What (and how) do we want to achieve here?
It would be good to define what do we want to produce as the output of this initiative. If you look at the table of contents of Wikimedia's strategic planning summary it looks very reasonable: number one - priorities (list of different topics), then what is needed to achieve that. At the high level I think it defines very nicely the goal of this initiative. Then we could split the discussion on different topics to subpages - like Future/Communication, Future/Website, then even further like Future/Website/Search etc. if needed. Periodically we would then aggregate the discussion to the higher level and decide (how? - for another discussion...) what are the current priorities and then iterate again. Thoughts? Paweł Paprota 20:18, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
- The SWOT analysis is a great start. I feel everything we do needs to be driven and guided by the community otherwise this is likely to never be accepted and will most likely be forgotten about. If we are going to do the right sort of data collection, analysis, and come up with conclusions (i.e. a future strategy for OSM based on the needs & wants of its members) then I feel we need to structure what we are planning to do and the methods we are going to use. Other's familiar with other project management tools might have other suggestions and I am completely open to exploring all alternatives. the route I think we should go is outlined below.
- The DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve & Control) method of problem solving & process improvement is one I am very familiar with. There are numerous useful tools within it used to gather information, analyse it, and form conclusions. Its is structured, in so far as there are set stages to complete before moving on to the next stage e.g. you define exactly what the issue is or what you want to achieve before moving on to collecting information. Then if there are changes in what the definition is, you go back, agree on the change and move to collecting information for the newly defined parameters / scope.
- What is also useful with this tool is there can be layers. One DMAIC project can sit within another. For example if there is one issue that warrants much more work, its gets split into its own DMAIC project which then feeds / reports into the higher level one. This allows for data gathering related to specific issues and specific solutions to be proposed. This can be scaled up to the levels we are looking at in terms of a worldwide site, allows multiple methods of data collection and analysis and is very centred around team activities.
- In relation to what we are doing here, only the first 3 sections of the DMAIC process would be applicable, Define, Measure & Analyse. The Improve section would need to be driven by the working groups, OSMF and the community at large. The Control section is where we round back on ourselves after a predetermined period to measure the success or lack thereof, of the improvements, again based on community feedback. This feedback is then fed into the Define section of a new DMAIC project and the cycle begins again. This allows for a continous improvement cycle where we always get better at the things that matter the most to the people that matter, all users of openstreetmap. --DaCor (talk) 20:42, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
I have been looking into the possibility of collaborative work online and what tools are available to assist in what we are doing to fill some gaps where the wiki might be lacking. So far what I have found (and played around with) are listed below. If anyone else can add to this list please do so. --DaCor (talk) 21:33, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
- Google Doc's will actually cover a lot of what is needed
- Cause & Effect Matrix
- Process mapping
- Is/Is Not
- Brainstorming (aka Mind Mapping) / SWOT - Stormcloud
- More to follow
Having read this through this the SWOT is far too focussed on a comparison with commercial map providers and particularly Google: do we want to be a me-too Google or 4-square. If that is where the strategy takes us, I for one am probably out.
I think we can just lift the 5 strategy drivers of Wikipedia and be done with.
- Better infrastructure - fault-tolerant, ability to plan hardware upgrades without donation drives as things fail, less stress on sysadmin etc. - is essential.
- The next 3 make a hell of a lot of sense,
- but I think support for innovation is crucial. Hardly any mention of the really innovative uses of OSM (recent SplashMaps, Soft Cities & others).
I see the word "Account Management" in relation to FourSquare & I think is OSM for mappers or big corporates. If I was to set a mission for OSMF I'd very strongly limit it's ability to do things like that: any one who has worked in the IT industry knows that sales wag the dog! Of course this raises the vexed issue of fund-raising which is probably needed to at least alleviate some of the infrastructure issues, but OSMF's current governance is inadequate to deal with the type of activity required and similarly for public relations. So a subsidiary issue is how to improve OSMF's governance: to my mind one approach would be to have someone paid to do the office legwork (invoices, respond to email, book-keeping etc), I imagine this could be done on a part-time basis. However planning for this involves considerable work to make it viable (a society I belong to has just done this). OSMF must become more relevant to the ordinary mapper: at the moment the only obvious benefit (other than a warm feeling) of being a member is reduced prices for SotM (and even with 350 attendees this is 0.1% of mapping base, and mainly the usual suspects).
On the issue of the danger of users wagging the dog - this is a perpetual (and usually circular) discussion in OSM. And I understand the sincerity of the motives behind the sentiment. But there is a balance to be struck between vertical integration with unimaginative but powerful users and being driven by a wide selection of informative use-cases. For me the biggest question we are trying to pose is "what do we want people to use our data for and how can we do more to get them using it for those things?". --Mackerski (talk) 15:46, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
SWOT Analysis of OpenStreetMap
Please submit your own personal views of OSM. We want the good, the bad and the ugly. Not just big issues, but little, trivial details that drive you nuts or empower you to map more. Please, no personal attacks. If someone else has already written down a statement you agree with, give it a +1. Below are some tips to help you:
- Give accurate and precise statements rather than vague statements
- Think of newspaper headlines rather than short stories
- One thought per statement
- Only edit your statements. If you have something that you want to add to, write another statement.
- Biggest non-commercial map (+1)
- Worldwide coverage (+1)
- Existing large database (+2)
- Great set of tools (+1)
- the tools and Bing imagery make editing very efficient: one very active user can easily build and maintain a city
- Great community supporting the tools and data entry (+1)
- Active consumers of OSM-based tile information (+1)
- The community is in charge instead of some individuals (+1)
- Flexibility which stimulates creativity and innovation (+1)
- + 1 million registered users (+1, but for "registered _mappers_")
- Great sysadmins with a lot of dedication
- Not for sale
- First mover advantage for crowd-sourced maps
- Open (source) (+1) (+1, allows usage of data instead of only rendered maps, see "stimulates creativity and innovation")
- Supports Open Source developement (+1)
- Big enough to survive in the coming decades
- No privacy issues (in contrast to commercial maps OSM does not want to know the whereabouts of users) (+1)
- Offline maps available (+3)
- Road quality comparable to professional maps
- Several great sponsors
- Low operating cost
- Stable platform
- Dedicated community trying to improve the quality (+1)
- Fast to react to changes on the ground
- Invaluable tool for groups working after natural disasters (+1)
- Minutely updates of Mapnik and MapQuest Open
- osm.org very responsive and high availability (+1)
- Powered by continuous incremental updates rather than discrete/unrelated releases
- No application using the map are available from the web site - simple routing application for instance (+1)
- Small active user base relative to total participants
- Small contributor base for OSMF
- Mappers choose to edit Google's map because it's available on almost all websites with geolocation (+1)
- Map completeness (quality factor) is low relative to others map providers (+2)
- weakest points: addresses and turn restrictions (+3)
- weak in comparison to professional maps: POI's / info on POI's / photo's of POI's and clickable POI's on osm.org (+1)
- in contrast to Google, entrepeneurs don't seem to be interested in becoming a contributor by putting their business (restaurant, hotel etc.) on the map
- Completeness not "low" but extremely varying: some cities are not at all on the map whereas others have every post box mapped, we have small mountain paths Google Maps etc don't have (yet) but only few navigation relevant information
- Nice map views difficult to find. Example: History map
- Map consistency (quality factor) is somewhat low
- wiki pages on editing difficult to understand
- conflicting issues on editing are not solved
- bad interaction between app builders and mappers on editing standards
- mapping just for osm.org in certain aspects damages routing on any router
- Confusing for beginners (+4, and this includes would-be map end-users or data users)
- Fragmented organization (+3)
- Indecisiveness (+3)
- Maybe a solution: introduce "hot topics" database whose entries are shown (as teaser with link) in many places (JOSM start page, wiki start page, blog,...) so a much higher percentage of users gets aware of those topics (like this page and OSMF effort in general)
- Relatively unknown (+2)
- Products based on OSM are not popular in comparison to products of other map makers (+1)
- Too few volunteers with dedication to get OSM projects going (+2)
- Even open-source advocates usually use other mapping services (+2)
- Bad at demonstrating end-up-end usability
- Bad at finding momentum around attaining "completeness milestones" around compelling use-cases(+1)
- No real "Google Maps killer" for people who just want maps and markers, to make our data important for this large group
- Google is much better in encouraging usage of their maps with the concept of "my map"/"my places", there is no such concept in OSM (nor in other sites using OSM data). (+2)
- There is no easy way to "add your business to the map" and maintain it (a poi would be sufficient). (+2)
- Minor community building
- sometimes communications between mappers a bit too rough (+2)
- Some voices carry too much weight when making decisions (+1)
- This is especially true of the core developers who are able to accept or reject changes to the tools/websites (as in unregulated power - I'm not suggesting it is abused at the moment, but as each developer has their own incentives and none are paid, the risk is there).
- Perception that consensus is needed before progressing
- Website does not have a professional look
- First time visitors (editors / data users / viewers) not well catered for (+1)
- The main site/map does not have clear purpose or it is not sufficiently communicated. Demo? Tool for mappers? The best map for users?
- The map legend is not very clear and it is missing lots of displayed features.
- There is no easy way to use the map on other sites.
- Main map hides the usefulness of the whole project, most of the data/usecases is hidden (non present/on different site/uncommunicated). (+1)
- Potential solution: Mouse-Over showing tags in a popup (with "scrolling" through items if many items are near mouse cursor)
- OSM does not give users strong reasons to use the OSM maps rather than googlemaps (+1)
- No easy way to announce mapping parties to local mappers
- Publicity is absent.(+1)
- No metrics to drive focus (i.e. Percent of mappers in a given population)
- lack of redundancy in IT infrastructure
- consumers expectation of slippy map products far exceed OSM home page (i.e. no clickable links, no routing, no terrain, .etc.) (+1)
- difficult to map with landuse and other large polygons often connected to roads and admin boundaries
- difficult to replace imports of boundaries, addresses, buildings, etc.
- Stability of main OSM servers
- Unwieldy change/patch system for OSM server infrastructure
- Clear vision and mission statements
- No central leadership
- Local, Provincial/State and National governments ability to use ODbL and CC-SA licenses
- ODbL unclear on certain aspects for professional users in the community
- Tools favour minority operating systems (Linux flavours) with particularly poor support in Windows, often reflecting poor coding practice (hard coded "/" for directories, hard coded locations for osm2pgsql projection support etc.).
- No easy visual access to tool chain, and still limited support 'in the cloud' for accessing/processing OSM data.
- Dominated by geeks not mappers
- Poor online methods for social interaction and community-building
- No obvious reason for the layman (and laywoman) to change to OSM except for principles
- Focus on data instead of focusing on users
- Current model not only stimulates innovation, it also prevents innovation (e.g. uploading photos of POI's / using floating data)
- Proposed features / new tags process is unclear to many users and does not work fluently, e.g. Proposed_features/via_ferrata is open for 3 years, same for climbing. Several users stopped contributing there - de-motivated?
- Encourage end-users (e.g. webmasters of sports clubs) to switch to OpenStreetMap
- give these end-users a reason to switch by creating a superior product compared to competitive products
- Proposing live applications using the map directly on the web site - simple routing application for instance (+1)
- Expanding services offered at osm.org (+2)
- As the only big non-commercial player in mapping OSM is very useful for governments and NGO's (+1)
- Past projects using Govt. data / assistance should be showcased at SOTM's, TED's, etc to Govt. officals
- Easy to use "Create Your Own Map" for use by organizations and individuals for special events (+1)
- Encourage end-users to improve the data (+2)
- Create great apps based on OSM which will be popular as a vehicle to improve the data (+1)
- Introduce a really great 'gamechanger' routing app to beat any other Android/IPhone/Windows app available, with great ease of use, social features like integration with Foursquare etc.
- Create one true Edit-The-Map button suitable for all (really, ALL) OSM map apps (+2)
- Encourage users of our data (developers) to incorporate this and train user base to expect an editable map (+2)
- Feedback error and traffic data through floating car data (+1)
- Create more fun with games like Kort
- editing data should be easy for technical and non-technical contributors alike
- Reward key mapping contributions with awards (real prizes if sponsorship can be obtained)
- Invite hikers, bikers etc. to upload gps tracks for trails (or team up with websites like http://hikr.org, http://outdooractive.com etc) (+1)
- Improve sense of community
- Improve communications within the organization
- More interaction between users (in OSM based socialized apps, with a newsletter like the German wochennotiz)
- Promote regular "mapping party weekends" e.g. first weekend of each month
- Create a "find a party near you" service
- Diversity: community should include mappers (contributors) and users, either professional or non-professional: 'we' instead of 'I' and 'they'
- Reinvigorate local chapters movement with the aim of 1 per country at a minimum
- Use open data to enrich OSM data
- Lobby governments for open data (+1)
- EU open data available in 2015 (very likely including all addresses in the EU countries) EU Open data
- Create efficient way to update OSM external datasets
- Encourage developers to switch to OSM
- More interaction with professional developers to create a win-win situation
- Cooperation with a big player like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Garmin
- Very interesting map solution for companies that don't own maps from TeleAtlas, Navteq, Waze or Google (+2)
- Huge potential for integration due to open source nature
- OSMF support functions
- Expand infrastructure (+1)
- Account management for major data-users (like Foursquare/Mapquest) in OSMF
- Use creative ways to fund actions, e.g. crowdfunding, Bidforfix, EU/NGO subsidies, companies, private sponsors etc.
- Get a share of the multi-billion add market to finance hardware, to hire external people and to get OSM more known
- Invite key govt. representatives (open data advocates) to SOTM's (+1)
- Put one person on payroll with the role of presenting at conferences worldwide (+1)
- Bring in outside board members to build core competencies
- Partner with trade groups to help structure tags and build alliances
- Send teams to areas to build community involvement where it is lacking (+1)
- Unifying various web entities
- Major provider open-sources its data (e.g. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Nokia)
- Major provider (Google etc) allows use of offline vector data for larger areas (e.g. for hiking) => OSM looses an USP
- Major provider (Google etc) adds detail information (foot paths, hiking routes,...) in breadth => OSM looses an USP
- Current consumers (e.g. Foursquare, etc.) prefer to use other sources
- People get tired of entering data & leave the community
- Google already has a "Fix the map" link on a real destination map tool for end users and we don't (+1)
- Users find that in practice, Google's "do what you like and we mostly won't stop you" is at least as free as our "Attribute and sharealike or else!"
- Key people like sysadmins leaving
- Contributors and potential contributors leave due to a increasingly frosty environment in the online communication channels.
- Google looks much better for normal consumers, who just want to place a marker on the map and present it, so even in areas where OSM is superficial, user rather use googlemaps (+1)
- Weak central control. OSM is basically a hands off culture where anything goes.
- Lack of visibility of the making-decision body (+1)
- Lack of sufficient funding sources to publicize OSM, develop tools, enhance IT, fight legal issues, and build communities (+1)
- Litigation from an aggrieved copyright owner
- Not having a clear future goal (short or long term)
- OpenStreetMap isolates itself by failing to engage with other communities (there is only so much a regular contributor can do; any larger efforts that require changes to tools require sign on by the select few developers that have access rights to change the tools).
- Unexperienced contributors cause a decrease of data quality
- Biassed contributors cause a decrease of data quality
- Increasing interference by "talkers" causes "doers" to become disheartened and give up
This article is one of many showing why it's handy to have a strategic process. A vision is simple and inspirational. So, what could a potential vision for OSM be? It could be this one:
Welcome to OpenStreetMap, the project that creates and distributes free geographic data for the world. We started it because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways. That's a bit unpersonal though. Speaking to a fellow young (20+, 30-) mapper the other day he said something interesting: 'At this stage I don't have kids yet. I love to spend a lot of time on editing OSM because I see that as my contribution to the world'. Having 3 kids myself, that inspired me. Making the jump towards a vision for OSM, for which anyone who wants can contribute, my thoughts are the following.
'To make the world a better place by using open geodata.'
From Steve Coasts 2012 Keynote at SOTM-US in Portland, OR. "The worlds most up to date, complete and universal map, Oh and Free."
In contrast to a vision, a mission has a mid-term range. It has to contribute to the vision. Missions are short statements. A potential mission for Openstreetmap could be:
'To give all people the opportunity to use products based upon our contributions, by distributing our non-commercial and open geodata to any developer who shares our vision'.
Any person has his/her own values which enables to prioritize, to decide, to interact with others, to deal with conflicts. The OpenStreetMap community relies on mappers, developers and users all over the world who can be totally different from one another and who will have totally different motivations to contribute to or use OpenStreetMap. But they share the idear of having great open data and open maps available to anyone around the globe. Core values reflect the beautiful culture of our open community. As the vision and the mission, core values don't need to be packed in long sentences. Based on work in 2011 (Foundation/Core Values) the core values for OpenStreetMap might be the following. As all other items on this discussion page, feel free to improve them.
- YOU are important
- You are most welcome in our open crowdsourcing community
- Make a difference to this world by improving your neighbourhood
- Be patient, certain developments take time in OSM
- Be persistent, don't let a disappointment let you down
- Respect fellow mappers, developers and users
- Be passionate and determined
- Be open-minded
- Listen to arguments
- Dare to decide
- Spread the word
- Help one another
- Have fun!
- Value Diversity - Glassman (talk) 16:03, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
- Build Communities - Glassman (talk) 16:05, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
- Integrity - Glassman (talk) 16:05, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Goal and how to get there
OSM's goal is somewhat unclear. It might be 'to create the best map in the world'. It is however difficult to challenge professional companies who have multi-billion dollar budgets available, professional staff working day and night to get maps better etc. OSM has some advantages though over commercial maps: it's open and it's flexible. And it's there to stay permanently. So, what is a reasonable goal to achieve in a few years time? You can write down your thoughts in this section.
The "Add / Use / Look" Approach
Looking at OSM as serving the needs of 3 distinct and different (in regards to needs) groups, goals I would like to see achieved are dependent on what each groups interaction with OSM is. The is where "Add / Use / Look" comes into it.
- Add - As in "Add to the data". This covers everything with regards the needs of contributors from first-time contributors to regular active users to organisations willing to donate data and everything in between.
- Use - As in "Use the data for whatever you can think of". This covers everything with regards the needs of continous data use from routing engines (OSRM), end-user providers (MapBox, Cloudmade, geofabrik), data analysis (ITOworld) etc to single / infrequent / specific uses (colleges, community projects, companies showing store locations)
- Look - As in "Look at what can be done". This covers everything from the ability to create 3D maps, heatmaps, games, etc.
Depending on whether someone wants to Add to, Use or Look at OSM, their needs are very different. Based on the definitions outlined under Add / Use / Look above, the following needs of OSM users can be broken into the following categories...
Group 1 - "Add" aka Contributors
Dividing "contributors" into specific categories:
- From homepage, new members should be able to start editing within 2 minutes or less if possible, of clicking a Join/Edit Map link
- Access to real-time assistance from within insite editor e.g. chat window in iD similar to the one used in Mapcraft. User inputs a query they need help with, when submitted auto-joins user to #help. When activated causes osmbot to announce in #osm that User: XYZ has joined #help and requires assistance with "INPUT USER QUERY HERE"
- A second user should be able to view the real-time session of another when the first user sends a request. Essentially a share desktop mode for the insite editor which will allow the second user to understand an issue a new user is having and provide specific guidance
- Upon joining, ask them to opt in to a monthly newsletter which would be sent out
- Monthly newsletter should contain updates from WG's (activities & areas where help is needed), OSM in the news, local chapter profiles, mapping party achievements. There should be as much locacal content as possible (and it should use as much the local language as possible) - what is near user is more likely to attract him.
- Monthly newsletter should not be a discussion mailing list (we have enough of those) and instead would serve several purposes. It would act as a gentle reminder to come back and make an edit, method of communication for WG's to general users, should be offered to everyone to sign up, act as a medium between OSM & the outside world e.g. "contact us" section would contain options for OSMF, WG's, IRC etc
- More involvement in working groups through the use of a portal for the WG's e.g "How you can help" - individual contributor context (Time / community building / advocacy)
- Portal should show what each WG actually needs e.g. skills needed, current project openings, gaps that exist, planned projects that need to be resourced
- WG's should have a means to actively promote their needs to all active users
- Increase the social aspect of mapping
- Incorporate the likes of Pascal's How did you contribute & heatmap
- iD incorporates posting to various social networking sites, investigate if its possible to do something like this with desktop editors also
- Option within profile to post daily personal changeset activity to facebook etc which would include a link to user profile, OSM and an image showing a heatmap of the days activity
Organisations / Data Importers
- Provide help, support and where possible points-of-contact for those wishing to donate data / imports with the aim of improving quality of imports where they fill a need
- As above for WG's, - large contributor context (Financial / hardware / resources /advocacy )
- A method to control imports in order to prevent poor quality imports (Not sure if this is even possible --DaCor (talk) 21:19, 27 May 2013 (UTC))
It should be noted that there is likely a certain percentage of Group 1 that eventually become members of Group 2 also.
Group 2 - "Use" aka Data Users
I do not fall into this category myself so I am unsure of the needs of this group, if someone else could take a stab at this --DaCor (talk) 21:19, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Dividing "data users" into specific categories:
Regular Data Use e.g. Developers of app's or navigation
- Ability to offer not just planet files, but per country / region also
Data Analysis Use e.g. College / community projects
- Ability to offer not just planet files, but per country / region also
Map Use e.g. anyone who has more sophisticated need to use the OSM data and present it (chain of restaurants, bank showing its branches), customize and does not want to set up their own rendering server.
Group 3 - "Look" aka Site Visitors
This is where we "show off" what can be done with OSM. If we do not acheive most of this, we should consider changing the main page to collection of links to best map services using OSM.
- Basic requirements which visitors should reasonably expect to find
- Can add marker from right click or drag & drop and share the resulting map.
- Route engine with car, bike, walking options
- Clickable POI's
- the information is presented in similar way as ID editor, or as mapy.cz. ie. in right column and is editable there.
- Different maps or layers - public transport / hiking map / cyclemap / streetnames.
- More advanced features. To do these, screen real-estate for map would need to be reduced on homepage
- Ability to see live updates from homepage with one-click
- 3D map layer examples for locations which have levels/height information
- Map layers, feature more options
- "Show me _________ in current map view" option that would work similar to overpass turbo to allow visitor to bring up locations of e.g. places of worship in the current map view. Auto fill on input based on Taginfo data
- Logged in users can have serveral "my maps" - their collection of markers.
All of the above should come with a "Edit map" link, which, when clicked, moves the needs of this visitor to Group 1 requirements.
3 C Analysis
The 3 C's is a common marketing analysis - Company, Customer, Competitor - used to describe how an organization fits into a marketplace. I suggest we put some effort into building consensus around these areas, as I believe much of the debate on various talking lists, etc., is related to disagreement on these fundamental areas. More information on 3 C's Analysis can be found on Wikipedia .
- IT Infrastructure: Collection of database resources
- External-facing services:
- API database
- OSM contributors
- Who are they?
- Types of contributors
- OSM Vision?
- OSM Values?
- OSM Strategy?
- Performance metrics
Who does OSM serve with its existence and activities?
- OSM contributors
- What are their needs?
- A resource where they can go to engage in their hobbies
- A resource where they can build cool maps
- A resource where they can keep data up to date (for themselves?)
- What are their needs?
- OSM data consumers
- What are their needs?
- Free provider of tiles, open map data, etc.
- Internet-based map users?
- What are their needs?
- As an open source map-data repository: very few
- As a provider of map-related data: Google, etc.
- As a provider of map-related services: Google, etc.
- Some would argue that we are not a provider of map-related services.
- I believe this is a key question: what's the pull if we are not? (+1)