Talk:Foundation/AGM17/Election to Board

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Questions to OSMF board candidates

Here are questions from the OSM community 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. See the elections from 2014, 2015 and 2016 for reference.

A request to those asking questions: Please be respectful in your tone and try to phrase questions in an open way without already implying a certain answer or trick questions which are superficially about something else than what you want to know. Also you should give enough context to your questions, possibly with links, so they can be understood by any interested community member and not just insiders familiar with the specific subject and by any candidate so both long term active members and newcomers have an equal chance of giving you an accurate and honest answer.

Questions on questions

I think we have outgrown this format of asking questions of board candidates. With over 800 OSMF members, I don't see how we could use this format to collect and sort out all the possible questions, in a way that doesn't completely overload the candidates and the members. At the very least, we need to limit the number of questions posed by individual members, so that everyone has an opportunity. Even better would be to move to another format, like an AMA, or a series of live chats. --Mikel

Wow, that is quite a statement considering the introduction above which gives candidates every freedom to address questions from the community in any form they see fit. The OSM community is obviously also free to approach the candidates in any other form. What you call outgrown others might call time honored tradition. Moving to a different, likely less egalitarian format for questioning (live chats would for example clearly discriminate people not fluent in English on both sides) would be a big step back.
And even if the questions below were meaningless and excessive (which they are not) - it would be a good test for candidates how they are able to cope with such a situation.
Finally it seems to me that trying to change the procedure while the call for candidates is already running and questions have already been asked reeks a bit of an attempt to politically influence the process (and has the potential to sidetrack from the important process of candidates getting in contact with the community about their ideas and intentions). If you want to develop the pre-election discourse there are better times to do so than now.
--Imagico (talk) 12:27, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
Whoa there Imagico, don't go overboard over a simple comment. All I'm suggesting is that a format where 16 questions are posed by one person might not be fair to the community or the candidates. I think an AMA would be great. -Mikel
The main difference between what we do here and an AMA (meaning Ask Me Anything by the way - for those who don't know) is that here all candidates get the same questions and can answer in parallel. An AMA is by definition a 1:n situation (one candidate answers questions from anyone who wants to ask). This comes with a lot of problems in election situations (i.e. where you need to compare candidates) - like the possibility for astroturfing (people flooding the questionnaire of their favorite candidate with favorable questions).
I think there is room for improvement to the way candidate nomination and campaigning is performed for the OSMF board - in particular it would be good to prepare a primer and a template for a kind of OSM related CV to potential candidates to avoid the need for basic questions (because based on the primer candidates would likely already have provided this info in advance) but the time to do that is after the election IMO - not now.
--Imagico (talk) 13:01, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
I think it's an interesting idea. Since for me AMA is synonymous with Reddit, I've posted an AMA there. Joost schouppe (talk) 18:03, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

May I suggest we shelve this discussion until after the AGM, because it would be unfair to everyone involved to attempt to change the rules while the game is ongoing. Having a discussion on how we expect candidates to present themselves and just how far the community may, or should, go in "grilling" them is certainly valuable; let's take this to the osmf-talk list after this election cycle. --Frederik Ramm (talk) 13:27, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

Well, I am not shy to answer your questions and will do so after work hours in the coming days. As for "grilling", I've worked in technology for years. I once had 11 - 1 hour interviews for an organization (paid job). The process, like others, could use a refresh. Truly, I am also happy to have an online chat or AMA as well. Nothing replaces the Human API. As for my CV - see my linked in account: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heatherleson/ HeatherLeson (talk)
@HeatherLeson For your information: linkedin.com is banned in Russia. Please copy your CV to your OSM wiki personal page or somewhere else. --vvoovv (talk) 17:39, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, agree, we can improve this process. Frederik, sure makes sense to wait. There's never enough time though -- hope we get to post AGM! -Mikel
(live chats would for example clearly discriminate people not fluent in English on both sides)) live audio/video chats could have a harmful affect on diversity, by introducing unconscience biases. From someone's voice/image you can nearly always determine a person's gender, ethnicity, race, class, etc. Orchestras have had success interviewing candidates behind screens so that the interviewers cannot tell the applicants gender. Audio/video chat also discriminates against people without good quality internet connectivity, without powerful enough equipment, or without a quiet place to conduct such an interview. Update: (How did I forget this?) And of course audio/video chats completly exclude people who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing. Rorym (talk) 15:20, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for this professional consideration, especially about discrimination as this topic is very close to my heart. This is an open community. As a leader, I am accustomed to people watching videos as one channel of communication. This interview is by 800 people, so it follows that everyone would like content in various forms. As such, I am more than happy to respond to questions on multiple community and communication channels. As such, I propose that I answer all the questions here. And, if people would like to talk via skype or mumble, I am happy to do so. Regarding translation tools, I am glad you brought that up. Surely with so many bright contributors we can find ways to connect across languages. HeatherLeson (talk)
There are now many communication methods popular with the OSM community, and it can be difficult to keep track of them. A time-honored tradition was to copy questions here that might get asked/answered elsewhere, I was just about to do some of that. This gives a chance for all the candidates to see all public questions easily. It's also a chance for them to answer all questions, even if they were directed to a specific candidate. Short & simple answers are great, or referring to other answers & manifestos or external links. Less stuff to read = more time to map. - LastGrape/Gregory

Your activities

It is sometimes difficult to get an overview over the activities of someone you don't know. That's why I ask you, the candidates, to tell us, the members how you contributed the project you want to represent. If you have answered these questions in your manifesto, just drop a short notice as your answer.

Your activities as mapper

Please give me a short list of your contributions to OSM (mapping only). Have you edited using multiple OSM accounts which are not listed on your user page? You do not have to reveal their names.
--Nakaner (talk) 20:23, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Overview Compiled from http://www.hdyc.neis-one.org as Nov. 30

Contribution of candidates
Heather Leson joost schouppe David Dean pnorman
Type Casual Heavy Heavy Great
Mapping this year 4 202 147 58
Changesets this year 192 816 2,025 158
Vowels in username 5 5 4 2
Created Modified Created Modified Created Modified Created Modified
Nodes 1,263 146 514,243 32,471 179,827 94,839 174,711 60,365
Ways 313 45 36,342 30,075 31,523 37,865 24,648 38,882
Relations 0 0 307 2178 347 355 1169 1936
Ways with addr. 6 0 150 796 1764 15906 2342 3863
Building 302 0 2,143 767 17,185 16,596 6,922 4,557
Changesets 331 5,349 3,028 2,904
Amount of changes
< 15 328 2,625 1,493 1,090
>15 < 150 3 1,721 794 1,116
> 150 0 1,003 741 698


Thanks for this question. My OSM account is HeatherLeson, there are tools to discover how many edits I have made. In my diary entry, I note that there are multiple ways to contribute to OSM. I would like to propose a revision of your question - "How many times have you hosted mapathons (How many participants))or presented OSM." This would be great KPIs to add to the wiki and to any candidate's interview. Response: The first time I hosted OSM as part of an event was in 2010. Thanks Richard Weait for bringing OSM to my life and for introducing it to the community. There was 60 participants. The last time was today where we had 35 people. Many of them were first time mappers. OSM has been part of my events since 2010. On average I have hosted 20 events a year with about 30 - 150 participants. OSM is in countless talks and presentations. You can find these on youtube and on slideshare. Thanks again.
--HeatherLeson (talk)
"Sorry, there is no user with the name HeatherLeson". It seems HeatherLeson might just be your OSM wiki account, and "Heather Leson" (with a space) is your OSM account. There are certainly multiple ways to contribute to OSM, and different levels of frequency, but mapping is also a key part of this and it's nice to see what candidates focus on. What holds you back from mapping more in OpenStreetMap? (Question open to all candidates) - LastGrape/Gregory 13:21, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
For ease of the readers - the user account in question can be found here - and HDYC. --Imagico (talk) 13:31, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
Heather seems to be concerned with 300 4-corner buildings giving 1200 nodes and 300 changesets. --Sakudo (talk) 14:38, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the data and the chart. It might be more balanced to have the table headers be more gradient and less of a judgement call. Meaning: "casual", "heavy" and "great" does not exactly read as equal terms. how about: "Casual", "Frequent", and "Advanced". --HeatherLeson (talk) 20:03, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
The table headers too are defined by http://www.hdyc.neis-one.org ; not my wording. --Sakudo (talk) 08:45, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
I've been editing at least every other day since the end of 2012. Because JOSM reminds me too much of work, I mostly use Potlatch, iD and sometimes Mapcontrib or Level0. My mapping work is quite varied: lots of roads, surveying paths, fixing smaller things; but also hiking relations and admin boundaries
--Joost schouppe (talk) 20:21, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
I've been editing around Brisbane since I started in September 2007, and organising local events since 2008, although things went a bit quiet from 2011 until mid 2017. Since restarting, I've gotten fairly involved in HOT mapping, but I still focus on local mapping and local organising as I think OSM is strongest when it is about local mappers. My OSM account is 'David Dean', and you are welcome to peruse my stats.
--DavidDean (talk) 05:05, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
What happened with your interest between 2011 and 2017? Why did you develop another interest in mapping as of July 2017? Why this abrupt change in interest in July 2017? --Sakudo (talk) 21:27, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
I've always been most interested in going out and surveying and mapping what's on the ground, and organising events in the community. Armchair mapping from aerial has had a lesser attraction to me. Back in 2011, my interest and the local interest in events seemed to die out: I had a perception that my area was complete (at least as far as roads and major landuse went). A bit earlier than July I had a contact from the Royal Society of Queensland about organising some mapping events with them, and that is what reinvigorated my interest. I started mapping buildings around my area, and discovered StreetComplete, and I'm still going strong!
--DavidDean (talk) 23:29, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
I've been mapping since 2010, and map in Vancouver, and the Pacific Northwest in the US. Since I now work from home, I'm not outside as much, so I get a lot less mapping done than I'd like. These days, a lot of the mapping is POIs when I'm out for other reasons, typically using business cards and receipts. As part of the DWG, I do more technical stuff including reverts, redactions, and other repairs. Most of that work is done from other accounts and is not mapping in the traditional sense. I'm working on building the local community so we can organize mapping parties, but this doesn't happen in the winter.
My mapping is done with JOSM, iD, notes on the website, and special-purpose tools. I've been trying StreetComplete and find it useful for some mapping tasks.
Pnorman (talk) 02:45, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Your activities as developer

Please give me a short list of your contributions to OSM as software developer. Which OSM related software and websites do/did you develop? Please give me a short list and/or a link to your Github profile. Are there any other open source projects you contributed and you want to be known?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:23, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

I am not a software developer and have not contributed code to OSM or to any other OS software projects. Software and internet technologies have been part of my life since 1991. My first email account was Pine and I had Freenet at Carleton University. Since that time, I have worked on software projects throughout my career. Details here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heatherleson/ Github https://github.com/heatherleson. Most of my work in software has been ITIL focused - change management and incident management with dashes of user experience and functional specs. Oh, a few years in tech support: "Did you plug the modem in?"
Regarding OS projects, my contributions include being part of the initial volunteer team on Open Badges with Mozilla and running multiple sessions at Mozfest. At Ushahidi, I lead the user experience work for v3 and was part of the team that turned the base default to OSM. At Open Knowledge, I worked on mutiple activities promoting open data/open source - OKCON/OKFest and School of Data activities. At Qatar Foundation, I supported a team of researchers who used OSM data for urban resilience studies.eg. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sofiane_Abbar. I ran the first ever OpenData Day in Qatar followed by speaking at the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Digital Incubation Center on how open data and open maps could help startups. At IFRC, I ran the first ever open data day and make OSM a feature of every single event. The organization just signed up for Missing Maps which means that OSM is getting used for programs. Over the years, I have written articles for opensource.com, World Economic Forum and Civicus data shift - featuring about OSM. I've been to OSCON 3 times and hosted sessions about digital humanitarians, including OSM.
http://civicus.org/thedatashift/learning-zone/community-essay/citizen-generated-data-maps/ https://opensource.com/users/hleson https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/how-is-social-media-helping-disaster-response/
--HeatherLeson (talk)
@HeatherLeson For your information: linkedin.com is banned in Russia. Please copy your CV to your OSM wiki personal page or somewhere else. --vvoovv (talk) 17:43, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
The profile on Github does not imply "working on software projects throughout a career" as a developer (see section title): no relevant activities, mostly comments and issues opened, 2017 no activities, 2016 2 comments, no coding contributions found.
Information on LinkedIn-Profile is not accessible to the general public here. --Sakudo (talk) 20:38, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
In Heather's defence, GitHub doesn't show contributions to private repos. An example of one dev, one view public, the other private. Though why link to it...
Exactly. The profile does not produce any evidence of the statement Heather made. --Sakudo (talk) 21:22, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
Fascinating. I did say I am not a software developer. Here is my cv -[1]. I put my github account because they asked for it. First software project that I worked on was in 2000 for a massive website redesign (functional specs, wireframes, so many development meetings)(there were more but that was awhile ago), at Ushahidi (2011 - 2013) I ran the user feedback and worked with a user experience for a major software release (in addition to all the release management (see the blog and the tickets), and lastly, at Qatar Computing I worked with colleagues on a number of releases and tests. As most who work in software know, it is not just developers that contribute to products. If you would like further evidence, go through the public repos or call my bosses. Some of them are reading. Thanks.--HeatherLeson (talk) 19:47, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
Heather, your Likedin CV is only accissible to those OSMF members who have a Likedin account. Could you please make your CV public in order that all voters can have the same level of knowledge? --Nakaner (talk) 14:50, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Not a developer, though I do program stuff in SPSS. Being involved in OSM has pushed me to learn new things, and I've picked up a bit of Overpass QL, Python, Javascript etc along the way. But not nearly enough to actually build stuff myself. I understand enough about programming to be able to make understandable feature requests - you'll find my github account to be more about Issues than Pull requests. My GIS experience is useful to help with setting up algorithms, e.g. I'm deeply involved in the Road completion project. I'm also quite happy with tools like Mapcontrib and UMAP, which bring a lot of power to non-programmers who aren't afraid of a query.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 20:31, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
I have done a bit of hacking on StreetComplete, and Development Seed's Skynet project with a few relatively minor pull-requests accepted. I will continue to keep working on machine-learning approaches to OSM contribution that everyone can use to improve their own local area.
--DavidDean (talk) 05:10, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
[My Github profile https://github.com/pnorman] has most of my work, but [Openhub https://github.com/pnorman] provides a good overview of my activities. I am a software developer, heavily involved in development of core OpenStreetMap software. I am a maintainer of osm2pgsql, the standard way to load OSM data into a database, and OpenStreetMap Carto, the standard stylesheet on openstreetmap.org. I have also made significant contributions to the API, vector tiles, and how to use the various tools together. I also have expertise in PostGIS, web cartography, and a few other areas. Most of my work is open-source, but I've done some work for clients that is not, mainly to do with how to better use PostGIS.
As a maintainer, a lot of my work is coordinating cross-project issues and connecting the right people together.
Pnorman (talk) 02:45, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

OSMF Working Groups

How are you involved in the working groups of the OSMF? What did you do there exactly?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:23, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

I joined the OSM community in 2010. During that time, I was on the Board of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (4 years) (general member, President and Secretary) plus actively participated in the Governance Working Group. Until now, I have not participated in the OSMF working groups. Commitment is important and I only had so much volunteer time to offer in lieu of my job(s) and the 5 - 10 hours a week that I was donating to OSM. Now, I wish to donate this time to OMSF.
--HeatherLeson (talk)
I have only been involved in a working group through my support of the SotM in Brussels. Most of my "formal" OSM work is with OSM Belgium, where I'm on the first board. Informally, I've been working with people from many different communities.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 20:39, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
I have not been involved in any OSMF Working Groups to date. I am heavily involved in local organisation in Brisbane, and Australia, but we haven't quite got to a formal organisation point yet (soon, hopefully!).
--DavidDean (talk) 05:12, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
I am on the Data Working Group (DWG), License Working Group (LWG), and Membership Working Group (MWG), as well as the board. In the past I have been on the EWG and Management Team. The DWG work has been a mix of everyday cases, large complicated cases, and some policy work. For a time I was the main DWG person for disputes involving Asian islands, but have passed that off to someone else. On the LWG, I've helped with the trademark policy, license compatibility, and infringement of OSM's rights by third parties. I've been less involved in the MWG, and mainly joined to help get it set up and running.
Pnorman (talk) 02:45, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Other OSM related activity

Which other OSM related activity do you want to be known because it is not mentioned in your responses above?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:23, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

To be honest, I have been thinking about getting a compass or OSM tattoo. Surely there is a page of designs somewhere? OSM has been included in my job remits and volunteer time since 2010.
--HeatherLeson (talk)
My OSM profile is filled to the brink with stuff you should read.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 20:42, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm getting pretty good at operating StreetComplete with one hand while I'm walking the dog around my neighbourhood.
--DavidDean (talk) 05:20, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
I help run the local community meetups and regularly give OSM-related talks, either at OSM conferences, or other conferences. At non-OSM conferences people frequently approach me with questions about OSM. A lot of my work involves directing people to the right resources or other people.
Pnorman (talk) 02:45, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

OSM and business

Please answer the questions in this section even if you answered them in your manifesto.

Note: The term business also includes non-profit and charity organisations with a turnover of more than EUR 300,000 per year.

Your personal business involvement

Do you use OSM for business purposes? Do you earn money by developing OSM-related software/websites? Do you earn money by editing at OSM (also known as paid mapping)? Are you involved in any business as a volunteer ?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:23, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

OSM is used for Missing Maps activities and IFRC is a member of Missing Maps. I have not paid people for mapping. Though, I have paid for food and drink out of my own pocket on many occassions. This question seems to place a difference on contributions that we should tackle as a community. How would linux rate this or Mozilla or ubuntu? Business is one stakeholder in OSM. NGOs are one stakeholder. Each of us are individual stakeholders.
--HeatherLeson (talk)
I don't make money from working with OSM (except for a one time data analysis job). I've been trying to get OSM used more at work (data analysis for government local policy). I don't do any formal volunteering.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 20:44, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't make any money from OSM, or from anything related to OSM. I am working (pro-bono so far) on a research proposal related to machine-learning and HOT/OSM, so that may change in the future. I do organise a lot of local OSM events, but all expenses have been paid by myself, or occasionally other community members, so far.
--DavidDean (talk) 05:26, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
I am self-employed, and most of the software development work I do is in some way related to OpenStreetMap, including contributions to core OSM tool. My paid work generally has to do with consuming OSM data or the broader ecosystem of software that has grown up around OSM. My current largest contract is with Wikimedia Foundation and involves their maps team, but is unrelated to Wikimedia volunteers editing OSM. Given my past and the length of jobs in this industry, I expect parts of this to change over the next three years - it certainly has over the last three!
Pnorman (talk) 03:02, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Motivation to join OSM

How did you join OSM? Who introduced to OSM? Why did you join OSM?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:23, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

I was sold on OSM the moment I saw the video of Kate Chapman demoing it in 2010. Then, a short week later, Richard Weait provided a great in person intro for me and many others at a hackathon that I ran. I joined because the impact of OSM resonated with me and I wanted to help more people get engaged.
--HeatherLeson (talk)
It's all Osmands fault. Got a smartphone, needed a decent map, spotted a mistake. The rest is history. If you want a more serious reply, read my What I like about OpenStreetMap diary post or my Mapper of the Month interview.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 20:47, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
It was so long ago now. I think I got into it after I found all the geocaches near my work at the time, and needed another activity for my lunch-time walks. I find I get the most motivation in organising events, and trying to build up local communities. I restarted this year when I helped the Royal Geographic Society of Brisbane organise a series of events for their members, and caught the bug again. I've mapped every day for 136 days straight now, and I've a bit worried about what will happen if I stop!
--DavidDean (talk) 05:29, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
I wandered into OSM in 2010, stuck around, and became more and more involved. While I was in school, both technical work and mapping were hobbies, but the technical work has turned into a career. Mapping remains a fun hobby, as it is for most mappers.
Pnorman (talk) 03:02, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Conflicts of Interest

In case you work for or are involved with companies/organizations that are working with OSM in some form (see related question above) how do you plan to ensure your work on the board is not affected by conflicts of interest? Note in the past candidates and board members have most commonly answered this question kind of evasively by stating that if they become aware of a conflict of interest they are going to recuse themseves from decisions. I am looking for answers here beyond this, in particular how you think possible conflicts of interest can be avoided where you are not aware they exist.

A practical example to illustrate the relevance: Recently the possible regulation of organized editing activities in OSM has been a topic in the OSMF and the board has tasked the DWG (Data Working Group) with developing a policy. Despite the fact that several board members are employed by companies that would likely be affected by such a policy there has been no declaration of a potential conflict of interest so far.
--Imagico (talk) 21:50, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

My employer is IFRC, you can find the code of conduct and other policies on ifrc.org. When I was on the HOT board and topics/decisions involved my employer, I recused myself. This is a practice as per Robert's Rules of Order. Regarding the 'data policy' discussion, this is one of the reasons that I want to be part of governance. OSM could review how other open source organizations manage this. They often have businesses involved in their work. Lastly, this question with the clarification seems a bit 'loaded'. One priority that I have is that we revise Codes of conduct. We are individuals - professional and, hopefully, kind. Often, I have read OSM comments that range from kind to 'accussatory' to 'downright mean'. We and our mission are so much bigger than that. There are solutions and conversations to happen across all types of conflicts.
--HeatherLeson (talk)
My work is sufficiently independent from OSM to ensure this won't be a problem. If you can imagine a situation where it wouldn't, willing to think about it.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 20:51, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure what we can do to avoid conflicts we don't know about. Do you have something in particular in mind Imagico? At present I don't do any paid work that would cause a conflict with OSM. I do want to perform (paid) research into the impact of machine-learning on local OSM contributions, but I would hope that I could use that to inform any role with OSMF in that regard, provided all relationships are openly declared, rather than having to recuse myself entirely from such a broad discussion topic.
--DavidDean (talk) 05:44, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
With my specific question about conflicts of interest you are not aware they exist i am looking for ideas how to deal with the topic that do not depend on the conflicted person being aware of the conflict. This is extremely important for a framework that reliably manages the matter. See also the four stages of competence.
--Imagico (talk) 10:21, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
I guess the best approach is to have all commercial interests (including possible future potential conflicts) declared clearly up front that could possibly be related to OSMF, regardless of current roles in the OSMF board. That would enable potential conflicts to be unearthed by any interested party, not just the declaree? I'm not sure how well that would work in practice, but it might help?
--DavidDean (talk) 22:29, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
For someone who works as much with OSM data as I do, I do not have many conflicts of interest. Most of my clients use OSM like any other data consumer. I have kept the board informed when I start spending most of my time working for one client, and take an aggressive stance on not taking part in discussions where I have a conflict. In the past, this would mean removing myself from the meeting or emails for that part of it. Now, with board meetings open, I would remain to listen, just like a member of the public.
In practice, I get more potential conflicts through WGs, where I regularly do not take part in some discussions or work.
I have started the work on contacting a lawyer to get the board better informed about the legal requirements for conflict of interest, as I do not believe we are currently meeting them.
Pnorman (talk) 03:02, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Conferences

How often did you attend SotM?

How often did you attend the State of the Map conference? Please mention the years and the locations. How often did someone pay you the expenses? Who paid the expenses?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:23, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

SotM US 2014 - I paid
SotM Taiwan 2015 - Taiwanese community - Thanks!
SOtM (Brussels) 2016 - I paid
HOT Summit (Brussels) 2016 -I paid
SOtM Asia (Nepal) 2017 - I was there already for work.
--HeatherLeson (talk)
SotM at Buenos Aires 2014 - flight ticket LPB-EZE paid by ABF research. I used their software to present statistics about OSM.
SotM at Brussels 2016 - self-funded. Was part of the organizing comite.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 20:57, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
I have not yet had the chance to attend a SotM conference.
--DavidDean (talk) 05:45, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
I have been to SOTM in 2016 and 2017. Some SOTM conference expenses have been paid by the OSMF. Outside of working meals and shared cab rides, no third parties have paid for my attendance.
Pnorman (talk) 03:08, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Did you attend a local OSM conference?

How often did you attend other OSM conferences conference? Please mention the years and the locations. How often did someone pay you the expenses? Who paid the expenses?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:23, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

See above.
--HeatherLeson (talk)
I've attended a few local Foss4g events and organized an OSM track at the last Foss4g.be. No money involved.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 20:58, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
We haven't managed to get a local OSM conference off the ground here yet, so I haven't had the chance to attend any local conferences either. I do organise a lot of mapping events, but nothing bigger than that, yet.
--DavidDean (talk) 05:46, 25 November 2017 (UTC)


I have been to all SOTM US since SOTM US 2012. I've also been to a Seattle conference and non-OSM conferences in related areas. Outside of working meals and shared cab rides, I have paid for everything myself. In some years, this has been tax deductable.
Pnorman (talk) 03:12, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Trademark OpenStreetMap

What is your opinion on the draft of the current draft of the Trademark Policy?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:23, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Note: the LWG has a couple of mainly editorial changes to the draft that haven't been reflected in the wiki version yet, for now pls refer to the github version of the draft SimonPoole (talk) 13:32, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
The discussion about this showed that it needs to be implemented quite carefully. There are some very valid criticisms of the draft, they should be fully addressed before even heading to implementation. It looks really challenging to write something that stops the few cases we really care about, and does not place an unnecessary burden on the community. Joost schouppe (talk) 07:54, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
The draft posted by Simon Poole above looks reasonable, but as Joost said, we need to be very careful that we don't put any (actual or perceived) burden on local organisers. For example, Section 4.2 might be improved by repeating that it doesn't apply for local Mapping Parties or Mapathons (Section 3.1), rather than expecting a reader to have to follow the chain of references around the document to understand if they are affected.
--DavidDean (talk) 05:55, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't think we've explained the need for a policy well, and how it is more permissive than other similar organizations. Because I'm on the LWG, I'm providing detailed feedback through the WG process.
Pnorman (talk) 03:15, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
The working group did their due diligence. I have no changes for this and thank them for their work. That being said, I agree with the above comments from fellow candidates. --HeatherLeson (talk) 19:46, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Board Term Limits

Should the terms of members of the board of OSMF be limited?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:23, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

The current debate on the OSMF talk list is interesting. Term limits sound obvious, and we should all strive to lead for the shortest time necessary. I do believe it's important to get the basics of your organisation right. But it's also important to not spend all your time solving theoretical problems. If there is a clearly defined proposal with wide community support, I would support it.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 21:30, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
The larger question that should be dealt with first is - what is leadership and leadership development in OSMF? Have we created pathways for leaders to grow? Have we considered mentorship and recruiting? To be honest, the term limit conversation is indicative of some larger questions. Why is it hard to be a leader in OSMF? What is the user experience on the mailing lists, other channels, diary comments, and working groups? We should be working on these items first before we consider term limits as a top priority. In summary, the root cause of candidates and terms may be more than just the length of time someone as a leader - a volunteer leader. Let's do research before we focus on terms. If we only have x amount of time, what is the biggger priority for OSMF?
https://communityroundtable.com/what-we-do/research/community-maturity-model/
http://wiki.opensource.org/bin/Projects/FLOSS+Foundations+Board+Selection
Ubuntu http://community.ubuntu.com/community-structure/governance/
OSS watch http://oss-watch.ac.uk/resources/governancemodels
--HeatherLeson (talk)
Since you do not seem to have a position on this question (yet) because in your opinion other questions need to be dealt with first maybe you can elaborate on your position on these other questions (not necessarily here). I see you listing a lot of topics you consider of interest and important here and in your manifesto but can hardly find any statement on your position on any of them. If your intention is to work on certain topics people want and need to know your positions on these topics.
--Imagico (talk) 12:45, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
My position is - we need to determine why term limits matter more than all the other items that the Board should prioritize. On a more personal note, last night I spent 2 hours answer most of your and your colleagues questions. Tonight I am back at it answering more. Truly,I appreciate that you have some priorities. I would be happy to hear from other members too.
--HeatherLeson (talk)
I don't have a strong opinion on this, at this stage. In a wider political sense, I think term limits can be useful, but here they need to be backed up with sufficient interest from other OSMF community members to stand for the vacated role. Do we have enough interested OSMF members waiting in the wings for Board membership that its worth forcing great, hardworking existing board member out?
--DavidDean (talk) 06:00, 25 November 2017 (UTC)


I support the idea of term limits. We do not want someone to become a "fixture" on the OSM board and view their presence as required, as has happened in the past. However, term limits have been a problem to implement. I don't consider this the biggest priority right now, because we've had reasonable turnover in the board, making it less urgent. I also recognize that when it isn't urgent is when it should be implemented, to avoid appearing to target any one person.
Pnorman (talk) 03:26, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Important issues for OSM and OSMF

Rank

Imagine your available personal time and and energy were represented by 100 credit points and you are free to invest these points into the following list of "important" issues for OSM and the OSMF. How would you distribute your 100 credit points (i.e. your time and energy)? The sum of all assigned credit points must not exceed 100. If the sum of all points is less than 100, it means that you think that there are other important topics which are not mentioned by this list.

It does not matter how much time you will dedicate to your work as OSMF board member. 100 points are the equivalent of the time you will invest into the work of the board.

  • diversity of gender
  • diversity of location
  • diversity of age
  • diversity of race/ethnicity
  • diversity of sexual orientation
  • possibility for mappers to contribute to OSM even if they don't understand English
  • OSM data should be free from advertisements.
  • vector tiles on openstreetmap.org
  • high proportion of unpaid contributors
  • protection of our trademark
  • independence from money from the business sector (see definition of "business" above)
  • usability of OSM data without using additional datasets
  • protecting the share alike aspect of OSM licensing
  • replacing Google-based solutions used by the board by free (as in freedom) alternatives (or hosted by the OSMF or one of its local chapters)
  • changes in the OpenStreetMap project due to the commencement of GDPR
  • transforming OSMF into a charity and/or moving OSMF to another European country where it easier to become a charity and where the legal risks to be sued for copyright violation or accidents caused by our data are lower

--Nakaner (talk) 20:28, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

This is hard to answer, especially in this format. Maybe you could make a table to fill in? Anyway, my first priority would be everything related to community building in the very wide sense. So I guess at least 50 points would go to that. I've outlined some ideas about that in my position statement. I don't intend to fill up all my time with my own priorities, and I don't pretend to understand everything about OSM. So I'd say the other 50 points should go to priorities as they rise from the community.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 07:51, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
The phrasing of this question is confusing in terms of math as I need to know what the priorities are of the community too to balance. There are some major items about community development missing from this list, so I added them below. The shape of a strategic board is to have people with diverse skills and expertise. My focus is Community engagement and governance. A note that GDPR research and data policies are part of my day job.
Code of conduct/Community Engagement for OSMF: 50%
  • diversity of gender
  • diversity of location
  • diversity of age
  • diversity of race/ethnicity
  • diversity of sexual orientation
  • possibility for mappers to contribute to OSM even if they don't understand English
I helped draft a Code of Conduct for HOT. This might help us grow. See - https://www.hotosm.org/updates/2017-10-30_code_of_conduct
Governance/Data use/AOB: 50%
  • OSM data should be free from advertisements.
  • vector tiles on openstreetmap.org
  • high proportion of unpaid contributors
  • protection of our trademark
  • independence from money from the business sector (see definition of "business" above)
  • usability of OSM data without using additional datasets
  • protecting the share alike aspect of OSM licensing
  • replacing Google-based solutions used by the board by free (as in freedom) alternatives (or hosted by the OSMF or one of its local chapters)
  • changes in the OpenStreetMap project due to the commencement of GDPR
  • transforming OSMF into a charity and/or moving OSMF to another European country where it easier to become a charity and where the legal risks to be sued for copyright violation or accidents caused by our data are lower
--HeatherLeson (talk)
While I have some interests I want to push (see my position statement for that), if elected I would desire to work with the board and the OSM community on issues that are important to the community as a whole, so I haven't (and don't desire to) narrow down my work to this level of detail. I don't want to join the board to push my interests all the time, I want to join the board to collaborate and help move OSM and OSMF forward as a team.
--DavidDean (talk) 22:34, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
This isn't really something we get to choose - we're a group, and we don't know what will come up. It's also hard to answer with how its formatted. Additionally, some of the items you mentioned are outside the scope of the board and handled by WGs.
I expect to spend time working on the GDPR, trademark issues, license infringement, and advertisements in OSM data through working groups. I'll also be working on vector tiles and usability of OSM data by itself, but that isn't likely to involve the OSMF much at all.
My priorities for work are conflict of interest, maintaining independence, and being accountable to mappers. Diversity is a concern I have - particularly of location, for what is a location-based project - but I feel other board members are better equipped to tackle that.
Pnorman (talk) 03:42, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Difficulties to reach the goals

Have you plans on how to address your most important issues mentioned above? Where do you expect difficulties?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:28, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Being on a board is hard work with priorities shifting inside and outside the community. The keys to Board Member strength are negotiation, trust, humanity, communications, and coordination. I've worked in some tough situations and have served on boards. Communications in OSM are sometimes not healthy in tone. This makes the decisions and discussions more complex.
--HeatherLeson (talk)

Usual board business

Transparency

Should board meetings be public as they have been for the last months? Should meeting minutes of all working groups should be public?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:28, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Board meetings vary in content and style. As I learn the content of the Board meetings, I can make a firm decision. In general, some items do need to be in camera - eg. staff issues, board member issues, and some financial matters. However, for the most part open is appropriate. Regarding the working groups, it seems there are no current standards on reporting back to the global community. We can work on this with the working group leads to find a balance.
--HeatherLeson (talk)
They should be open by default. But there must be room for exceptions, even if only because of privacy issues.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 07:59, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Joost, open by default. Closed only when necessary, and only for the part that is necessary, and with notice on the public record.
--DavidDean (talk) 06:09, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
Open by default. I am proud that we have opened up the meetings to the community, and they have become more productive that way. There are often items that can't be open, but these are seldom. I believe most WGs have open minutes already, but not all WGs require regular meetings. The DWG is using other ways to report to the community on what it is doing, but because most of its work involves people, not everything can be public.
Pnorman (talk) 03:59, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Attended a board meeting?

How many meetings of the OSMF board of directors did you attend in the last two years? If you don't remember the exact number, give an estimation instead.
--Nakaner (talk) 20:28, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

I will attend today's meeting

--HeatherLeson (talk) 12:23, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

Same here, only attended the most recent one. Joost schouppe (talk) 07:59, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
I have not attended any board meetings.
--DavidDean (talk) 06:11, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
As a current board member, I have attended nearly every meeting in the last three years.
Pnorman (talk) 03:59, 30 November 2017 (UTC)


Available time

Being elected as a board member does not only mean to take part in the monthly Mumble sessions. It includes more. How much time per week are you willing to dedicate to your engagement in the board?
--Nakaner (talk) 20:28, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

I currently invest between 4 and 8 hours a week in OSM organisational stuff. I could increase that a bit, but I would mostly try to lighten the load of some local stuff. I was already trying to start that process anyway.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 12:37, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
For the HOT board, I contributed about 5 - 10 hours a week. We should to be a strategic board at OSMF and find ways to collaborate with working groups and leaders of the large community. Given my work, I aim for 5 hours a week.--HeatherLeson (talk) 12:23, 26 November 2017 (UTC)


I try to spend a day a week on OSM-related activities. Depending upon the workload involved, I would expect to spend some portion of that working with the OSMF Board,
--DavidDean (talk) 06:14, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
I am told that typical **board** work for a volunteer board like ours is 10-15 hours a month. This does not include WG work, although there is some overlap.

Role of OSMF in community projects

Although most projects of the OSM community - for example tools like map editors or maps - are run and managed independently from the OSMF there are also a number of things that are currently run under the control and management of the OSMF, more specifically the OWG (Operations Working Group) - in particular of course the main database and related services but notably also the main map, the OSM website and this wiki.

  • What is your view of this situation and your vision how you see this develop in the future?
  • Should the OSMF get further involved with either managing or financing/otherwise supporting OSM related projects or should it reduce its involvement?
  • What do you think should be the criteria for the OSMF to get involved in either supporting, developing or running tools and services?
  • What do you think should be the level of oversight of the OSMF over projects that have a key role in OpenStreetMap like the most widely used map editors? Should this differ for project that run on the OSMF infrastructure like the main instance of the iD editor or the standard map style compared to other services that are run independently but still have an important role for the OSM community (like the Overpass API)?

--Imagico (talk) 22:03, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

I think it is a good thing that so much is managed independently. In the future, I would like to see more integration of tools into one platform, centered on osm.org, much like we did with the different basemaps. So that doesn't necessarily mean they should be managed by OSMF too. For existing tools, priority should be on essential tools where the current manager asks for OSMF support. For new tools, OSMF should support tools the community wants, but don't get developped. Among community organizers, there are some unmet needs since a long time - trying to get those built, if needed in exchange for money, would be one of my main personal priorities.
I don't think OSMF should try to have more oversight over externally run projects. I do see added value from a role as a facilitator or mediator between users and developers.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 12:35, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Joost covered this well. I would like to learn more about what the OWG thinks on this. --HeatherLeson (talk)
I think that the independence and 'do-ocracy' of existing OSM tools are great, and I think that the OSMF's largely hands off approach to this is pretty good at the moment. However I do think, as Joost said above too, that we need a good process to get more great tools hosted directly on osm.org as part of the main experience, so that new mappers can find them without having to remember a half dozen different third party sites to get the most out of their mapping and community. I wonder if we could have some sort of plugin interface for more aspects of osm.org? History, change-set examination, user statistics come to mind as some aspects of osm.org that are greatly improved through third party services at the moment, and not obvious to new mappers.
--DavidDean (talk) 06:22, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
The development community has been in charge of developing software, which is a model that has worked well for us. This is very different from the WMF model, where there is a great deal of central control on what gets worked on. I prefer our model. The OSMF needs to be there to support this as required, but shouldn't try to control it. Some aspects like the main database have to be under central control, but most don't.
Pnorman (talk) 03:59, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Succession of board members

When board members do not finish their terms, it becomes unclear at which time which seats should become available for election. Are you familiar with the issue? Do you think the OSMF should amend its statutes to clarify what members can expect to happen? If yes, how? -- Stereo (talk) 02:55, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

There are a few options: leave the seat unfilled if it is close to the regular elections or have an interim election. My questions for OSMF are - how often has this occurred? Are there any other statutes that need amending as well? At HOT, we tried to coordinate these items with the governance working group and board. --HeatherLeson (talk) 12:34, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
I am not familiar with this issue. As Heather asks, how many times had it happened before - is this an issue that has become a problem? As Heather says, if it is sufficiently far from a AGM election, pehaps there might be a need for a special election?
--DavidDean (talk) 23:19, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
There isn't a particular issue with board members not finishing their term. There is an issue with that section of the AoA being misunderstood, and that you don't know in advance who will choose to resign. Even when no one resigns, there can be multiple options for who would step down at a given election. The issue of a board member resigning between elections has only come up a couple of times, and in practice, doesn't matter.
The main issue with our current system is that how many elections someone is on the board for depends on if other people step down. I think this is outweighed the advantages of handling people who want to leave early without ending up with all seats coming up at the same time.
Pnorman (talk) 03:59, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Opinions on large-scale editing

Imports and automated edits

  • Do you personally agree with the current rules on imports and automated edits, or would you like to see something changed about them?
  • Do you see this as a matter for the board? If not: Who, in your opinion, is the authority for defining those rules?
  • Do you have any related goals for your term?

--Tordanik 21:22, 13 November 2017 (UTC)


I used to be all in favour of imports, but that was a long time ago. Experience has thought me that it is very hard to do it right. Even a simple POI import can make other hand-crafted OSM data much less usable. The main downside from the procedure is that people who want to do it right might be sidestepped by people who just go under the radar. So I do think there's room for improvement, but I don't have any particular changes in mind. The most important is that we keep explaining patiently that importing is hard to do, and that we try and have constructive conversations on how we can do it right. All that said, I'm myself involved in a project using open data for OSM map completion and support the ongoing process of a thoughtful building import that is in the works in Flanders, Belgium. I do believe that open data-assisted and robot-assisted craftmapping is the future.
As for automated editing, more or less the same holds. Here I've seen IMHO over-reactions against them: e.g. when someone removed all the telephone boots in Belgium because they were in fact all removed. Again, while we have to be careful, there should be room for experimentation with new tools and we have to be careful not to drive our heavy mappers crazy. Joost schouppe (talk) 21:18, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
This is why we have working groups. I trust that they can manage this as experts. The board is here to do other items and to support the working groups. --HeatherLeson (talk) 19:52, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
I've started to strongly think that all imports and automated edits should be mediated through a manual mapper, feature-by-feature (using tools like MapRoulette or StreetComplete), and ideally one local to the edited region. We have too much great data in OSM now, that we can't let it be clobbered by large-scale imports or automated edits. Additionally, any tools used for automated editing must be made available to every mapper. I feel very strongly about that, in particular.
--DavidDean (talk) 06:26, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
Having both imported and cleaned up imports, I know how they are tricky to do right, and can cause serious damage when done wrong. Our current requirements have evolved out of that and reflect real problems that have occurred. They're not clearly articulated, but exist for a reason. It isn't the job of the OSMF board to write policy, it's up to the OSM community or DWG.
Pnorman (talk) 22:16, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

Organized editing

A process trying to establish guidelines on organized editing is currently underway. What is your opinion on the topic? Also, what percentage of your own contributions to OSM (if any) are part of organized editing efforts?
--Tordanik 21:22, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Organized editing is likely to become more important over time, and with that comes a threat to our values. I'm glad that we are working on a policy, as this will also make it easier for organizers to do the right thing. To clarify, I see organized editing as an opportunity in the first place. But as anyone who has tried to organize mapping would have noticed, it is very (very!) hard to do it right. Just like with any other mapper, it is important to point out errors in a constructive way. And just like any mapper should, they should be willing to talk.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 08:17, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Open source and organized activities have a long history. We should draw on this experience. There is no reason that organized mapping or even corporate contributions should be deemed any less of a 'community contribution'. The process of drafting these guidelines are part of the reason I aim to be more involved in the governance of OSMF. Please see the following articles.
https://opensource.com/business/16/8/corporate-trends-open-source https://opensource.com/business/13/2/why-company-contribute-open-source http://uk.businessinsider.com/microsoft-github-open-source-2016-9?r=US&IR=T
--HeatherLeson (talk)
Since you say "There is no reason that organized mapping or even corporate contributions should be deemed any less of a 'community contribution'" - does this mean you intend to scrub the current ongoing work to regulate organized mapping (which would obviously make a distinction between individual mappers and organized mapping in some form)?
--Imagico (talk) 13:15, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
I think that it is always important that OpenStreetMap is fundamentally about local mapping. I don't have a problem with organised mapping per se, but any tools used to help organised mapping (especially automation tools) should be provided to the community so that any mapper can use them. I am worried about the way that the organised mapping rules are being written might discourage people from organising Mapping Parties and Mapathons in their local community. I think the distinction between mappers being directed specifically to map (for pay or grades) and volunteer mappers at community events needs to be made very clear. Making community outreach harder should not happen with this policy
--DavidDean (talk) 09:40, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

OSM Licence - Share-alike

The OSM Licence (ODbL) has a share-alike clause for "derived data", i.e. if you combine OSM data with other data sources, you must release those other data sources. Are you in favour of keeping that requirement? Rorym (talk) 15:12, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

I really like this concept. Though with the recent opening of much more data, the phrasing above isn't always correct anymore: in many cases it means the external dataset needs to make its license -less- open. If you have a completely open dataset and combine it with OSM, you now have to include the share-alike clause on the formerly entirely open dataset. For the time being, that actually makes sense: otherwise ignoring share-alike is an easy loophole. I hope and believe that as we grow, the need for share-alike is likely to be ever less needed. And the cost to the project and to society of keeping it will increase. Hence ODbL is not sacred to me, but I don't see us seriously contemplating license change within the next couple of years - and I think that's a good thing, for now.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 08:05, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Just for clarification: The idea that a second data set, for combining it with OSM, would be forced to change its own license to be less open is a misunderstanding (or just a inprecise phrasing on your side). The merger of the two data sets would obviously need to have a share-alike clause in the license but nothing forces the owners of the second data set not to continue distributing their data under a more permissive license. And the Collective Database Guideline is fairly liberal even with combining data sets without share-alike for the combination.
--Imagico (talk) 09:40, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
To make sure I understand correctly, and to clarify my point, here's some examples.
The case I had in mind is a road dataset. Imagine if you have a government dataset that is PD. Merge the geometries of OSM roads to add missing parts. This resultant dataset than has Share Alike. Say the government then keeps working on this merged dataset, slowly validating the OSM-sourced data. They just change some attributes or a node here and there. The result is still share-alike. That would mean they can't integrate OSM in this way into their workflow without triggering Share Alike. It is however not a problem if they just use the geometry of missing segments to find places they need to analyse.
Another example: governement has no data about cycle paths. They decide to crowdsource the data with OSM. They validate all the data in OSM. They then take a copy, which they can now claim to be authoritative data. They keep this copy up to date using OSM input data and their own validation. Their authoritative data will need to be Share Alike, which might be counter to government policy of completely open data.
In these examples, a thorough integration of OSM into gov working process is made impossibe. This is a brake on adaption of OSM in gov processes. I think the cost/advantage balance will change towards more in favour of dropping share alike over time. But as I said above, let's keep it that way for now.
--Joost schouppe (talk) 13:25, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Correct, the IMO somewhat misleading formulation in your initial statement was in many cases it means the external dataset needs to make its license -less- open - this is never the case though, share-alike only applies to data sets that contain data from OSM (in significant volume). This is the very intention of share-alike of course. If the fact that a thorough integration of OSM into gov working process is made impossible is due to the government policy or due to the OSM license depends on your viewpoint. Lets take further discussion of this - if necessary - to a different venue.
--Imagico (talk) 13:51, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree with the points made by Joost above, in that the 'viral' nature of the OSM license can scare government and organisational sources from moving their CC-BY licensed (or PD-licensed) data and allowing it to be updated and maintained in OSM. I have always maintained that OSM's strength is in it's community and frequency of updates and we needn't be scared of a non-viral license. However, I don't think the community needs to go through that process again, even with the re-licensing terms, the current license and the power of local OSM mappers is strong enough that our data will be used anyway.
--DavidDean (talk) 09:46, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
Thank you to my fellow candidates for the detailed responses. The working group and community did substantial work on the license. I do glean that maybe we need more user (data consumer) education on how to use OSM data and maintain the license.--HeatherLeson (talk) 20:09, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes. I support share-alike. I used to be more of a public domain advocate, but my feelings have changed as I've seen why companies are advocating PD. In a practical level, every person who I've spoken to who was involved in the license change would not like to see something similar in the short- or medium-term. As one of the volunteers who spent countless hours on this, I also don't want to see it again.
Pnorman (talk) 22:44, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

The OSMFs mission and future direction

IMHO the myriad of detailed questions tends to obscure the important stuff.

The OSMF current mission is to support the wider OpenStreetMap project, not to govern it, set directions, tell mappers what to do and so on.

Do you believe the OSMF should continue as is, or would you work to change the direction? If the later, what role do you envision for the OSMF going forward?
--SimonPoole (talk) 10:16, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Personally, I think the OSMF could do more. Not so much in "governing" the project, rather in helping getting things done. I have the impression that a boost of energy in getting people involved might help. Ambitious goals, finding and spending money (on the stuff that otherwise doesn't get done) might also help OSMF become an organization that isn't just for the extreme OSM enthousiast, but for everyone that wants to show they have a certain commitment to OSM. So yes, keep supporting-and-nothing-more, but a whole lot more of supporting. Joost schouppe (talk) 21:29, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
I think the OSMF should definitely continue to, and always focus on supporting OSM, not running it. Perceptions matter though, and there is definitely a perception in the community (especially the mailing lists!) that OSMF makes decisions separate to OSM, and presents them as a fait accompli, with little change happening after that. We need to work on that.
--DavidDean (talk) 22:40, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
OSMF is a global community and organization. It is clear that some changes need to happen accompanied with balancing the roots. Some examples of potential changes: Mentorship/volunteer training/engagement, communication/negotiation skills, communication/storytelling pathways, and fundraising to support local chapter /working group growth. Being open means considering how might we better engage global voices and leaders. It also means we need to grow the types of contributions and support with the existing and, potentially, new working groups. OSMF in partnership with the board and members should ask some key questions on how to prepare and support the changes. One large change that I see the need for is Community Engagement: how can we support more women in this network? What would an OSMF mentorship program look like? What are the other channels we can connect on besides the mailing lists? As your potential board member, I see my role as collaborating with the working groups and local chapters to support their needs on these fronts. :--HeatherLeson (talk)
Yes, I support the current mission. It's not our role to tell mappers what to do. Some organizations like the WMF directly control a lot more, and even they don't go this far.
Pnorman (talk) 22:47, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

Avoiding a "système Blatter"

Seeing that the OSMF board is chomping at the bit to start distributing funds to local chapters and other third parties (at least if the board meetings and minutes are anything to go by) and that there are a lot more funds for potential distribution than previously, what measures, structures and the similar will you support to reduce the impact of that leading to building power bases for those holding the purse strings? Note: these structures happen naturally even without nefarious intent or doing anything illegal, simply by differences in purchasing power and the like. Once present they are prone to misuse which was driven to perfection by Sepp Blatter during his time with Fifa. --SimonPoole (talk) 08:40, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

Whom do you mean? The donators or the OSMF distributors? I didn't look into the details of Blatter. Joost schouppe (talk) 20:52, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
The underlying principle is simple, if your livelihood (or similar aspect) depends completely or partially on the handouts from an upstream organisation, you are likely, matter of fact it would be stupid not to do so, vote those in to power that indicate that the funds will continue to flow if they remain. This is a well known universal phenomenon in sport and other non-profit organisations. One way to reduce the issue is to have an (from the board) independent body actually decide on the dissemination of funds (see for example how the WMF does this). You should be particularly interested in this topic, because you are proposing to hand out money to local chapters etc, which -will- cause these dependencies to happen.
Having independent money managers sounds excellent, as well as looking how somewhat similar organisations handle this. Simple and objective rules as to whom is worthy of getting money might also go a long way. You are absolutely right that as the stakes grow, so should our organizational fitness to handle this.
Joost schouppe (talk) 18:10, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
This is always difficult, because having money to help the project grow is definitely a great thing. I think clear declarations of conflicts of interest and maybe even limited terms as discussed above could help if this becomes a problem. Keeping everything as open as possible will definitely help.
--DavidDean (talk) 22:46, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
There are amazing communities and individuals in the OSM project. In other open source projects, there are grants and fellowships to help grow leaders and support local networks. My priority on this front would be for engaging leadership in working groups and local chapters. Fundraising processes and plans would need to be negotiated and coordinated with the OSMF community. Surely, with all the super smart and highly engaged people we could sprint a process plan on this type of fundraising and allocation. The undertone of this question is concerning. Honestly, most organizations have staff to manage this type of activity. --HeatherLeson (talk) 13:20, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
the "undertone" is called not being overly naive. The OSMF has had at least its fair share of governance problems over the last 10 years, some that we were able to fix, some which we will likely never get to the bottom of, somehow assuming that we are immune to issues that happen all over the place is going to lead to a grandiose breakdown. SimonPoole (talk) 16:36, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
As much as I enjoy that you imply that I am naive (thanks)for saying that the "undertone" is unkind, I think the level of snark in your comments is unwarranted. You can ask the question differently. This is why I pointed it out. I take governance and organizational development super serious. To be blunt - it starts with each of us. --HeatherLeson (talk) 19:56, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Growing OSMF membership

Do you think we should grow the OSMF membership to include more regular mappers and if yes how should we do that? What role should local chapters play here?

--Ben Abelshausen 18:33, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

Yes we should. Getting people more involved beyond mapping makes for a closer bond between mappers and the entire project. It can turn mappers into ambassadors.
Based on what people say about OSMF membership, here's some things we could do:
- people don't get why they should be a member. I think having more ambitious programs (like funding local projects or building community tools that don't arise spontanously) could help. Getting the membership more involved in how these programs take shape would also help. I'd prefer membership to be less about paying the money, and more about showing your willingness to contribute beyond mapping.
- we don't always behave like a club you want to be a part of. More attention for what we have in common, less picking apart of anything and anyone, and maybe just being aware that anything you say can and will be used against the OSM project might help here. I'm not convinced codes of conduct are the way to go here. Just a little more kindness might be enough.
- what we do is not representative for the world, and neither is our membership. Let's not forget that we are about mapping the -world-, how are we going to do that if we do not invest in a more global membership. The membership waiver program is a good start, but does not go far enough. Membership fees should be proportional to minimum wage (or a similar measure), so that it costs the same amount of monetary effort to everyone. Or to keep it more simple, we might allow free membership for people from countries that are underrepresented. All this conditional to getting specific funding, but I can imagine there are people out there who want OSM to be a truly global project.
I'm not sure what the role of Local Chapters could be. I have the impression that most Local Chapters and local communities are more fun to hang out in than the global ones. So maybe we need to plan for a silent takeover of the global OSMF by the local organisations. I'm having a laugh, but I do sense learning opportunities to be had. Joost schouppe (talk) 20:49, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for this question. I'd like to build on Joost schouppe's response, which I think is excellent. Regular mappers, regular contributors, and regular supporters can help sustain OSMF. This article about how to achieve open source sustainability really nails it.- https://medium.com/open-source-communities/maintainer-vs-community-97edc28387ad how would I implement this plan? 1. talk with the community, members, local chapters, other OS communities 2. work on a strategic plan. There are many ideas including localized working groups, ambassadors (As Joost said), paid community managers, university interns (paid), and other amazing things like - online tools to connect us better. Having met some of the local leaders around the world, I think their voices are not heard. They are doing incredible things and I'd like to see how we could learn from them. Examples - Geochicas, OSM in Japan, HOT in Indonesia and on and on. To me - local chapters are key to understanding the current State of the Map then planning in partnership. A few years ago I wrote this community strategy: http://textontechs.com/2014/03/community-is-hard-and-beautiful/

1. Collect Data What is the current state? Do some interviews with stakeholders, ask questions, ask to talk with people who have left the community, survey and use the stats (website, newsletter, blog, social media). 2. Do analysis and decide future goals Assess the community maturation model. Decide what the community wants and build goals of organization with that in mind. Here are some tools to help: Diytoolkit and Reboot’s Service Design model. 3. Test ideas with the community. Prepare to adjust. 4. Start small for wins for engagement. You will know what these are because you’ve done your research and tested out the spirit of the community. Think in the frame of Dan Pink’s model of Drive: Autonomy, mastery and purpose. 5. Prioritize, co-brain and deliver 6. Delegate and co-lead 7. Global means that translation is part of your plan, not an afterthought--HeatherLeson (talk) 13:46, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

Lots of great answers above from Joost and Heather. I think we do need to grow the OSMF, but we need to be clear on *why* we are growing the OMSF to the general OSM community. If we are growing the OSMF membership (and therefore funds available to the OSMF), what do we want to do with those fund (and volunteer labour)? Support local community organisation? Support tooling around the project to encourage integration back into osm.org? Advertising and outreach of OSM to commercial and government around the world? Etc.
--DavidDean (talk) 23:29, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

Role of local chapters and support to them

This is complementary to Ben's point above --Martin Noblecourt 19:46, 29 November 2017 (UTC):

I think the underlying question here, which is connected to the problems of representativeness I already evoked on my previous message, is: how can we make the OSMF membership more representative of the overall OSM ecosystem? My suggestion would be to leave much more space to the local chapters. Hence the following suggestions:

1.a) supporting the growth and structuration of local OSM chapters. Several actors working in the development sector are already doing it here and there (HOT, CartONG, EOF, etc.) however there is no concerted effort, and it concerns only a few countries
1.b) Reaching and supporting existing informal chapters (some of them are already incorporated in fact) to have them approved by OSMF
2) Informing the overall ecosystem on OSMF's foundation beyond the membership itself. For instance I think I have never seen a message from OSMF on a national mailing list. There are huge progresses to be made here, and staff time could be valuable for that (cf. the other discussion)
3) Changing the board's governance to officially have a representation of local chapters (potentially reserved seats eventually, maybe only advisory positions to start with?)


Which of these points candidates would be ready to endorse, and how/why? (feel free to make different suggestions linked to this challenge if you have some of course!)

Thanks for this question. I agree that local chapters and, maybe even, regional councils might help OSMF move forward. It strikes me that there are super talented people across the world who would like to focus on developing their regions and/or local chapters. This would require some governance and communication changes, which are very timely. An example might be the communities in Asia. Timezones and choice of communication channels does not often favour the spotlight on their great work. Your point about OSMF on national talk or chapter mailing lists is valid. How might we work with local chapters and the various country mailing lists to support dialogue and action. In collaboration with the Board, Membership, and Local Chapters, I would endorse these solid proposals. As for links, here is a list of | open source governance models that I have been collecting. This is a chart of the various open source models As mentioned previously, we do need to do our research and conduct a full consultation. This will take time, but as you mention, we need to better represent the full OSMF and OSM community. --HeatherLeson (talk) 07:11, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I think active support and development of local chapters would be a great thing for OSMF to look into. I know that we are feeling daunted by the process of starting up a formal OSM Australia organisation here, and having a working group (and/or paid support role) in OSMF who can encourage and help us (and similar informal groupings worldwide) would be great.
--DavidDean (talk) 12:23, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I mentioned "toolboxes" before, and a toolbox for local organizations trying to get a bit more formalized would be extremely welcome. But even just having good information about all these local initiatives in all forms would be a big step forward.
I'm not sure about the local chapters representation. I'd like to here more opinions about that before deciding. Intuitively, I'd say yes please. Joost schouppe (talk) 18:21, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Gender-limited events

What do you think of events (e.g. for marketing) that are open only for some genders? Example (imaginary): "Mapping party/Mapathon for girls"? Is it a good idea since it might bring more girls/women to OSM or is it a bad idea since it's gender-discriminating? -- Lukas Toggenburger

I think that events that focus on disadvantaged groups that are not well represented in our community would be very welcome, ideally run by members of the disadvantaged groups themselves.
--DavidDean (talk) 23:26, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for this question. In the past month, there have been mapathons for women in Indonesia and Nepal. These are just two of many events. As you may have read on the email thread about Gender in OSM there are incredible leaders making this possible. I think we can have all types of mapathons, communities, topical interventions (eg. mapping railways), and more. This is what makes OSM so special. It is a big world with many things to map and many people who could map.--HeatherLeson (talk) 07:22, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm happy about initiatives trying to help create a more balanced community composition. I do have a hard time endorsing gender segregation, even if it does have some positive effects (sometimes you see scientific results that girls are better at maths and boys generally have better outcomes in a segregated school). But I understand that it is useful in breaking clichés, and that it might help create safe environments. I would hope they succeed and result in a world where gender segregation is not needed.
Joost schouppe (talk) 18:35, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Language issues related to inclusion

How do you think we should hande cultural issues like language, excluding for example non-english speaking communities? It's hard for some to participate.

--Ben Abelshausen 18:33, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

I'll copy straight from my Position statement:
> How can we reach more non-English speakers, and how do we break the dominance of those that are fluent in English? In Belgium, a third language was part of the solution to surmount the language divide between French and Dutch speakers. But even so, we noticed we were excluding those who weren’t so good at foreign languages. So we include all three languages - it’s a lot of work, but it is necessary.
> Communication isn’t just about languages, but also about bridging the gap between cultures. We should be aware of the gaping holes in our understanding of each other, be it based on education, culture or gender. We should be more active in helping people learn to do this, and avoid pointless arguing, especially on media that encourage that.
> Even though OSM is a deadly serious thing, we should never forget that people contribute because it’s fun. A new mapper picks it up because they enjoy fixing that first mistake. Just as important is that an advanced mapper can keep enjoying the hard work they do. It should be just as enjoyable to become more active in the community.
As you see, I don't have the answers - I don't think anyone has. But I care deeply about theses questions, and look forward to working with people underrepresented in OSMF on finding solutions. It is not going to happen on the OSMF mailing list. You can't ask people who aren't there why they aren't there. Joost schouppe (talk) 20:58, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
There are incredible tools/communities being created for translation, including real-time. The time has come to prioritize this type of tool/ user experience in OSM. This does mean that much like we invest in infrastructure and sometimes, spending hours going back/forth on mailing lists, that we can redirect our energy on the following: what types of communications can be translated, how might we have, for example, an OSM Podcast that features all the amazing stories from OSM while supporting the intent of WeeklyOSM. The first step is asking local communities what they would prefer translated and how we might communicate more together. The second step is collaborating with other OS communities on this. Translators without Borders is one fine example. This issue also comes down to one important thing -there is no one size fits all community engagement tool or communication method for OSM globally. Mailing list are one small communication device. Honestly, I think we need to modernize. This type of change will require commitment and, frankly, financial support. IF we do determine that an open source tool exists that can help us, great. If we need to build something, that is a whole project. We are not alone in the goal to build a global voice. However, I think we are long overdue for addressing this. --HeatherLeson (talk) 14:10, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
This is an area, to my shame, that I don't have a lot of experience in. I hope that the worldwide growth of OpenStreetMap itself is showing that the wide project is establishing a good reach into non-English communities (but I don't know how true this is). As for the OSMF, its communication appears to largely exclusively be in English, even in asking questions to the wider membership. We should think about ways to improve this, but it is by no means a simple problem to solve. As with Joost, expanding OSM into under-represented local communities is very important to me, and language can be a big barrier to this.
--DavidDean (talk) 23:29, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

Supporting local communities

Do you think we should actively support communities struggling for basic resources to map or is that a task for HOT or other similar orgs or perhaps shouldn't be done at all?

--Ben Abelshausen 18:33, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

We should not leave that to HOT alone. We are about mapping the world after all. We should definitely exchange experiences and might even work together more closely. It doesn't necesarly have to be about donations. For example, I know the Bolivian community was mapping in the Osmand Live project, the proceeds from that were enough to fund some minor projects. My experience with development work (doing independent small scale projects) and my background in sociology gave me a rather big reluctance for traditional NGO work. But if we keep it small enough, we might get excellent value for money. Joost schouppe (talk) 21:17, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
OSMF needs to improve on this front. To me, any changes to fundraising campaigns should be joined with a strategy that support local chapters and local communities. HOT is one part of OSMF. Just like Missing Maps and YouthMappers. What if OSMF mini-grants existed to focus on growing learnOSM and teachOSM for schools, not just universities? There are community folks working on this already that we can learn from. This is just one small window. What if there was a 'Validation camp' that brought OSM leaders from around the world together to work on how to teach (train the trainer) on validation and quality. They could have a class on 'how adults learn', 'how to give feedback', and how to use technology to support your local chapter. If we actually focused on things like this instead of the petty "he said/he said/I am right/You are wrong dynamic", then we might have a healthier experience. Plus, the bigger bonus remains - there are amazing OSM communities and individuals around the world. They deserve more from us. --HeatherLeson (talk) 14:22, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, OSMF should definitely be supporting local communities, this is not just a task for HOT, especially as not every region necessarily fits under the HOT banner, but OSM and OSMF will certainly be improved by encouraging local communities to own their map worldwide.
--DavidDean (talk) 23:43, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

Should OSM have a Code of Conduct? What kind?

Where do you stand on Code of Conducts? Should OSM/OSMF have one? Should something be mandatory for all OSM events/channels? For regional OSM events? What sort of thing would you like to see in it? Not in it? If it should be mandatory, how should OSMF require it from the OSM community? I can guess some answers, but it would be good to see where everyone stands.

-- Rorym (talk) 20:55, 24 November 2017 (UTC) whe

Yes, just a one sentence Code of Conduct: "Please try and be kind to each other". If people are not, we ask them if they could try again. If they don't want to try, they should have a problem. If they try and fail, they should from that point on include a disclaimer in their signature that they are known to be unable to communicate in a kind way on the internet. [edit: this is meant as a bit of a joke, and is obviously not a serious proposal. Though I do appreciate people apologizing in advance that they might come of harsh because of speaking a foreign language.]
Seriously though: there would be much less need for a code of conduct if those against such beasts would just speak out against people who are unkind. Afterwards, you can still say you agree on the content. But by not being clear on this, you are the objective ally of people in favor of CoC's, and the objective ally of whomever is the victim of unkindness. I'd like to see if we could do this before starting the devisive process that I'm afraid CoC definition would be. There might be creative ideas as to how we can improve the friendlyness of our media without needing more rules. Joost schouppe (talk) 21:09, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Second EDIT. I'm really saddened by how this is playing out right now. The core problem to me is that we're not as welcoming as a community as we could be, and that it is hard for some people to participate because of the harsh treatment of one's opinion you can expect when sharing it with the OSM mailing lists. I think many of us would agree on this, even if they don't on a Code of Conduct as a solution. I'd like to first see a relaxed discussion on measures that can help us overcome those difficulties, where a Code of Conduct could be part of the solution. Just jumping to the conclusion that we need is doesn't help anyone, except people who want to prove their rightousness in the battle for the oppressed (or those that might be oppressed in the future). Both having and not having a CoC have clear advantages, that have been layed out by intelligent people in several threads. Simply dismissing either side of this argument does not help anyone. I feel like our failure to have a productive discussion on this subject is much more important than the failure of not having a CoC or the failure of seeing one be put in place.
I will not support any decision that further widens the gap between different OSM cultures. I -will- support any measures that are seen by most as productive in turning our conversations more inclusive, more friendly and more productive.
Joost schouppe (talk) 08:26, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
OSM has a draft Code of Conduct (COC)on the wiki that is quite decent. The key for this type of document is much more than a policy. There needs to be an enforcement process, there needs to be community management, there needs to be a culture of trust, a culture of respect/kindness,and there needs to be accountability. Step 1 is a COC, step 2 is an enforcement process. The hardest part is the culture. Do we want a healthier community? What are the steps we will all take to make that better? It is not all or nothing, but a process. Here is a document I researched on Open Source Community Engagement and Governance. A policy and enforcement plan/adjudication process should exist for all things OSMF- mailing lists, online channels, events, and on OSM. If you sign up for one of the mailing lists, you need to be a human being. A few years ago, I wrote this to try and build a pathway to learn better communication and negotiation - https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Humanitarian_OSM_Team/Working_groups/Community/HOT_Resolution_Process --HeatherLeson (talk) 14:38, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, OSM and all related OSM organisations should have a code of conduct, but I don't think OSMF can (or spend time trying to) make it mandatory outside of their direct purview. While it would be nice to have a simple one statement code of conduct, I think it is important to be a bit more solid to not allow for weaselling out of rude and hurtful behaviour. The HOT code of conduct looks reasonable, but this isn't something I have a lot of experience in to say for sure. Enforcement is important too: what can we do to discourage, and remove if needed, hurtful communications from our communication forums?
--DavidDean (talk) 23:50, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

volunteers in working groups

Paul posted in his manifesto that one of his concerns is the number of volunteers involved in working groups. I think it's one of those things that is great to be concerned about but a really tough issue to fix. So, to the other candidates, do you agree? And, to all, if you do, can you elaborate on how you might approach the problem?
-- Pete Masters (pedrito1414)

Since I haven’t been involved in the working groups till now (I actually am joining the MWG at this moment), it would be arrogant for me to think I have the solution. Our strategy for the Belgian organization has been “do a lot yourself, but always look for other people to take over your job”. For example, the regular mapathons in Antwerp are now run by Manuel, I’ve explicitly asked to be just a backup for the next huge MSF mapathon. Ben was our main guy to save the day at State of the Map Brussels, the rest of the core organizers know very well that next time will be their time to take the most of the work.
Maybe this could work in Working Groups as well? Just asking people to work with you on a specific job first, then see if they are willing to grow into more structural roles. And sometimes just saying “hi, this needs to be done. Don’t look at me, it’s for someone else now”. That would make it less of a chore, both for those doing it as well as for those reluctant to take it on.
But usually, at OSM-BE, we've managed to keep all the work that needs to be done enjoyable. If there are structural reasons why it's not fun to be on a Working Group, we should work in that. As a Board Member, it would be my priority to try and understand the work that all the working groups do and get a feel for their way of working. Maybe even with a bit of outside (scientific?) support to help analyse their workings. And based on that, see how the OSMF can further support them do their jobs in a way that more people would be willing to join.
Of course, we depend on a broad base to recruit these people from. Scattered around the questions here, and on my position statement, you'll find some ideas I have about that. Joost schouppe (talk) 10:58, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
In my statement last week to the mailing list, I touched on this communities and volunteers. I guess my main questions are : what are the existing boards and working group's strategic plans for volunteer engagement? What type of contributors do they seek, for which tasks, and for how long? What are the local chapters doing that we can learn from? What about the communities within OSM? "Should we really organize ourselves in a way where a volunteer willing to offer skills (mapping and other) and time to our community must follow this prescriptive path? Does this behaviour encourage new mappers? How might we learn from engagement tactics from other open source organizations?" After we have a current frame of what activities are already happening, reflect on the best practices across OSM, then maybe we can also build an "onboarding process". This can come in a few forms - what if we matched new mappers/new members with people who want to mentor and coach? A few years ago, I wrote this blog post about a welcome committee. I also like the process of "community coffees". There are tools and processes to do this, we just have to think about how we prioritize this. The OSM meetups are critical for this, but what about the people who live where there are no local OSM meetups? If HOT can create a Task manager, what if we had an opt in process of 'matchmaking' for mentorship. Again, this can be the 'bicycle or the tesla' - it does require a shift from adhoc volunteer engagement to more purposeful activities.--HeatherLeson (talk) 14:55, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't have any clear answers to this, and it would be good with OSMF membership (especially corporate membership) drives to look at paid roles to help ensure that the important day-to-day work that the OSMF working groups take on can be continued in perpetuity. Making sure we have a low bus-factor is very important too. These paid roles (which I understand already happen in some situations) should probably always be seen as serving the leadership of the working groups and the OSMF board, and not the other way around.
--DavidDean (talk) 00:05, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

OSMF Paying Staff/Contractors

On the OSMF-talk list the idea of paying people has come up again. What are your thoughts on paying people? Should anyone be paid at all? What tasks make sense to pay people to do rather than volunteers?
--Wonderchook (talk) 18:25, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

As was mentioned several times before, having a bit of paid help did a lot to move the Board's agenda forward. On the other hand, I'm quite proud of what we have achieved so far with so little payed work. I understand the concerns about how money might affect the way we work in undesirable ways. But there is also a cost to leaving so much work to volunteers to do - there will always be limits to our capacity, and it makes some things move very slow indeed. So for me the balance is clearly in favor of paying some people to do work for OSM. As I made clear in other questions, I'm convinced we need to invest money in tools that would otherwise not be built, and we should microfund communities, especially in underrepresented regions. As for organisational tasks, I'm not sure. Maybe we should also look for tasks that we really want done, but don't or hardly happen because no one does them. But it might also be a priority to relieve some of the core volunteers who have given much more than their share over the last decade. Joost schouppe (talk) 19:37, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
We need to invest in tools (eg. communication, community development), processes, and we need to invest in community/people. The community of amazing volunteers/members is in charge. But, the project needs to stabilize and address some of the 'growing joys'. This type of fundamental shift in organization development needs a solid, collaborative plan. I'd like to see us hire full or part-time community engagement managers for each of the regions. This cannot happen without fundraising. But before that, we need to learn from other large scale Open Source projects that have gone through this transition. We need to research, consult, plan, and focus on balancing the incredible versions of OSMF. The risk of us not asking the hard questions is the current state. We all have a list of technology and community needs. There are some difficult questions which need expertise and focus. So, while I have much to learn, I would suggest that there be a tabulated wiki page of types of jobs/roles that need to paid. At this point, OSMF does not need a paid board. We, do however, need to consider - fundraising, community engagement, software product managers/technical, and etc. My question back is - what do the local chapters need? What do the working groups need? Is there a terms of reference and/or a strategic plan written?--HeatherLeson (talk) 15:15, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
I concur with Joost and Heather, and my answers above. Paid roles would be very useful for 'grunt-work' required in keeping OSM and OSMF running, and community outreach roles would be very useful too. The leadership always needs to be retained in the volunteer core, however.
--DavidDean (talk) 00:07, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Funding sources

What is your past experience with fundraising?

What are your ideas to attract new sponsors and funders?

Many of the big commercial OSM users like Apple, Facebook, Craigslist or MapQuest aren't sponsors, should the OSMF fundraise with them?

-- Stereo (talk) 03:02, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

In my career, I have networked with funders, written grants, and reviewed grant applications. Funders want a great impact story, a stable, well-managed organization, and a clear strategic plan on what needs funding and why. They want to know that the organization will be accountable, deliver the product/outcomes, and be financially responsible. OSM and OSMF have components of this, but we tend to 'eat our credit' with infighting and lack of focus on the long game. Funders need to know that they are not going to see their reputation chewed out on a mailing list because someone decided that it was a good idea to consider OSMF like a Reddit channel. So, to attract funders, we need to consider how SotM does so well with funders. OSMF has an annual donation campaign for members just like OSM for the servers. Then, we need to build on these practices. OSMF has huge potential to be funded to support our common, and even our divergent, agendas. But, we need to be set up for fundraising in a way that makes the funders trust us more. Where is our backlog of fundable ideas? What structures to receive funding? HOT has a fundraising working group and an annual campaign. Where is our fundraising pipeline? Where is our strategic plan marketing to funders? Who is talking with funders about which topics? How can the Board of OSMF collaborate with the working groups and the wider OSMF network on fundraising? What is not fundable and why? These large organizations need us to have a firm plan. If we work better together on this and learn to trust that we are trying to achieve some of the same goals, then add a solid plan, then the large funders will collaborate. But, only if they see that we are making steps to improve and decrease the risk of their investment.--HeatherLeson (talk) 15:32, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
As an academic, I have a fair amount of experience in obtaining funding for research, and some tangential experience in funding for startups, not so much for not-for-profit organisations. I've always self-funded my local events in Brisbane, although this will need to change with the current growth in interest. I look forward to growing and learning more in this space.
--DavidDean (talk) 01:10, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
I have no real experience with fundraising, but I've gotten others to fund for things we were organizing.
OSM is becoming so incontournable, that I think it might not be as hard as we think to attract the funds. We should definitely aim for the big names for funding. While I would like to see more specific grants too, I'm a bit afraid that the "traditional grant system" might force us to change too much. If we can't do this through our volunteers, then we run the risk of paying people in order to be able to pay people. Any learning from other organizations would have to be from very nimble ones.
Joost schouppe (talk) 18:55, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Desirable distribution of income

As an addition to the above question: What do you think is the distribution of OSMF revenues to pursue in terms of sources (like individual membership fees, corporate memberships, small donations, big donations, maybe also sale of services)?

--Imagico (talk) 11:59, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

I need to learn more on this front on what OSMF has done historically. As a potential board member, it strikes me that we do need someone or people entirely focused on this, who are not only board members. If OSMF could be kinder to contributors who are not only mappers, we might manage to attract people who have great financial, marketing, and fundraising skills. I have yet to see any strategic plan or terms of reference entirely focused on this topic in OSMF. And, if this plan does exist, it should have accompanying research on open source and business best practices. Really, this is why we need board members and working group leaders with diverse skills. There is so much potential and so much need. Maybe the board can start with asking for a fundraising working group to build and work on this. But I would strongly encourage OSMF to seek outside and internal expertise. There are likely people in our wide networks who would help if they knew 1. their time and expertise would be valued 2. no drama 3. skilled people to collaborate. --HeatherLeson (talk) 15:41, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
For general info - past sources of income are on public record - no separate listing of large and small donations though (the more recent donation drives IIRC had on the order of 50:50 of large and small donations).
--Imagico (talk) 16:01, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
thank you--HeatherLeson (talk) 07:28, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't have a lot of strong feelings on this point, but continuing individual and corporate membership drives seems like the way to go, as well as donation drives. The OSMF does need to make a clear case to the community why we need more revenue though, so I'm getting more and more interested in the idea of supporting local community organisers and/or events or something else visible to every mapper in their local region, to show where the funds are going.
--DavidDean (talk) 01:10, 28 November 2017 (UTC)


The current mix is quite healthy I think. I'd focus first on project-specific funding, i.e. we want your money to do this exact thing. Funding might be quite similar. For things that aren't 'sexy', we'd probably need the same tools as now, and probably also go for support from larger organisations, whether commercial or public. Joost schouppe (talk) 09:25, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

Fundraising & payed staff

Wenn in Zukunft bezahlt werden wird, welche der Working Groups sind Deiner Meinung nach so wichtig, dass sie bezahlt werden sollen? Wie hoch ist der bezahlte personelle Bedarf in den einzelnen Working Groups? Wieviele Personen sollen in den Working Groups ohne Bezahlung weiterarbeiten? Welche der Working Groups sollen gänzlich ohne Bezahlung weiter arbeiten?

automatic translation: If in the future, which of the working groups do you think are so important that they should be paid? What is the level of paid staffing requirements in the individual working groups? How many people should continue to work in the working groups without pay? Which of the working groups should continue to work without pay?

fredao 11:35, 2 December 2017 (UTC)


I don't really have the knowledge or familiarity with the working groups to answer this question at this time. As I have answered above, I think that paying for 'grunt' work is probably a good idea, and local community support would probably be valuable as well (but this may be more like event sponsorship, etc, rather than paid positions). I think that we should try to keep leadership and decision-making positions as volunteer roles, for now at least.
--DavidDean (talk) 12:21, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure about this either. Both Working groups and the wider community should have a say in this. I would rather see it as having paid assistance to a volunteer core group, rather than paying volunteers because their job is important. In practice of course, I can imagine that sometimes the best employee would be a current volunteer.
Joost schouppe (talk) 09:30, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

Future of the map

What big, long-term projects and goals do you see for the map itself, and how will your term on the board help achieve them?

-- Stereo (talk) 03:08, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for this question. There are super smart people across this project - technical, geospatial/mappers, community, and business. Part of being on a board and being a leader is listening and trusting others on this while collaborating on shared strategic plans. For the past 2 hours, I have answered countless questions about community engagement and fundraising planning. I like to call it 'deep tissue community engagement'. Unless we support this, we will continue to have long term plans delayed. The sustainability and growth of OSM means investing in community and translation. We have a power imbalance and are not helping onboarding, which causes all kinds of unnecessary issues. To answer your question directly, 1. work on the strategic plan 2. support working groups and local chapters 3. listen and trust that the things I don't know can be covered by others or that I can contact you or any number of OSMF or Open Source colleagues to seek guidance. To be realistic, there is only so much a volunteer can do with a volunteer board. If we are going to work on our goals, then we need to prioritize better and collaborate on those priorities. It seems to me that there are many people who would support the goals of the map if they felt like their time would be valued and that if their lives online and/or in person would not be subject to drama. The big, long-term projects of global community have long been shelved for technology. The map is about the people who map too. The map is about the data producers and the data consumers. --HeatherLeson (talk) 15:51, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
I want to see a map where local communities can always be in charge of their local map. Where imports and automated edits are always mediated through individual mappers familiar with the area their mapping, and ideally local to it. I want to work with the Board and with stakeholders and mappers interested in automated mapping so we can ensure that OpenStreetMappers across the world can take advantage of these great technologies individually, and not feel like they have been thrusted down on them from across the world.
--DavidDean (talk) 23:23, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
I see a map built by robot-empowered craftmappers all around the world, who make an ever more detailed and widely used map. They use their own two eyes, open data and machine learned data (through open algorithms) to let the map keep evolving for new usecases. There still is a core of heavy mappers keeping everything together, but a plethora of tools make it ever easier for casual mappers to contribute surveyed information. Seems far-fetched? This is actually what we are doing right now. The only thing that the board should do is make sure no new policies make this impossible, and try and speed things up here and there by helping local communities take off and by reaching out to big organisations to get the project better known in wider circles.
Joost schouppe (talk) 19:04, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Which languages do you speak besides English?

In which languages are you able to communicate besides English and to what extent?
--vvoovv (talk) 17:58, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

I can only communicate in English, unfortunately.
--DavidDean (talk) 20:05, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm fluent in Spanish (though a bit rusty for lack of recent practice), native Dutch speaker and I can have a conversation in French. More importantly, I've lived for long enough in Peru, Bolivia and Spain, and worked with French and Dutch people enough, to know that cultural differences are as much of a challenge to work together as language is.
Joost schouppe (talk) 19:07, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

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