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My Sandpit

Hi, I'm 80n or Etienne (my real name is George James). I've been actively involved with this project since around November 2005. Current activities include:

  • Maintainer of the MUMPS based XAPI and FOSM fork.
  • Administering the GPStogo scheme
  • Organising and attending the occasional mapping party
  • Working towards completion of Surrey (population 1 million)


This is a brief profile of me as posted to the Vote mailing list on June 13, 2006 as candidate for Treasurer of the OpenStreetMap Foundation:

I have a degree in philosophy from the University of Hull.
I have worked in the IT industry since 1978, mainly in the UK and US. I have owned and managed a successful software business for the last 17 years. My business has no commercial connections or interests in GIS or cartography or any related field.
I discovered OpenStreetMap in about December 2005. My main attraction to OSM is the ability to combine a number of my leisure time interests into one activity.
My activity on OSM leans more towards mapping than software development. My contributions so far include:
  • Initiated the Mapping Projects on the wiki and created the first wiki-project page (for the UK).
  • Recording progress (and doing quite a lot of the work) towards the completion of the UK motorway network.
  • Development of Osmarender (a configurable SVG renderer of OSM data).
  • Mapping of a decent chunk suburbia to the south-west of London (Weybridge, etc).
  • Generally being opinionated about various subjects on the mailing lists and carping about performance from time to time ;-)
For the OpenStreetMap Foundation my political agenda is:
  • Inclusive Membership. I will lobby for inclusive membership of the foundation, with minimal barriers for contributors to become members.
  • Creative Commons. I will try to ensure that the data within OSM is and remains free for anyone to use under the most suitable license available.
  • Beneficiaries to Pay. I will encourage consumers/beneficiaries of OSM data, who are not also contributors, to donate to OSM or support OSM in a material way.
  • Success. I will try to help OSM to grow as big as and to be as successful as Wikipedia.
My dream is of the day that Google Maps starts to use OSM data (under our license terms).

OSMF Election 2007

As posted to the OSM-talk mailing list on August 3rd, 2007:

I'm currently the Treasurer and I'm standing for re-election.
You can see here what I said when I stood for this position last year:
I haven't changed my views and opinions much since then so most of what I said still stands:
Inclusive Membership - I really do want as many contributors as possible to be members of the foundation. That makes both the foundation and the project much stronger.
On licensing, it's the contributors that have to decide how they want to license their data, it's then up to the project to find a way of making that work. The foundation does and should actively support that process.
I still believe that the beneficiaries of the data should be the ones to help finance the project. While in the early stages donations from contributors are a necessary source, in the longer term we should be seeking ways to make it easy for the users of the data to support the project. There have been significant successes in this direction. Direct sponsorship from MultiMap and the conference sponsors now exceeds donations from individual OSMers by a large factor.
My activities as Treasurer of OSMF during the past year have included setting up the Foundation as a legal entity (UK registered non-profit company), set up banking facilities, did a nice deal with Storage Depot that generates a small but regular income each month from the sale of NaviGPSs, initiated and prepared several proposals for funding including the Digital Pioneers funding in the Netherlands. I have also planned one and attended seven mapping parties, helped organise the State of Map conference done a bit of hacking on Osmarender and mapped about 98% of the borough of Elmbridge, south west of London.
For the next year I'd like to see further advances, building on recent progress, in the provision and management of the core servers. With focus particularly on service levels and availability. Take-on of AND data and exponential growth in the community mean that this needs to be a priority objective for the Foundation. The goal should be well managed, professionally run servers with planned capacity to meet the needs of the community and data consumers.
To support the community I'd like to see the creation of local chapters (or OSMF federated member organisations) in as many countries as possible. This will give each country/region the capability to raise funds locally and organise mapping parties that will help build and bond their communities. I am already in early stage discussions with a couple of countries about the creation of local chapters and see the principle of "think globally, act locally" to be especially important in the worldwide growth of the OSM community.
Personally, I'm involved in OSM because it ticks a lot of the boxes for things that interest me. It's a genuine pleasure to be part of a community that brings so much talent to bear on such a broad range of problems, challenges and awesome goals. OSM is an exciting project that deserves to succeed outrageously. I'm really proud to be part of it.


Megastar.png 80n is awarded a MegaStar for uploading one million track points.