Talk:Foundation/AGM15/Election to Board

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Questions to OSMF board candidates

Here are a number of questions to the candidates for the OSMF board elections. In advance thanks to all candidates for standing for election and for answering questions. Please view these questions as a possibility to articulate your views on matters that might be important for OSM community members. And please state freely if you have not formed an opinion on a question or are unable to answer it based on your current knowledge. Please also feel encouraged to state if your position on a question is a firm conviction or if what you say is just an opinion. Also if English is not your native language and you feel you cannot properly express your ideas on a certain question in English feel free to answer in your native language.

It is probably best if you give your answers inline in a wiki discussion style but you are of course also free to integrate your answers into a general manifesto.

Where do you currently participate in the OSMF?

Most OSMF participation and work is done through working groups. What working groups are you on, and if you're currently not participating in any, why not?
Pnorman (talk) 08:22, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

First, most work is done outside OSMF, even by OSMF members. People write blogs by themselves, explain legal issues without being on LWG, and code without EWG help. There are 5 groups currently active: OWG and DWG, because they have the only power there is in this community: access to servers and a banhammer. And LWG, LCWG and SotMWG, which do organizational stuff few people have knowledge or experience or time to do.
I am not currently on any working groups, though formerly I've been on EWG (promoting API changes) and on the Membership WG, which didn't set off. Which does not mean, obviously, that I'm not doing any work WGs do: for instance, I do communications work in the Russian community, editing a news blog and hosting a weekly OSM podcast. During my involvement in OSM, I tried most things WGs do: explained licensing, wrote code, admined servers, tried to reason with vandals, organized conferences, considered opening a russian local chapter.
Why I don't sign up to any of the groups? Some, I don't feel qualified enough (e.g. LWG or LCWG), others are too taxing (I envy these steel-nerved heroes at DWG) or require 24h commitment (OWG, we can't thank you enough). And some working groups don't seem useful: why join CWG or EWG, when all the help you need is in IRC channels and blogs?
That doesn't mean I won't consider joining working groups later: it's that benefits of being on them (and levels of commitment) should be clearly outlined. E.g. members of the CWG receive news early and have access to the blog and the twitter. Maybe it should be the other way around: you're not writing code because you're on EWG, but you're on EWG because you are an active developer. Working groups, like the OSMF itself, clearly need improvements and incentives to be attractive to newcomers, and that is one of the matters I plan to work on.
--Zverik (talk) 14:55, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

I joined the Data Working Group about half a year ago, and have been helping to resolve disputes between mappers since.
--Peda (talk) 17:59, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

In the past, I have served on almost every working group, except Operations. Currently, I am on the SotM WG, and anticipate joining the LCWG again. Most every working group needs more help, and I will promote and recruit heavily for more participation from OSMF members and the broader community
--Mikel 17:15, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I admit that I have not contributed to any OSMF Working Groups. I greatly appreciate the work they do, however, and would only work to encourage participation in them. I am happy to join any WG that I can be an asset in. I have done work to promote OSM outside of more formalised methods and would continue to encourage others to do the same
--Iknowjoseph (talk) 19:49, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Board member of OSM US 2011-2015. Started User:Mvexel/Welcome_Working_Group (now dormant). Participated in LWG and CWG, but not particularly actively.
--Martijn van Exel (talk)

I am still very new to this community and have not started working on any working group, but plan to join some working groups within the next couple of months.
--Gsteinmon (talk) 02:28, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

I have contributed to the Communication Working Group.
--Wille (talk) 10:44, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I want to contribute in the Engineering Working Group, unfortunately the meeting time is equal with 00.30am my time. I hope in the future there will be meeting time to cater peoples from different timezones.
--Yantisa (talk) 16:14, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I have participated in the Local Chapters Working Group, and would be willing to have more frequent involvement in this WG.
--Douglas Ssebaggala 12:11, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I’m happy to participate or help recruit relevantly-skilled participants.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Which contributions to OSM should I consider for my decision beyond your data edits at OSM?

Please give me a short list of your contributions to OSM (both editing and programming). Do you have edit via multiple OSM accounts which are not listed at Foundation/AGM15/Election_to_Board? Which OSM related software and websites do/did you develope? Please give me a short list and/or a link to your Github profile.
Nakaner (talk) 08:34, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

I have a brief list of my projects at (some of which are on github), and a list of wiki contributions at my wiki user page. I write the only russian-language OSM news blog and the OSM Radio podcast (not to be confused with the german Radio OSM). Some of my views are expressed in English at my OSM diary.
--Zverik (talk) 08:48, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

Besides my work as a mapper and Data Working Group member, I have:
  • created and contributed to Open Source software related to OpenStreetMap, especially related to 3D rendering
  • mentored students doing OSM work during Google Summer of Code projects and theses
  • cooperated with government, industry and charity organizations on a local level
  • given speeches at various conferences, and contributed content to WeeklyOSM and the German Wochennotiz
  • introduced new users to OpenStreetMap through events, talks, and tutoring.
I believe this gives me a broad perspective on various aspects of the OSM project an community, and I hope to contribute my experience as part of the OSM board.
--Peda (talk) 17:59, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I mapped Brighton, UK
  • Facilitated mapping in places from the West Bank, to Nigeria, to Swaziland
  • I co-founded Map Kibera
  • I co-founded Huanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
  • I'm on I've contributed to OSM website, got the first version of OSM on Garmin and the iPhone, worked on the OSM Tasking Manager. Most recently, I've been working on analysis and metrics of OSM.
  • I've written numerous tutorials, spoke at tons of conferences, and represented OSM projects in venues from community meetings in slums, to international political gatherings.
Important point ... editing and programming are critical contributions to OSM, but there are other skills we need on the Board.
-- Mikel 17:15, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Some highlights:
  • Mapping since 2007 (see my profile).
  • (Co-)Organizer of many events small and large: SOTM '09, SOTM US '12, '13, '14, '15. Local events in Amsterdam and Salt Lake City since 2008.
  • Started local groups in Amsterdam and Salt Lake City.
  • Blogging about OSM, first on my own blog and now on my OSM diary.
  • Author of MapRoulette (together with emacsen) and many other smaller tools. See my Github page.
  • Active participant in OSM mailing lists and IRC channels.activites
  • Did a whole lot of talks and workshops on OSM since 2010.
  • Find me on Twitter, LinkedIn.
  • Spending part of my time at Telenav creating and releasing useful data and tools for mappers.
  • Taught OSM to Geography students.
--Martijn van Exel (talk)

First of all, please don't judge my, or anyone else's, suitability to serve on the Board by their map edits! I'd argue that a previous preoccupation with mapping skills has been to the detriment of the OSMF and has contributed to a cultural problem that is inhibiting diversity and community involvement. In my opinion crucial Board skills involve communication, planning and organisational skills. Most relevant to my OSMF Board application, I have served on the HOT Board. I have been a long term contributor to HOT as a Member and have participated in a number of Working Groups and activities, including three trips to Indonesia. An example of my writing is available on the HOT Blog. I have spoken about OSM at numerous events including an Oxford University seminar series that can be watched online here, and TechCamp Sarajevo 2014.
--Iknowjoseph (talk) 21:36, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

As a newer member I have contributed by helping to grow the Boston GeoSpatial community and supporting local mapping events with the |OSM Boston Meetup Group. I use my own community group, |AvidGeo, to help build awareness and attendance of OSM Mapping parties locally. I will be working with the 2017 |FOSS4G Conference to also help bring attention to the OSM community.
--Gsteinmon (talk) 02:28, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Beyond edits, my main contributions are:
  • Talks about OSM in conferences in Brazil. See on my diary.
  • Organize local meetings. See on my diary.
  • I am one of the managers of @OpenStreetMapBR twitter account and I have done some efforts to put OSM on the media in Brazil.
  • I am developing a software to detect harmful changesets, it's divided in two parts: osmcha (python library) and osmcha-django (web interface). In the next weeks I'll commit some features and officially release it.
  • Contributed to translation of some softwares, like iD editor.
  • I've done some more contributions to OSM related software, see on my github
--Wille (talk) 11:01, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Other than edits, which is still not much, I was more interested in writing and introduce people about OSM. I have given talks in multiple local, national, international levels to introduce OSM as well as its application in disaster management. There have been multiple blogpost written in our OSM-ID website to tell the story about the event. I am also actively participated in OSM-ID Facebook group, since this much more popular channel compared to OSM-ID mailing list.
--Yantisa (talk) 16:31, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

-- Douglas Ssebaggala 15:50, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

From my Candidate Introduction, "I’ve been an active member of OSM since 2011 contributing in a variety of ways including: editing data locally, editing data remotely for humanitarian efforts, training new users, funding numerous events and efforts, speaking and attending many OSM conferences around the world amongst others described in the Candidate Introduction.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Do you use OSM at work for business purposes?

Do you use OSM at work for business purposes? Do you earn money by developing OSM-related software/websites? Do you earn money by editing at OSM (aka paid mapping)?
Nakaner (talk) 08:36, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

Since this year I work at MAPS.ME, which makes a very popular application for OpenStreetMap (almost 30 million installs). So in a way, I do. No paid mapping though, apart from fixing a few bugs our users tell us.
--Zverik (talk) 08:54, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

No. While I try to promote OSM at my university through bachelor and master theses, I actually have no work related affiliation to OSM.
--Peda (talk) 17:59, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

I work at Mapbox on the data team. My focus is on leveraging work here for the widest possible benefit to OSM. I've previously worked at the State Department, as a Presidential Innovation Fellow, on MapGive. Prior to that, I consulted on OSM related projects through GroundTruth Initiative.
--Mikel 17:15, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

No. In my day job we occasionally use OSM for basemaps, but online mapping is nothing to do with our core business.
--Iknowjoseph (talk) 19:27, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes. My work at Telenav revolves around OSM. We use OSM data to power many of our navigation products. My job is to ensure that OSM is the best map it can be for that purpose. If you read my diary, you will get a sense of what that means. A lot of my time goes into working on things that are a mutual benefit to Telenav and OSM mappers. Recent examples are the Missing Roads and Traffic Flow Direction JOSM plugins. More good stuff in the pipeline!
--Martijn van Exel (talk)

I am a GIS Analyst and use OSM data as a base layer in some of my work, but my work does no currently include any OSM editing activities.
--Gsteinmon (talk) 03:01, 23 November 2015

I am a GIS and web developer. Sometimes I use data or tiles of OSM on my work, but it is not the main part of my work.
--Wille (talk) 11:11, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I currently work as Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Project Manager for Indonesia. Here in Indonesia, we are focusing on how we can use OSM in data preparedness for disaster. In the past 4 years, our team have trained more than 2,400 peoples on data collection using OSM, QGIS and InaSAFE in various phases of disaster as well as economic development.
--Yantisa (talk) 16:46, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes. To date, mapping coordinator for Uganda, with a mix of voluntary work under a local non-profit Organisation Fruits of Thought
-- Douglas Ssebaggala 16:24, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, my passion for OSM has led me to create roles where I do OSM related activities at work. Candidate Introduction has detail.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)


Diversity - both geographic and otherwise - is a big topic for many in the OSM community. Please describe in what way you think your presence on the OSMF board would serve diversity in OSM. Would you bring a particular viewpoint to the board that is important to be represented there? Do you represent or have intense connections to a local community or other interest groups whose interests you plan to bring forward during your time on the board?
Imagico (talk) 15:18, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

First of all, I represent the russian community, which is third (or fourth) largest in OSM, but isn't visible because of the language barrier. Not that it would matter on the Board: I'm concerned with the global OSM community first, and the russian part of it second. I already help members from our community to interact with everyone else, so my being on Board would not change much in that regard. I guess a viewpoint that I would bring to the Board is mine alone, but, of course, is influenced by both russian and english communities.
--Zverik (talk) 15:43, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

From Map Kibera and HOT, and my work at State Department, I have strong connections and understandings of communities around the world, especially those not well represented in OSMF. As I talk about in my position statement, I believe enhancing the participation of Local Chapters is critical to increasing geographic diversity. Improving diversity in gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and otherwise is very much needed in OSM generally, and I will support specific outreach and communication to make sure OSM is a welcoming place.
-- Mikel 17:15, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm mostly part of the German community (and subcommunities in Germany), which is a very large community. What I'd like to reach is better geographic diversity: As stated in my manifesto, the OSMF might provide PR articles (or money therefore), the board could subsidize flights to SOTMs, help with money for regulars tables or talks about OSM and so on. These are points I'd like to bring to the board.
--Peda (talk) 21:12, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

As OSM grows we are naturally going to recruit more members; diversity for me is to be measured by these new members. I think there's reasons to be hopeful; I have seen first hand great diversity in the HOT Indonesia team as well as at MissingMaps mapathons. This needs to continue, and I believe that diversity will continue to increase by attracting new mappers and new projects. The OSMF has to become more diverse to reflect changes in the OSM user group. I don't think the current OSMF mailing list is the best communication method to encourage diversity, or community involvement, and I would promote diversity as central to any actions to improve community experience.
--Iknowjoseph (talk) 21:06, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

I am a first generation American, my family comes from Chile originally. I have ties to the Boston, New England, and New York TriState geographic communities. I have ties to geospatial, podcasting, social media, and fiber arts online community. My interest in joining the board is partly because as someone new to the community I still don't feel like I get it and would like to use this perspective in bringing in others into the community. I hope that my experience building communities of different ages, sexual orientation, genders, and technical skills within my other interests can help with extending the current efforts to be inclusive in the recruiting efforts.
--Gsteinmon (talk) 22:17, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

One of the reasons I am running for OSMF is to put a vision from Latin America on the board. I participate both in the Brazilian and Latin American communities. I believe OSMF should give more support to local communities in regions like Asia, Africa and Latin America. I also think we should seek resources to have more participants on the FOSS Outreach Program and start a program more focused on teach mapping skills to women and other underrepresented groups.
--Wille (talk) 11:31, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I am an Indonesian. I once heard that I'm the only Indonesian joining OSMF as a member. I hope that is wrong. I hope for more active involvement from OSMF members in the region. It would be great if there is more people from my region to join OSMF. I still feel that despite our efforts to continuously proliferate OSM in the region, we still have lots of thing to do. The OSM community in Asia is growing, in Indonesia alone, there are more than 3,000 people joins OSM ID Facebook groups, not to mention OSM Groups formed by universities students. I belief that diversity would keep the OSM community rich, vibrant and alive, yet it is also important to direct these energy to move forward and map the world.
--Yantisa (talk) 17:19, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

From Uganda to East Africa and the whole of Africa, there are traces of OSM presence, with some unknown communities doing great efforts and work with OSM. My presence would prove and bring this in light through the team support of the OSMF, and providing some more time to the efforts of the LCWG.
-- Douglas Ssebaggala 16:40, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
My work with the US chapter board has involved a lot of thinking about and working on creating a more inclusive and diverse community. See how we did for example with SOTM US this past spring. This was a team effort but I do bring this experience with me. Also having had a leadership role communities in both Europe and the US gives me some perspective on diversity.
Martijn van Exel (talk)

I’m a strong believer in capacity building around the globe and have supported such efforts. My teams have always been geographically, gender and ethnically diverse.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Conflicts of Interest

Do you work for a company or are involved with organizations that are working with OSM in some form? If yes how do you plan to handle situations where the interests of this company/organization and the interests of those you would represent on the board diverge?
Imagico (talk) 15:18, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I work for MAPS.ME. And by thorough discussion. I would also represent this organization on the Board, but interests of OpenStreetMap are more important for me. But then, one of MAPS.ME goals is to contribute to OSM growth.
--Zverik (talk) 15:47, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I work for Mapbox, and am active in the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. I am very familiar with management of Conflict of Interest. When there are items that clearly touch on my interests, I will recuse myself appropriately. In any case, in all my work, my core interest is helping OSM.
Does OSMF have a clear Conflict of Interest policy? I can't find this. If not, we need one.
-- Mikel 17:15, 13 November 2015 (UTC) which I'm sure you were aware of from your previous position on the board.
SimonPoole (talk) 20:59, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Important to understand the laws under which osmf operates. But I was asking about the policy, which guides exactly how osmf handles CoI (how it's divulged, when and how we recuse, etc).
No. See above.
--Peda (talk) 21:12, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

No. I am a member of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and have previously conducted paid work for that group, but I am not expecting to be doing this again in the near future. From my time on the HOT Board I have had a great deal of exposure to Conflicts of Interest procedures and resolution.
--Iknowjoseph (talk) 19:31, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

No, I do not have an conflicts of interest. I work for Applied Geographics, Inc. and am the founder/lead organizer of AvidGeo. I am also on the organizing committee of the 2017 FOSS4G. None of these positions have a fiscal or other overlap with the duties of the OSM board.
--Gsteinmon (talk) 22:17, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
No, there would be no conflict of interest, most of the work i do is for the advancement and betterment of OSM, which would most likely be inline with the OSMF
-- Douglas Ssebaggala 16:52, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I currently work as Project Manager for Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Indonesia. In my experiences, any interest of OSM or OSMF would also bring benefits to HOT. So far I haven't identify how there will be conflicts of interest. Sometimes people identify me from OSM Indonesia rather than HOT, since people tends to more familiar with it. HOT also support OSM community growth in Indonesia by providing resources and deliver OSM outreach to various institutions.
--Yantisa (talk) 14:51, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't see risk of conflicts of interest with my job.
--Wille (talk) 19:35, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I work for Telenav on OSM which may raise a COI from time to time. I will follow the COI policy. If there is none, I will bring experience of defining one for OSM US to the table to implement one as soon as possible.
Martijn van Exel (talk)

Yes, but in the unlikely event there is a COI, I’ll recuse myself from the related discussions.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)


Transparency of the OSMF board's work has been a big topic in the last election. There have been changes on this matter since then, for example there has been the first public board meeting but there have also been controversial points like the question if individual board members votes in board decisions should be made public. Please describe your standpoint on Transparency in the OSMF and its board's work - both in general and what changes in this regard you would like to pursue if elected.
Imagico (talk) 15:18, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

This is an important matter for me, since I do a news blog, and am always very interested in how the Board works. Sadly, there is still little information on that: we can't even know how people we elected work on their goals. I plan to make the Board as open as possible, but understand that there may be reasons why they aren't much transparent yet. We need to see individual members of the Board, and to have better ways to influence their agenda. I guess I'll start with myself: even if other Board members won't open their votes, I probably could share mine.
--Zverik (talk) 15:52, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Boards need to be both transparent, and also have space to discuss confidential issues. I would support periodic public Board meetings of some kind, and willing to consider open vote reporting, though I don't have a solid opinion either way right now. I'd also support greater transparency through general greater accessibility of the Board outside of meetings, and more communication.
--Mikel 17:15, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Well, I think there have been enhancements since Paul Norman is on the board, and I've been able to contribute a bit to that with my public encouragement of public board meetings. Nevertheless, there's still room for improvements. Regarding my standpoint to transparency: I'm serving the community, so except for privacy issues I don't see any reasons for intransparency. This includes publication of board members' votes, which I fully support.
--Peda (talk) 21:12, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Transparency is, of course, hugely important. It should be remembered, however, that there are sometimes legal barriers to complete transparency in the Board's discussions. Staffing matters, for example, can be an example of where a Board is not legally allowed to publicly discuss an issue. I can also think of situations including funding or project partnerships where a third party may request that we do not immediately disclose all the details. In short, the Board should be as open as possible, but you simply cannot say we will be transparent about every issue for the 2016 term. When transparency is not an option we should be effective at communicating the issues to Members. Vote reporting is, I think, an issue for individual members, although I am happy to have the details explained to me further.
--Iknowjoseph (talk) 20:39, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
For the background of the question of publishing votes in board decisions see here.
Imagico (talk) 21:08, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Transparency/openness should be paramount to how the organization is run.
--Gsteinmon (talk) 22:36, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

I support transparency in OSMF board's work since it would provide more open environment where member can also contribute and discuss. I do realize that there are some private matter that cannot be discussed due to legal constraint.
--Yantisa (talk) 15:02, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't have nothing against open vote reporting and I believe transparency is an essential value.
--Wille (talk) 19:46, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Fundamentally the board's proceedings should be open, but at its discretion confidentially needs to always be an option.
Martijn van Exel (talk)

Open as much as possible, but confidential when required by issues at hand.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Community involvement in OSMF matters

The very limited involvement of OSM community members in the OSMF, visible in the membership numbers, limited involvement in working group and participation in elections, has been a big topic and before the last elections there have been fairly bold statements towards improvements here but not much has happened. Although there is now a possibility to become a member without paying the membership fee there is still quite a high hurdle to become a member and participate in decision processes of the OSMF. Do you have ideas how to improve community participation you intend to push forward if elected to the board? There have for example been suggestions for automatic membership for active community members.
Imagico (talk) 15:18, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

The automatic system seems to be in place now, thanks to Henk. But it is still the question of why anybody would join OSMF. I shared some ideas last year, some of which still stand. I can't promise anything, but I hope in the coming year OSMF members would have a better understanding on why they have joined.
--Zverik (talk) 16:07, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Greater involvement of Local Chapters. Excellent communication on OSMF and Working Group needs. Active recruiting drives for participation.
--Mikel 17:15, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

When talking to community members, these were the most commonly stated issues:
  • Becoming a member and paying your membership fees is unnecessarily difficult.
  • There is no apparent benefit for membership.
  • It's unclear what the OSMF does and what it's good for.
As a board member, I believe I could personally change at least the last item on that list, but I will also encourage progress on the other issues.
--Peda (talk) 21:12, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

The OSMF community needs to grow in size and improve in participation experience. I used to think that successful community was something that just happened organically and grew from a group of like minded individuals, having worked with some amazing Community Managers, however, I can see the error in my thinking. The Board needs to target actionable points of the community and set targets and standards to aspire to. This is much more productive than rehashing past issues. I would like to see the OSMF promote it's achievements, and the benefits of membership, more readily. At the same time we need to improve the experience of people who are either existing members or new to the group.
--Iknowjoseph (talk) 20:54, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

I think this relates with transparency as well, other than release the meeting notes, OSMF needs to be more active in social media. It can be by providing regular updates about OSMF activities and working group meeting schedule through Twitter or Facebook. More importantly, we need to listen what members want and what needs to be improved.
--Yantisa (talk) 15:32, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Local chapters are key. When someone becomes a member of a chapter, it should be easy (automatic even?) to also become a member of the foundation. Our experience in the US shows that folks often don't even know these things are separate.
Martijn van Exel (talk)

I think we can do simple things to give more visibility to the Foundation, like put a campaign on the homepage to increase the number of members, give more support to local communities and events. I believe we will achieve more involvement between the community and the Foundation only when the Foundation wish to be more present on the life of the project.
--Wille (talk) 15:30, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, growing the community of contributors and members is a focus for me. Candidate Introduction includes some models that have worked well. Some additional thoughts: enhance discoverability of opportunities to participate in OSMF such as give acknowledgment to OSMF members in their user names (e.g. append an asterisk to user names who are OSMF members with a link on asterisk to sign-up for membership), post scheduled working group meetings in one location and post a subtle banner on notifying of membership drives, fundraising activites or need for WG volunteers.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Who should the OSMF serve?

Formally the OSMF board is elected by and therefore should serve the OSMF members. But anyone can be an OSMF member as long as he/she pays the membership fee. Whose interests do you think you will primarily try to represent if elected to the board? This will likely be the 'OSM community' in some form but this is a fairly inhomogeneous group consisting of mappers, software developers, map designers, map users and others so please try to clarify on your priorities.
Imagico (talk) 15:18, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I am primarily interested in OpenStreetMap growth as a geodatabase and a platform. But being on the OSMF Board won't help me with that directly. The Board has little power, but a huge influence, it being the only official OSM entity. We can try using it to make OSM more visible and to attract more users and developers, and to encourage experienced members to do things besides plain mapping, like helping other users, directly or not. There are ways for the Board to help specific groups of OSM users (e.g. developer grants), but we should promote all kinds of involvement.
--Zverik (talk) 16:22, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I want to turn this question around. OSM is made up of what we contribute to it. Whether we are contributing map data, software, design, amazing uses, community building & communication ... we are serving OSM. OSMF should be the same. OSM Foundation can be a place to focus and route our energies beyond the map, a place where we can serve OSM in ways that excite us.
-- Mikel 17:15, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Serving the needs of map users is an integral part of the usefulness of our project, but to me, the OSM community consists of mappers and software developers. And these groups are who I'd try to represent.
--Peda (talk) 21:12, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I joined the OSMF as a member because I wanted to support OSM, not to have the OSMF Board further my interests. As a Board member I would work to ensure that the Board, and the OSMF members we represent, continue to work in the best interests of OpenStreetMap. The needs of OpenStreetMap are varied and are going to change over time, as such I don't think it's appropriate to single out a single priority to represent over the Board term.
--Iknowjoseph (talk) 19:41, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

OSMF needs to serve the goal of the foundation which in the end it can only be achieved by serving its members and the OSM users at large. This would also relates with the diversity of its member and users throughout the world, does they already accommodated and represented through its policy and action? Here I would like to represent Asia communities, one of the minorities in term of board/member representation.
--Yantisa (talk) 01:53, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The OSMF board serves the members of the foundation. If folks feel that there is not proper representation of the community, then we should have more people from the community sign up as members. Again, I see a role there for local chapters.
Martijn van Exel (talk)

I think OSMF must not control OSM, but it must do all the possible to make OSM bigger. I think my main priorities will be to support local communities in places like Latin America, Africa and Asia, where we don't have a community as big as in Europe or United States.
--Wille (talk) 15:49, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

The electorate/OSMF members, and secondarily, but extremely importantly, the OSM contributors, of any contribution type.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

License violations

The OSMF formally holds the rights to the OSM data or in other words is entrusted by the mappers to legally administer their work. There are mechanisms in use, primarily involving the license working group, to deal with cases of license violations, most notably missing or insufficient attribution. What is your opinion on this situation? Do you think the current mechanisms work? Do you think there is need for changes in the way such cases are handled and if yes how should such changes look like?
Imagico (talk) 15:18, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't think we can do much in technical sense, but we sure have to educate users more. Most license violations happen not of malice, but because few people know maps are even subject to the copyright law. And to answer a common kind of thought, "so what, as if they are going to find out", we need to be more strict and improve our reverting tools. But this, again, not a Board matter, but depends on DWG and some brilliant programmer.
--Zverik (talk) 16:27, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
Just for clarification: My question was primarily about violations of the ODbL by users of OSM data, like OSM based maps without attribution. The question of dealing with use of legally unsuited sources for mapping is of interest as well of course (although not really that controversial).
Imagico (talk) 16:46, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
Right, I didn't understand that the first time. Simply talking to violators works most of the time, and that is usually done not even by LWG, but by regular OSM members. I think that is good, and LWG does its work great, explaining possible edge cases of the license. The Board can help by only being a bit more louder. I hope we won't have to take anybody to a court :)
--Zverik (talk) 17:04, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure these cases are handled in any consistent mechanism. And whatever the mechanism, it shouldn't become more prosecutorial. Agree this is mostly unintentional. Good and clear communication about what is needed to work with OSM is the key here.
--Mikel 17:15, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I think the current intended way of handling things is good: The OSM community may deal with violations locally, and complicated stuff will be escalated to the LWG. So if there's anything that should be changed it's to advertise volunteer involvement in the LWG.
--Peda (talk) 21:12, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I think almost all licence violations are unintentional and I am often impressed with how the community deals with the issue by explaining the problems to violators. I'm convinced the use of OSM is going to grow enormously, so we're likely to suffer more violations in the future, at which point we may need a more formalised approach. At present communication is key. I am impressed by efforts such as the OSM copyright page and the MapBox attribution instructions and hope to see these methods become more commonplace.
--Iknowjoseph (talk) 19:57, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

I think the existing mechanism works quite well. We cannot always throw every license violation case to OSMF, but surely we can provide mechanism on how to follow up or escalate the issues related to license and possibly involving local communities in the areas.
--Yantisa (talk) 02:03, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I think we should retain legal council to address license issues and especially move forward the ODbL guidelines. We cannot leave this to IANALs or, worse, external stakeholders.
Martijn van Exel (talk)

I have notified some organizations that used OSM without give attribution. In most part of the cases, it was unintentional and solved easily.
--Wille (talk) 15:56, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

I believe current process is working. I have personally reached out and requested attribution in several instances with astonishingly quick resolution. An escalation should be handled first by the LWG, then in consultation with the board and counsel.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Imports and remote mapping

Among OSM mappers both data imports and remote 'armchair' mapping are controversial subjects and are discussed frequently from practical to philosophical levels. Please describe your standpoint on the matter and (if that applies) your practical experience with these.
Imagico (talk) 15:18, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I had very strong opinion on that in the past, but now I'm ok with any import that adheres to the Import Guidelines. Sadly, I've yet to see such an import. So again, we should better reverting tools, and less introvert community.
--Zverik (talk) 16:30, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Imports and remote mapping and surveying all have a place in OSM. I have done all and support all, when done well. Key is good communication and a productive environment to improve our map. And, better tools for monitoring and QA on OSM data are something I am eager to facilitate.
--Mikel 17:15, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

In the past I often wondered about all the fuss about imports and mechanical edits. Having seen and stumbled upon a bunch of really messy imports, I have changed my mind. I'm still in favor for imports, but only if they strictly follow the Import Guidelines or Mechanical Edit Policy. I think they should be made even more strict and I think there should be a clear rule to revert everything that doesn't adhere to these guidelines. However, this is my personal opinion only and nothing that should be worked on in the OSMF board.
--Peda (talk) 21:12, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

In my election statement I described OSM as a wonderful patchwork that covers the World: Imports and remote mapping are part of this patchwork and aren't going away any time soon. Imports and remote mapping needs to be conducted within a dialogue with local mappers. I have conducted both and see them as important and useful methods of mapping. I am currently mapping areas of Syria from aerial imagery; I have visited the country, most recently at the end of 2011, and I don't believe there is a strong local mapping community in the country. Maps of Syria are very important, however, both for aid delivery and news reporting, so I have no issue with contributing remotely. I hope it helps in some small way.
--Iknowjoseph (talk) 20:04, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

I think imports must be discussed in each local community and the data to be imported needs to have great quality. Remote mapping can be useful in some occasions, but what we need is people all over the world to map what can not be seen in satellite imagery.
--Wille (talk) 19:55, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
The solution to bad data entering OSM, be it through ill-advised imports or manual edits, is not in more policing, but in better onboarding of new mappers. Initiatives like LearnOSM / TeachOSM / Mapgive are great but it would be even better if we would provide these resources ourselves. Over time, the days of every mapper having full access to editing OSM from the day they sign up may need to come to an end. I see a role for a reboot of the Welcome WG.
Martijn van Exel (talk)

I support Import as far as it follows the Import Guidelines. I have couple of opportunities where government institutions or organization want to put their spatial data in OSM. Especially as they saw this as an opportunity to join cause in open data movement and their data licence is compatible with ODbL. With remote 'armchair' mapping, there should be guidelines as well to reduce common mistakes and assumption.
--Yantisa (talk) 15:33, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, if handled carefully and in conjunction with noted procedures and good training.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Board term limits

The idea to limit the duration for which an individual can be a member of the OSMF board has been an important subject of discussion and also subject of a special resolution put up for vote during the 2014 special general meeting which received a majority but failed to pass the necessary 75% threshold. Since then the current board has not made a decision on this matter. What is your standpoint on this and would you pursue a change in the OSMF articles to implement such a term limit?
Imagico (talk) 15:18, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I would. The Board is not fun when it's the same people year after year, it becomes too closed and deaf to innovation.
--Zverik (talk) 16:32, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

This has not been an issue. I do however wonder if a 3 year term is too lengthy. Would be interested to explore reducing to two years. Will of course serve for as long as required.
--Mikel 17:15, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I wouldn't pursue it, but I also wouldn't work against it. Although there have been many and good arguments for term limits, I'd prefer to let the voter decide. Be it to implement or reject term limits or to vote the same person 20 times in a row.
--Peda (talk) 21:12, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't currently have a strong opinion on the issue and am happy to have the various views explained to me again. The Board seems to be functioning without the special resolution. I passionately believe that all Board Members have to be useful and have to be productive; it may be that term limits can help here, but any changes to the OSMF articles need to be made within a broader culture of "getting stuff done".
--Iknowjoseph (talk) 20:14, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

I think it's essential to have diversity on the board, but I don't see as crucial to have a term limit, since the members choose the board by voting.
--Wille (talk) 20:03, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I believe members should be the one to decide such limit and duration. As an OSMF member myself, I choose the board based on how they performed or based on their manifesto and answering QA.
--Yantisa (talk) 16:33, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it is always healthy to have new voices on a board, especially in a growing project where there are plenty of well-qualified candidates.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Communication with the community

Which communication channels do you use to stay informed *and* talk to the community?
fredao 13:04, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm subscribed to a large number of mailing lists, try to hang in IRC, follow many OSM folks on Twitter, regularly read weekly-osm, frequently chat with OSM folks on Skype, read and post OSM diary entries. It's a huge volume, and honestly we need to become more focused and strategic from an OSMF perspective. I do like the idea of regularly scheduled "office hours" with the OSMF.
And I welcome anyone to directly reach out to me anytime.
--Mikel 14:05pm, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Basically the same as Mikel: I'm subscribed to virtually everything OSM and open GIS-related. Well, I write a news blog myself, so I have to be informed. I talk with other OSMers via IRC channels and the Russian forum. Also I have a chatbox on my Russian JOSM landing page, from which anybody can ask me anything about OSM.
--Zverik (talk) 14:27, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm subscribed to a large number of mailing lists as well (German and English ones), I follow the German ones more closely though. I read blogs (not only the official OSM ones), user diaries, the OSM Forum (German, 3D and Indoor mostly) and you will find me on a bunch of IRC channels. However, I read much of that especially to aid the Wochennotiz/WeeklyOSM. Of course you can meet me in person, either while mapping ;-) or at the regular's table in Passau, the annual FOSSGIS event or hacking weekends or stuff like that.
--Peda (talk) 15:09, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm also subscribed to a number of mailing lists, follow a number of OSM people and organisations on Twitter, I Skype & IM on topics of OSM and have, although not for a while, hung out on IRC. I am a member of the OSM-ID Facebook group and am interested in how some communities, such as Indonesian users, communicate using different services. I prefer real life meetings, although get to do this much less frequently; I have organised local meetups and mapping events, and have attended those organised by others, including SOTM and SOTM-US.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 16:37, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I try to read the user diaries in English, Spanish and Portuguese periodically. I participate of OSMF-Talk mailing list, as well as the Brazilian and Latin American lists and telegram groups.
--Wille (talk) 20:16, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
I only subscribe to talk, talk-us and legal-talk. I read the forum very occasionally. I read IRC and participate there. I go to any SOTM conference I can feasibly get to. I spend time on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and most importantly the OSM diaries to learn about new developments in OSM. I follow what's going on on Github. I email / talk with a lot of OSM friends personally on a regular basis. In my professional network I talk about OSM a lot, learning what other companies and organizations are doing with OSM. Like the office hours idea, I started something similar in the US a while ago with 'Mappy Hours' on Google Hangouts.
Martijn van Exel (talk)

I am mostly active on Facebook Groups, since in Indonesia, that is where the biggest interaction happens. The OSM-ID talks is pretty quiet. I also like to read the user blogs and I often meet OSM colleagues from Asia in SOTM Asia or FOSS4G-Asia where we regularly share stories and activities in our country. Occasionally I read articles on OSM from Twitter or shared in Facebook by fellow OSM.
--Yantisa (talk) 16:43, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

I subscribe and regularly read many mailing lists, the diaries, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook groups, I communicate regularly with OSM contributors.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Role of the board

What do you see as being matters that the board should or should not get involved with?--Andrew (talk) 18:51, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

That's a big question. The Board should not get involved with mapping, software development or permissions to use OSM. It should support working groups, and OSMF in general: decide what OSMF is, what it is for, and why join. It should decide where money goes (at least until we have a dedicated working group) and the general direction of the OSM project.
--Zverik (talk) 11:35, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

As I also cited in my manifesto, the OSMF should support but not control the OpenStreetMap project, and that should be taken as a guideline for the board's actions. As a general rule, the board has to handle its duties but should not take care of things that could be done by the community as well. Anyway, to give you some ideas about things the board should get or is already involved in, here's a list of things I think of: Assisting the working groups and also demanding from them (e.g. ask for reports,...), make the budget plan, possibly fund raising if needed, set up promotional programs, help and support local communities (e.g. local chapters), help organize SOTMs (including local ones), public relations, maybe launch merchandising, promote OpenSource tools everywhere in the project, dealing with inquiries of all kind (press, legal requests,...) and especially report about the board's work. Though the board should not get involved in managing software development, setting up mapping rules or hiring staff. For more details, on some of these ideas, see my manifesto and the other questions.
--Peda (talk) 17:47, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

That's a tough question, but a very important one. First and foremost, OSMF supports OSM and the Board works for OSMF. The Board needs to do the work it's legally obligated to to ensure that the OSMF supports OSM. Much of this work is going to be financial or property related; raising money, managing it and spending it on keeping the OSM lights on. Fundraising comes in various forms and the Board should be working hard to raise the funds the organisation needs, and be responsible for the results. The spending covers a wide spread of buying servers, paying hosting bills, but also arguably more interesting elements such as funding working groups, organising SOTM and other specialised projects. As mentioned above, there's also going to be some very unglamorous work such as report writing or collating, these are the sort of activities to be undertaken by any Board. More related to the specific issues of OSMF, we have all been talking during this campaign about diversity within our membership; how can we increase the number of woman contributors and contributions from outside Western Europe / USA. This is one example of where the Board needs to identify actionable items and commit resources to them. That, I think, is the crux of the election campaign; it's easy to say "more diversity", but how can the Board actually achieve that? I'm proposing we target actions to increase diversity in the same way that we will target fundraising actions. This is not to say we downgrade the priority of other areas, such as keeping the homepage running, but the previous amazing work in these areas means that we're in a strong position on these elements; the Board needs to ensure this great work continues, and concentrates on some of the potentially under-represented issues.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 10:58, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

I agree with the role as defined in the OSM Mission Statement.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

The Board needs to focus on facilitating high level strategic direction of OSMF, maintain fiduciary and legal responsibility for the entity, needs to determine budget and resources (whether in assets, volunteer time, or paid time) necessary to maintain the core of OSM (the servers, domains, data and IP), and support the communication and interaction of the community. As much as possible, the Board needs to push the actual activities of the OSMF to working groups, chapters, and people retained for services.
--Mikel (talk) 15:42, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

The board should be the one who mainly support the OSMF mission by planning and executing series of activities to achieve it. While the board did not directly deal with technical tidbits of OSM yet they are the enabler for the member, working group and OSM communities to be able to work better.
--Yantisa (talk) 11:03, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Commercial and Organzied Editing Policy

OSM has become important as a source of geospatial data for the last years and nowadays we have couple of companies and organzisations mapping at OSM. In difference to the community these people often lack the intrinsic motivation most mappers have. They only do what they are told to do and only do it because they get paid for it. Should their be a guideline similar to Automated Edits Code of Conduct and Import Guideline which rules the activities of commercial mappers and mappers which are part of courses (at schools, universities etc.)? What should it rule? Note: DWG has suggested such a policy in May 2014. --Nakaner (talk) 20:31, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Don't think so, rather we should engage with these organizations to make sure they have the tools to teach their people how to map. I would like to see some data on the lack of intrinsic motivation of paid mappers, my anecdotal evidence points in a different direction altogether.
--Martijn van Exel (talk)

The same rules should apply to anybody, regardless the source of their motivation to edit. If a person doesn't like editing OSM, but still adds correct highways and buildings, - why should we treat them differently? There are already guidelines that say, use correct sources and draw what's on the ground, and I don't think we need more than that.
--Zverik (talk) 08:25, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

This is nothing the board can or should decide. But personally I'm absolutely in favor of such an collaborative (paid) editing policy. I think we should at least demand from such mappers that they disclose whom they work for and what they work on. Two name two rather strong arguments for such an policy: I'd like to know if 50 employees of company A vote on the wiki and I'd like to know if all of them use a controversial tag. Anyway, that's something the community has to decide.
--Peda (talk) 12:41, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

As long as paid mapping produces good data, and doesn't upset local mapping communities, I don't think we need to worry. I don't know if any specific policies need to be in place, but would imagine that any corporate members (a loose term, I admit) of the community that behave badly would be treated in the same manner as a misbehaving individual.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 10:28, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

From my extensive experience, finding employees who are passionate about OSM produces amazing results. For me personally, I’ve created my OSM-related career out of my passion for OSM (as opposed to the other way around) and seen the same success with many and all others I have worked with on OSM. I would rather identify problem areas and discuss the issues with the relevant party and provide education and/or training to correct issues since such simple measures normally work very well.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Everyone has incentives and motivations for doing OSM. We should focus on, no matter what their incentive, that people coming to OSM can grow a passion for the mission of OSM and embrace of our values. Policies that apply to one group or another don't encourage this. The best way to do that is through better communication, transparency, and a welcoming spirit.
At State of the Map US 2015, I asked the audience how many people worked on some aspect of OSM as part of their job ... nearly 40% raised their hands. Many of us are lucky enough for our passions and work to coincide. That includes mappers, and in my experience, passion for the mission of OpenStreetMap is inseparable from doing a great job in OSM.
I work at Mapbox, with the Data team. I invite anyone with questions to learn more concreatly about what's happening here, it's pretty exciting. Read more on the Mapbox blog and the Mapbox mapping public repo.
--Mikel (talk) 15:42, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

It's natural that there are companies mapping and, until now, we don't have many incidents, so I also think we needn't worry about this now.
--Wille (talk) 18:12, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

I think at some point we can collaborate with these companies or organization, we have talked about the ideas of corporate membership in the past. It would be better that these companies or their personnel can join the related Working Groups (Data or Engineering). Hopefully what started as paid can be extended into something that they care about. It may sounds naive, but having a complete free map of the worlds doesn't sounds plausible in the beginning, yet look where we at now.
--Yantisa (talk) 10:56, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Paying People

Many manifestos suggest the OSMF Board should be doing more, we aren't adding more board members. How can the board accomplish more with the same number of people? What are you views on paying people to accomplish some tasks that for whatever reason can't be accomplished by volunteers? --Wonderchook (talk) 23:15, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Entirely in favor. What is more, some key responsibilities all but require professionals or would greatly benefit from having them: legal, finance, marketing and PR.
--Martijn van Exel (talk)
Martijn as a follow up question: employing staff as you suggest would require a budget somewhere between $0.5M and $1M, in other words an increase by roughly a factor of 6 over the current budget. How do you propose to finance that increase? SimonPoole (talk) 15:10, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
An interesting number. Perhaps is would be that much. Perhaps it wouldn't. In terms of budget we need to think bigger. Corporate membership is a start. If you look at how much sponsorship we have been able to gather for past SOTM US conferences (in the order of $200k) I don't think it is at all impossible to get to a $1M budget if that is what we need to achieve our goals. That would require building a healthy base of sustaining donors that is separate from conference sponsoring. Perhaps we need to hire someone for fundraising, too! I see all of this paid work as retainer / contracting work by the way, not employed staff with benefits etc. Martijn van Exel (talk) 16:08, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

We already do that for accounting, and should be paying more people - of course, where reasonable. We can't have an evolving project with only unpaid volunteers to do all things. Not sure about marketing and PR though.
--Zverik (talk) 08:31, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

As I stated before, I'm a strong opponent to paying staff. If something can be done by a volunteer, let's try and search a volunteer. While it makes sense to engage e.g. a lawyer to handle a lawsuit for us, I have yet to see a suggestion for an employee that makes sense. Anyway, from the information the OSMF members get (the meeting minutes) you can see a small number of tasks which get handled late or not at all and it's not convincing that the work load is so high that it needs to be outsourced. So I'd suggest to start with regularly reporting about each member's work to see where help is needed and what options exist, instead of jumping to the conclusion that we need employees.
-- Peda (talk) 12:43, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

I am in favor of paid work on the Foundation.
--Wille (talk) 16:04, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
To be clearer, I don't think we need to have hundred of employees around the world like Wikimedia has or that to have paid work is mandatory to the project. I also agree with the citation of Frederik Ramm posted by Mikel below.
--Wille (talk) 17:53, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

I am 100% in favour of paid Foundation work. I have yet to hear a good argument for not paying for work when it could not be completed by a volunteer.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 10:31, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Harry writes to the mailing list & I would like to reply:
I think there's a distinction to be made between "Full time, 37.5 hours a week staff" and contractors working on smaller jobs or those on retainer. I should state that I am 100% in favour of contractors performing jobs that can't be undertaken by members of the community. Employing people to work full time for the organisation is a different issue and is something that would require much more thought. It's possible that we have some roles that could be staffed as long as the OSMF existed, such as server administrators, but any commitment to paying someone's mortgage and for feeding their kids is obviously a very big undertaking. Just to reiterate, when I say I'm in favour of paying for working I'm thinking of situations such as "we need a graphics designer to produce a load of great promotional material quickly". I think there's also an argument that paying for people to do specific jobs can be good for the community. If I contract someone to undertake some work for me I know who is responsible for it and I have a understanding of the work that's going to be done and when I can expect it. I think the community has occasionally been harmed by volunteers undertaking work and then having it mentioned on the mailing list in terms of "I asked X to do A, B and C 3 years ago, but they were already busy on Y & Z, and this got mentioned on IRC, but nobody did anything, and...". At least if we're paying people to do some jobs we can get rid of these discussions.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 14:49, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, when volunteers needed to fill a necessary skill set are not available. Preference is for service providers and/or contractors as opposed to full time employees.
--SP!KE / Ryan Peterson (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I'll quote Frederik Ramm, he here expresses a pretty sensible view similar to mine.
"there's quite an acceptable middle ground to be found ... In the current board, we agreed to take it slow - to accept that in the long run we will likely be employing a few people, and to say: Let's learn how to do this, as an organisation, slowly, let's start with hiring an administrative assistant for 1-2 days a week and let them do some of the tasks that currently are either being dropped or being reluctantly done."
There are probably other tasks which are best done by paid consultants or employees. Let's look carefully at OSMF needs, and match with the best options for resourcing. Let's get the organization prepared to hire people, if it's found necessary.
--Mikel (talk) 15:42, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

I share the view of Frederik Ramm and Mikel. Administrative task is the usually the one that often being neglected yet it is also one thing that sometimes prevent an organization to function normally. This would complement the great work that have been done by volunteers.
--Yantisa (talk) 02:46, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Future of OpenStreetMap

This is meant to be an open ended question. How do you view the state of OpenStreetMap? Will you pursue any changes to OpenStreetMap if you are elected to the board? Do you think the OpenStreetMap foundation should expand by taking on new projects such as adding new functionality to OpenStreetMap or getting into mobile? Maybe OSMF should take on a greater role in expanding the use of OpenStreetMap worldwide or by promoting greater use of OSM data by commercial providers? Or do you think OMSF should do none of these things and can best serve the community by staying out of the way? --tgertin 01:21, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I believe OSM should maintain its ideal as a free as in freedom maps yet at the same time we need to be adaptive to user needs. Getting into mobile or implement new technologies are example of being adaptive to our environment. Even as Foundation we need to keep on innovate and move forward. Trying new things and leave some old habits. We need to be more inclusive, making it more open to non-techie and involve local communities more. This is not an easy task, I understand, but this is how OSM community keep on growing and thrive.
--Yantisa (talk) 12:00, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

This is a huge question Tom! We describe OSMF as "supporting but not controlling" OSM. I'd like to expand what we think of by "support", and by who we think of as "OSMF". When it comes to projects, what we've seen work in the past is not OSMF itself organizing projects, but OSMF creating the space and "facilitating" the OSM community to get involved and make change. For instance, the website redesign wasn't organized by OSMF, but done within the OSM/OSMF community. We should look for leadership from our community, especially local chapters, to drive change. Facilitation vs support is a subtle change in posture, but one which I think can unlock a lot of good growth and expansion of OSM.
--Mikel (talk) 15:56, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

We have a lot of OSM based mobile apps, so I think we don't need to invest time on it. I think we should add new functionality to website, because it is our main showcase and it can attract more people to use our data and to contribute. I think the commercial use of OSM is increasing and going well. So I think the main role of OSMF is to serve the community and work to attract more contributors to the project.
--Wille (talk) 00:26, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

OSM, for me, is the data and the community. The future has to be improving both. As I said in my position statement, OpenStreetMap will become the default map of the world; that's the big future. I don't think we as a Board need to be "getting into mobile", for example, however, as there are plenty of people doing that for OSM already. As I said in my statement, the OSMF needs to be making it more appealing to get data into the database and out again by users and product providers.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 12:12, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
The future of the OpenStreetMap is the same as the present, only bigger. The database will continue to grow, in some years it will surpass a hundred gigabytes in pbf. And we would have to make new tools to work with that, new visualizations and tutorials. I don't think OSMF should be tasked with any of that: it will continue to support and protect, although maybe more that it does now.
--Zverik (talk) 09:53, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Board standing down, are you concerned?

The OSMF board members seem to stand down a lot more now, as I illustrated in a blog post at

Are you concerned that the OSMF board is not a place where people wish to stay? You want to be elected to the board now, but do you think you will want to be elected after ~3 years of serving the OSMF?

-LastGrape/Gregory 14:11, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't see this trend. 3 of 4 Board Members stepping down have stood for re-election at least once.
Have no idea myself what I will want to do after 3 years, that's a long way from now. I do think that a 3 year term is long, and we might discuss moving this down to 2 year terms.
--Mikel (talk) 15:56, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm also having trouble seeing this trend. I do think that serving on the OSMF Board is a huge commitment though and those that undertake it need to be mindful of their needs as well as the needs of the OSMF. We need to look after each other and people have to look after themselves; identifying burnout and dealing with it is important. I also think that standing down from the Board is more preferable to simply never attending meetings or never conducting any useful work; I would rather people stand down when they've had enough and be replaced rather than act as a drag on everyone else. What I'm saying is that the health of individuals is important, as is the health of the Board; if standing down is a way of improving he health of both, then I have no concern.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 11:17, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

1) No. 2) Who knows?
--Martijn van Exel(talk) 16:10, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

As Mikel, I also can't see this trend, it is hard to tell what happens in 2-4 years and I'm not afraid at all about a potential unhealthy place. On the one hand, having different opinions and potentially heated debates doesn't make the board a unhealthy place and on the other hand I have worked with some of the current board members very well and looking at the candidates list, I'm not afraid this will change ;-)
--Peda (talk) 17:43, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I like the blog, thanks for sharing! I think that depends on the reason why these board member standing down, unhealthy environment might be one of them but surely there are another reasons as well. Whether I want to be elected again in the next 3 years, I will tell you if I got elected :)
--Yantisa (talk) 14:03, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

People also don't hurry to be on the Board: many good candidates who stood for the election and failed didn't try again. That's normal: there is a life outside OSM, and sometimes it prevents from doing work for the community. I am not sure I will go for another term, depends on how the Board works and if I would be able to change anything. Even then, stepping down means freeing a seat for a fresh and willing candidate (I hope we will continue to see these).
--Zverik (talk) 09:59, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Time spent on OSM activities

How much time do you currently spend on OSM-related activities (mapping, teaching, OSMF stuff, etc)? How much time will you spend if elected to the OSMF Board?

Ideally answer these two questions as an approximate 'hours per month' so they can easily be compared across candidates.

-- LastGrape/Gregory 14:52, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I can't say exactly. 20-40 hours. OSM has been part of my jobs, so can dedicate significant time. Don't expect this to change if elected to the OSMF Board, just might shuffle some things around.
--Mikel (talk) 15:56, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I cannot give a number of hours dedicated to OSM nowadays. This year I tried to make at least one edit per day. I was able to make edits until now in more or less 270 days. I organized 6 local meetings, attended to SOTM LatAm and worked on other projects. I think I can spend approximately 25 to 30 hours per month with the OSMF Board.
--Wille (talk) 00:17, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I have no idea how much time I currently spend on OSM. If elected, however, I will dedicate a set number of hours per week, hopefully within some set periods of the day, to OSMF activities.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 11:20, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

It's probably 40 hours per week of which perhaps 10 hours directly on OSM (writing diaries, mapping, organizing events, OSM US).
--Martijn van Exel (talk) 16:11, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

This is hard to tell and it differs depending on my other work load. But I think I currently invest about 40-80 hours per month for OSM (including reading MLs,...). My time invested into Wochennotiz and DWG should not suffer (~30h/month) so the rest can be spent on the board, depending on the work load.
--Peda (talk) 17:43, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Since my day job closely related to OSM, I guess I can say around 20-30 hours a week. If I'm elected as board probably it would add about 3-4 hour/week during night time.
--Yantisa (talk) 14:09, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

I spend very little time on mapping these days, 2-3 hours a week. That's normal: the more you help OpenStreetMap, the less time you spend in an editor. And if to count all the things I do, including my daily work at MAPS.ME (which will noticeably affect OSM in the coming year), editing news, writing scripts, participating in the IRC and the Forum, reading articles, answering map-related mails, so it is all the time, except when I'm sleeping or with my family (or watching Doctor Who).
--Zverik (talk) 10:03, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

OSM License

There are been discussions regarding what license OSM should have, especially ODbL vs public license. What is your position?

--Severin (talk) 00:01, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I am in favor of ODBL and its share alike clause.
--Wille (talk) 00:08, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I think the biggest issue we face is confusion about how the ODbL applies, unclear processes around decision making and the license, and lack of steady legal advice to deal with license discussions efficiently.
--Mikel (talk) 00:54, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

The licence change procedure was no fun at all and, I think, was damaging to the community and the project. I think we've recovered from this and have moved on, but I'm still OSM friends with the Redaction Bot. I think we need to take a pragmatic approach: The licence we have is the licence we have. We would be foolish to try to change this again. We may need to work on education and communication regarding the licence, however, but this can all be done in a positive way.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 11:10, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I am with Mikel on this one.
--Martijn van Exel (talk) 16:12, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I choose to go with ODbL. I have read both arguments in the mailing list couple of months ago and I am in favour with ODbL. On the other hand I also acknowledge the issues around its legal implications with commercial entities. Probably one model that we can learn is Linux Foundation, here is one of the statement from their About page: "We are here to provide the crucial services and collaborative infrastructure to continue Linux's advancement and protection, and we're here to serve as a tour guide for companies who need to build an open source strategy for their business and make the most of the new collaborative software economy". Remember that Linux license still GPLv2, from 1994 up until now, which share similar ideas with ODbL.
--Yantisa (talk) 15:06, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

For a long time I've been a public domain proponent, and still have the userbox on my wiki profile, but in 2013 I've grown to like and protect ODbL. Mostly because of an ongoing PD discussion initiated by Mapbox, which made some points clear. I'm all for changing the license, e.g. for a OD-BY or a degrading license which Steve proposed, but even without that I'm worried about lots of data in our database with incompatible licenses, just waiting to ruin the fun again.
--Zverik (talk) 10:08, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

OSM and trademarks

Frederik Ramm explained that the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (a NGO incorporated in the USA) tried to trademark its name. What is your position regarding this specific topic? What is your position regarding trademark for any organization whose name includes OSM?

--Severin (talk) 00:01, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I think this could have been handled better. As I recall, the HOT Board (which the questioner actually served on at the time, I had resigned earlier in the year) decided to register trademarks, and had every intention of conferring directly with OSMF in the process. Due to turnover within HOT, this didn't go as planned. So, my position is that communication in such matters is essential, and that for HOT in particular, can still be worked out to everyone's satisfaction.
--Mikel (talk) 00:54, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Severin, this is a pretty sucky question. I was not on the HOT Board when this decision was made, but you were, so I think it would be best if you told us how you felt about it. I have not seen any minuted objection of trademarking HOT from yourself, for example, but would love to. I don't think answering a leading question about a specific topic, a topic you were involved with but I was not, would be very useful. I would answer a question about future trademark actions, but this has not been asked.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 11:05, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

If you remove that it's possibly a personal attack, this is a good question. I'd like to expand the question and ask candidates how strong they think the OSMF should be with it's trademarks. They should be aware (even if out of the loop) about the HOT example above. There is also the board game that prominent community members seemed to reject on a basis of quality. Details at Talk:WikiProject Catalan/OpenStreetMap The Boardgame. There may be other situations, but lets not go back into specifics. --LastGrape/Gregory 11:28, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for providing a question on this topic that was not so leading. Of course, the OSMF should actively protect it's trademarks and the Board needs to do everything it can to make this happen. I'd like to be clear about what I mean by "protecting", as I don't mean that the OSMF should be only keeping hold of the trademark, but also allowing (or licencing) it's use for beneficial purposes. The previous HOT example could be used here, but also I'm thinking of local chapters or other interest groups. My general thinking is that the OSMF is there to support OSM, but it's not able to do all the work that makes this possible; if other groups are supporting OSM, and have an argument to use the name, we should discuss this with them.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 11:46, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

HOT is closely related to OSM, so I don't see any problem with OSM as a part of their title, but they should have asked. It's just a matter of courtesy. And such questions should be resolved on a case-by-case basis. I believe anything with "OSM" in it should benefit the map and the community, which the boardgame does not.
--Zverik (talk) 10:14, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Independance of the OSMF

What do you feel about having OSMF board members being or having been part of governements Foreign affairs or multi million (or billion) organizations with mapping activities, regarding a potential breach for the independance of the OSMF?

--Severin (talk) 00:01, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I feel absolutely fine about it, since this description pretty squarely describes me :). This is basically a repeat and more pointed question on Conflict of Interest. : To elaborate, I have worked with the US State Department, Mapbox, Anarchists, HOT, small local non-profits, UN agencies, open source hackers, other governments, stateless people, and slum dwellers. I have even worked with the questioner. In all cases, I am a tireless and passionate advocate for OpenStreetMap, for embracing this community, this phenomenal, mind blowing, world changing project. I am well aware of how to balance multiple interests, how to act transparently, how to recuse myself when conflict arises. In OSMF, as elsewhere, I always lead with and never compromise my true, personal beliefs.
--Mikel (talk) 00:54, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Great question. The OSMF Board needs the best leaders it can get. I'll repeat that: Literally, the best leaders it can get. It should be no surprise that some of these people are successful in government or business. I don't see this as threatening the independence of the OSMF in any way - we have a CoI procedures to deal with that - we just need to make sure that we get the best talent we can.
Iknowjoseph (talk) 11:01, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I wouldn't be running if I even remotely perceived this as a problem.
--Martijn van Exel (talk) 16:14, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

In principle I prefer to have 'unbiased' board members. So I prefer people not working for Mapbox, HOT, Geofabrik,... However, I wouldn't act blindly on this and I'm willing to make exceptions if I know a person or a person's work well. Still, we should be wary to avoid a situation where a majority of the board is controlled by members of a single organization.
--Peda (talk) 17:43, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

--Zverik (talk) 10:15, 4 December 2015 (UTC)