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Twitter user Erictheise tweets as @erictheise
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iD Erictheise submits data to OpenStreetMap using iD.

OSM Board Position Statement (2015)

I first crossed paths with the OpenStreetMap project while teaching an interdisciplinary course in Mapping as a Creative Strategy at the California College of the Arts. Eventually I attended a CloudMade-sponsored mapping party, found myself wanting to do more and more with online maps in my work as a web developer, and became part of the San Francisco open geo community. OSM has, naturally, been a big part of my growth in the field, and, after participating behind the scenes with the 2013 and 2014 State of the Map US conferences, I would like to make a bigger commitment by seeking a term on the Board.

Public awareness of open data and open source software only continues to grow, and I believe it's the Board's responsibility to take advantage of this and get OSM into the minds of more people. Marketing is a necessary evil and I believe that the Board should devote some attention to both ongoing and opportunistic efforts to keep OSM in the news: ongoing, in the sense of regular blog posts and press releases; opportunistic, in the sense of promoting OSM activity in relation to current and unique events. I also believe that the Board should expand its communication channels with auxiliary projects such as HOT, OpenHistoricalMap, and TeachOSM, and do what it can to improve support and awareness of these projects in the United States.

Qualifications and Experience

I consider myself a minor contributor as both a mapper and as a developer. My contributions to the map tend to be POIs of new or marginal restaurants, cafes, art galleries, and performance venues, although in recent times I added an important but obscure staircase on the backside of San Francisco's Mt. Sutro. As a developer, I've contributed lon/lat parsing code to the search interface of the main OSM website, as well as the code that displays the Geo URI in its Share panel. I mention these only because candidate editing stats are routinely posted in advance of an election.

Relevant specifically to the OSM US Board is my experience working on State of the Map conferences. The first SotMUS I attended was Portland's, in 2012, and come 2013 (San Francisco), I volunteered to be involved in the selection and scheduling of presentations, selection of scholarship recipients, and soliciting sponsorships. I was also part of the programming committee for the 2014 (Washington DC) conference, where I presented (after recusing myself from that particular decision). I've been involved in a number of quarterly mapathons and, in a related vein, have presented workshops on using open source data with open source software at numerous Meetups & Maptimes as well as FOSS4G, NACIS, and Association of American Geographers conferences.

I've served on the Boards of several arts non-profits with budgets comparable to the US OSM chapter.

Goals for My Term

  1. develop medium and long term plans to increase awareness of and involvement with OSM in the United States
  2. determine desired benefits of OSM US membership and work to start providing them
  3. increase and formalize Board support for auxiliary projects such as Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), OpenHistoricalMap, & TeachOSM
  4. stagger Board terms so that no more than 1/3-1/2 of Board membership changes from year to year