman
  • When did you come into OSM, and how has the scene/situation changed since? --LastGrape/Gregory 19:11, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    • December 26th, 2006. I remember the date because I stayed up until 3 AM clicking in JOSM. Back then, we waited a week for stuff to render on wednesdays. We had segments. Segments! And we didn't need no stinkin' relations or fancy imports. --Ivansanchez 23:44, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    • Sometime in the end of 2008 after reading an article in a magazine and I was pretty much hooked from the first day and seeing all the improvements I could make to my home street. The change I have seen has mostly to do with the continued growth of OSM and the input of a variety of people. All in all I think we're heading in the right direction --LarsF 01:27, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
    • As I am involved in the "digital mapping turf" for almost 10 years now (mainly from a automotive perspective) I had a look at OpenStreetMap once in a while. However OpenStreetMap was perceived as "playground for geeks" in the industry. This has completely changed. Everybody nowadays acknowledges that OSM is on the way to become a decent map alternative (and some people now see it as threat to their business). There is a nice saying that describe the evolution of OSM very well "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win". --Oliver.kuehn 06:58, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
    • I looked at OSM and started working on it in Autumn 2008 and joined officially on April 2009. I have seen many changes in OSM as the community continued to expand with larger interests from a larger variety of people. On the technical side, we saw the API update, and an acceleration in the development of many tools to manipulate OSM data in a cleverer ways (continuing JOSM development, various utilities made to convert SHP/geofile format to OSM file). On the social points, it is very refreshing to see more and more people and being able to interact with them, as it is important to have different points of view even if sometimes the relation is conflictual. In addition, it became clear that OSM can now be found on the map (bad pun intended), as it can be seen from the number of sponsors this year for the State Of The Map. The perception of OpenStreetMap has improved dramatically also due to the work on Haiti which proved you could "create" a map of very good quality and rapidly, allowing you to cope in ways that was not possible previously. - Emilie Laffray 9:34, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
    • I followed OSM for a year or so before I started contributing in Jan. 2009. My employer at the time sold data subscription services, often it was data they had not really improved upon. This company frequently profited off of disaster for example during Hurricane Katrina. I quit working there because the job did not fit in with my beliefs. I've been ecstatic that OSM has been able to assist during the response in Haiti. In the time I've been involved OSM has been very rapidly changing from a niche project of geeks running around with GPS units into a valuable set of data and tools. Kate Chapman

Questions from Filbertkm

What do you see as the role of the board?
  • The board needs to support the community with all administrative activities related to funding, licensing, communication and starting some initiatives that bundle power of the individuals to achieve common (strategic) goals, which reflect the interest of the majority of the OSM community. --Oliver.kuehn 16:41, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
  • The board is here to perform the administrative tasks that is necessary to get the project running like handling servers, organizing potentially major events like the SOTM. In addition, it represents the community and therefore should be managing communication, legalities and enabling community projects. In that sense, the goal is to support the project. - Emilie Laffray 15:38, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
  • The board should help enable the community to accomplish community determined goals. This would be through handling administrative tasks and if the community desired funding for goals that could not be accomplished by volunteer hours alone. Kate Chapman
  • The others have already explained it pretty well. I see the OSMF (and in extension the board) as a background supporter for the OSM community. The community itself decides by its actions and products it develops on top of OSM where it wants to go and the OSMF should support this where possible. This includes all those tasks already mentioned --LarsF 00:25, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
If elected, what would you bring to the board that it currently lacks?
  • Distilling the OSM vision and strategy from the community's mind. Personally, I have not yet understood which turf of the digital mapping world is claimed for OSM. Everything you do remains only fun in the long term if you are really good at it. But what is it that OSM wants to be really good at in comparison to other digital maps?--Oliver.kuehn 16:41, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
  • If I get elected, I would like to improve the communication from the board, as it is currently lacking. In addition, I strongly believe it is not just the dialog between the community and the board that should be improved but also communications between the different communities. There are also several ways to help the different communities to share knowledge which is sometimes restricted to only one community: this should be facilitated. - Emilie Laffray 15:38, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
  • As Emilie stated communication is a big problem. I think having more transparency as to what is going on within the board is important. This would involve more communication than mostly meeting minutes. Kate Chapman
What do you see as OSM / OSMF strategic goals & priorities over the next year? over the next three years?
  • The very first is to distill a vision and strategy from the communities mind to understand the OSM strategic goals & priorities over the next year(s). From my perspective it is not the OSMF board who "invents" strategic goals & priorities. There is one strategic goal which needs to get finished: implementing the new license. --Oliver.kuehn 16:41, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I find it very difficult to try to guess what we should be doing in advance over a period of three years especially on a project like OpenStreetMap. The major strength of the project is his fluidity and its capacity to adapt. In those circumstances, the goals for the near future should be to invest in the infrastructure and support emerging projects. In addition, as Oliver is pointing out, the license should be sorted out. - Emilie Laffray 15:38, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
  • In the next year I see OSM continuing to become more mainstream. Some of the OSM strategy is going to be how to deal with becoming mainstream. I know where I would like to see us in three years, as the default map of the world. Whether or not we get there is going to depend greatly on community growth and communication with other groups with the same goals. Kate Chapman
What specific goals would you have as a trustee and what changes would you like to push forward?
What is your view of OSM licensing? ODBL? PD? other thoughts?
  • I think this is a non-valid discussion unless anybody has fully understand the vision and strategy of the OSM project. The license needs to be in line with the vision and strategy of the OSM project. I have not seen a strategy that would allow to answer this question right now. I can only say that the ODbL license will protect the work until the majority of the community might have decided to go for a PD license with all its consequences, which might even be the end of the OSM project itself. --Oliver.kuehn 16:41, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
  • My point of view on the license is very pragmatic. I support the ODbL as it is a continuation and a clarification of the CC-BY-SA. Ideally, a public domain license would be better but we can see how difficult it is to switch from a share alike license to another, so switching to a public domain license would be even more difficult due to the existing terms of CC-BY-SA. In addition, it is clear that people are almost equally split between SA licenses and PD domain, and it would be difficult to achieve any kind of meaningful consensus. It is a highly heated ideological debate which is a waste of time. In addition, in my view, the only real change for me in ODbL is the introduction of the concept of produced work, which is likely to increase the use of OSM data by companies and some individuals. The rest is mostly clarification and precision of CC-BY-SA. - Emilie Laffray 15:38, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I think that a CC-BY license would be sufficient for OSM. There is concern that with that type of license companies would just take the data and sell it for millions of dollars, barely improving upon it. If OSM had clear marketing/communications it would be difficult for this business model to work. Those looking to purchase the data would be aware they could get it for free. Companies would still provide consulting around OSM and it would not be very different than things are today. Kate Chapman
  • I agree with everything Emilie has said --LarsF 00:25, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
What role do you see chapters playing in OSM?
  • I see the chapters as local OSM organisations that can "stand on their own" feet. All the power but also obligations that makes sense shifting to a local chapter should be transferred to the local chapters. Or put it the other way around: Everything that cannot be solved among the community members need to be shifted to local chapter. And if it cannot be handled by the local chapter it should be shifted to the OSMF board. In some regions their might not be a chapter so you have to skip it in the process.--Oliver.kuehn 16:41, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Chapters should be a way of talking to local authorities for specific projects that requires some legal existence within a country. It is also a good way of coalescing various interest into a structure that can organize local events and projects (like hosting a national map with specific requirements independent of the main rendering). This is currently what is currently being done in different countries. - Emilie Laffray 15:38, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Chapters serve to function within the culture of the region they serve. There are different legal concerns for example with licensing in different countries. The local chapters can serve as the liaison between local governments and NGOs to work through such issues, be it they want to contribute data or use OSM data. Kate Chapman
  • Again, I can only agree with Emilie on this point --LarsF 00:25, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
What ways do you see OSM bringing in funding? If/how do you see that changing, in terms of sources and levels of funding, and the needs of OSM?
  • Funding will mainly work if companies (these are the organizations with money) can benefit from OSM. It is a give and take. There are two ways to improve funding: (a) professionalize the funding procedure and (b) adapt to the needs of the companies to stimulate funding. However, the role of funding should be line with the OSM strategy and vision. It might be that only limited funding is necessary to make the vision reality.--Oliver.kuehn 16:41, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
  • The first question to ask ourselves is what do we want to do with that funding in the first place. Depending on the goals of the foundation, then we can proceed to find the necessary money. Currently, the major need of OSM is servers to host the increasing amount of data that we are gathering and to support additional OSM related projects (like routing). I wish I could tell I have an answer on ways of bringing new funding to OSM, but many of the possible ways like advertising sounds very unappealing as it would denature the project. I think in the near future, we will be still relying on donation. - Emilie Laffray 15:38, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I think it is important to accept the right funding for the right reasons. That is going to be dependent on the goals of the community as well as specific needs. There are problems that can not be fixed without funding for example hardware. There are jobs that volunteers might not want to do as well, such as administrative tasks. With accepting more funding though there are also increased administrative costs as well. I would like to see OSMF take funding primarily from foundations and if there is funding from corporations to ensure there are no strings attached to such funds. It is important that the organizations has money to grow, but not lose sight of the community that already exists. Kate Chapman
  • Coming late to these questions I can once again agree with everything that was said already. Funding hasn't been a problem for OSMF as far as I can tell. The donation "sprints" were very successful and the required money was raised within days. I see no reason to change this but it should be amended by seeking out donations by companies, NGOs and other interested parties in a way that is acceptable by the community. The funding also depends very much on the goals we set. To run the current infrastructure relatively little money is required and we should be careful to take on new roles. --LarsF 00:25, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Question for Kate Chapman
You are president of OSM US. If elected to the OSMF board, will you retain your role with OSM US?
  • I would serve out the remainder of my term with OSM US. The initial terms were only six month temporary ones, so that is ending soon. Then I would reevaluate what is the best way for me to help the U.S. Community. Kate Chapman
Question for Iván Sánchez Ortega
You are president of the Spanish OSMF chapter; Will you retain that role if elected to the OSMF board?
Question for Thea Clay
Will you retain your role as OSM US treasurer if elected to the OSMF board?
Added question - China is enacting new rules pertaining to online mapping services [1]. What are the implications for OSM and if/how do you think OSM and OSMF should handle this?
  • I have to preface this with my lack of legal knowledge in general and knowledge about the Chinese laws in particular. A requirement of this seems to be that all servers have to be located in mainland China: This is unacceptable for me. I also don't think that the OpenStreetMap spirit is in alignment with the rules of the Chinese government: We want to allow anybody to map anything and provide this data to anyone interested in it. --LarsF 00:25, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Questions from Matt

OSM has been helped by the availability of (usually governmental) data under very permissive licenses (e.g. PD or attribution-only). Several of these providers have asked if it's possible for us to reciprocate so that they can include our corrections. What would you say to them?
  • Request for clarification: Do you mean that OSM should/could make an exception to the share-alike part of the license under certain conditions (I mean the updated data are available under the current license)?--Oliver.kuehn 16:46, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
    • No, but that's a possible solution. Would that be your preferred solution? --Matt 17:51, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
      • If that is not what you mean could you please clarify your question?--Oliver.kuehn 21:45, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I think this needs to be resolved within the OSM community. Meaning I don't have a good answer for these data providers with very permissive licenses. In the U.S. municipalities from very small local towns to the National government want to participate in OSM. Part of this participation is being able to not only contribute data but benefit it. I think it is important to figure out a way this can happen. Kate Chapman
  • This is something that is quite problematic as this point has been raised now several times. I would be inclined to answer yes for a limited extract. However, my legal experience is not that great, and I am not sure whether it would be realistic. The board would then need to the sole licensor in order to be able to give such an exception and we would need to make sure that granting such an exception would not render the current license useless de facto. - Emilie Laffray 16:23, 3 July 2010 (UTC)