2018 OpenStreetMap US Board Position Statement
I'm running for the 2018 OpenStreetMap US Board!
This is an exciting time to be working with OpenStreetMap. Our map is more complete than ever and our numbers are growing as we put OSM-based maps in front of more people. I hope you will vote for me to continue and accelerate progress that previous boards have made in making OSM the best it can be.
As maintainer of the iD editor, my primary focus is growing the OSM userbase by making contributing as easy as possible for as many people as possible. I started editing OpenStreetMap seriously in 2013 around the time that iD was launched. Since then, I've contributed to iD, eventually taking over as its maintainer, and attended the 2015, 2016, 2017 SOTM-US conferences. I've met with many of you in person and online, and love the energy of the OSM-US community.
Goals for 2018
Many of these ideas are not mine!
Organization - How often have you seen a great idea suggested in Slack, Twitter, or at a Meetup, and it slips from our collective attention a few days later? We can do a better job at collecting good ideas and following up with people later. I've found that GitHub issues work really well for collaborative tracking of issues - and would push to move away from mailing lists and wiki for some things (not everything!) which we want to track long term. I've started the osmlab/osm-planning repo as a "wishlist" for OSM technology initiatives.
Outreach - We can do more to reach out to users that haven't started editing. One of the most fun parts of my job is giving talks to local tech groups, hackerspaces, meetups, and conferences where people don't even know what OSM is. I'd like to encourage more leaders in OSM to give these kinds of talks (and do more of this myself), and surface them more widely on an events page or our newsletters and mailing lists.
Engagement - Let's learn more about who is editing, what they're editing, and why they stop. We should explore ways to connect to our users in the US (who want to be contacted) send them reminders, kudos, and invites to events, to keep them engaged. Even sending an email like "hey you edited this place 2 months ago, look how great it looks now" might be what's needed to pull churned users back into editing..
Community - I'd love to see more support for local community groups like Maptime and other local OSM meetups - what resources can we contribute to support them? Last year we had a US-wide public transit mapathon, and this was fun. We should do more of this. Other communities (Germany, UK?) have a "Weekly Task" which they send out to keep their community focused and engaged.
SOTM-US - This is always one of my favorite conferences, and I find the US community very welcoming and eager to learn from one another. Our corporate sponsors are also incredibly supportive. I know that working on the board I will play larger role in making this event as inclusive and fun as possible.
Executive Director - Bringing on an executive director is especially exciting. Having a dedicated person in this role will enable us to move faster on every one of these things mentioned above.
That's it! Vote for bhousel ✅