User:Imagico/Analysis of OSMF board candidates 2018/

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This is a subjective summary of the answers of the candidates to the official question. It is not meant to specifically state a personal opinion, just preliminary observations but it is of course based on my personal priorities and preferences.

Tell us a little about your OSM activities

Extended with results of independent research.

Tobias Knerr

  • Local hobby craft mapper from the early times of OSM
  • Typical hobby mapper pattern (evening hours)
  • Almost exclusively JOSM, predominantly in Germany, about 1/5 in Austria, very little in the US
  • Active in community discourse through digital channels
  • Involved in OSM activities in Germany, conferences
  • software developer (OSM2world)
  • CWG, EWG
  • Languages: German, English
  • works as scientists at university (Institute for Software Systems in Technical Applications of Computer Science, unrelated to OSM)
  • questions answered: all
  • Additional ressources:
  • Additional statements:

Jo Walsh

  • Local hobby craft mapper from the very beginning of OSM
  • very little recent mapping activities
  • Some HOT work, some edits seem to be part of DWG work so difficult to distinguish from normal mapping
  • active in local community
  • formerly DWG
  • Languages: English
  • works for British Geological Survey
  • questions answered: 12/13, no manifesto
  • Additional ressources:

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • Mostly organized mapping activities (HOT), but a lot of it is local, starting 2012
  • Daytime mapper, possibly as part of work
  • predominantly JOSM, predominantly Uganda, some Tanzania and other African countries
  • unclear what parts of his community activities are part of his job.
  • Chairman MapUganda
  • Languages: English, Swahili
  • works for HOT (GIS lead on a project in Uganda and as the Community Programs Assistant globally)
  • questions answered: all
  • Additional ressources:

Joost Schouppe

  • Both local craft mapper and non-organized remote mapping, starting 2012
  • High volume of mapping activities, during day and evening, weekdays mostly
  • Potlatch and iD, mostly Belgium, Bolivia (and recently Portugal during vacation)
  • active in local community
  • MWG
  • Languages: Dutch, English, Spanish, French
  • board member of OSM Belgium
  • works as "sociologist and data analyst" for local administration
  • questions answered: all
  • Additional ressources:
  • Additional statements:

Guillaume Rischard

  • local craft mapper, starting 2011
  • relatively constant over the years, during day and evening, all days of the week
  • JOSM mapper, mostly Luxembourg, some activity in other European countries
  • OSM community activity locally, abroad and on digital channels
  • DWG, MWG
  • Languages: French, Luxembourgish, English, German
  • board member of several non-profits (some listed in 2016 manifesto)
  • works as data consultant, member of Luxembourg city mobility commission
  • questions answered: all
  • Additional ressources:
  • Additional statements:

Miriam Gonzalez

  • got involved in OSM through work for Telenav
  • mostly organized activities (HOT) but also some local craft mapping
  • iD mapper, mostly Mexico and Guatemala, some in Africa
  • co-founder Geochicas
  • active in local community and international OSM events
  • Languages: Spanish, English
  • worked until Sept 2018 at Telenav (https://medium.com/@mapanauta/starting-a-new-journey-a1589efdf460), among other things OpenStreetCam
  • does not say anything about current or future employment (seems to be looking for new job - see clarification here)
  • questions answered: 8/13 (additional answers here)
  • Additional ressources:
  • Additional statements:

Nuno Caldeira

  • Very active local craft mapper, starting in 2011
  • Daytime and evening mapping, all days of the week
  • almost exclusively maps locally in Madeira
  • local community work
  • JOSM and iD mixed
  • does translation work in OSM software
  • Languages: Portuguese, English
  • geographer, photographer, "ambassador" for various companies (photo equipment, Mapillary), employment unknown (seems to be in local administration according to RadioOSM statement)
  • questions answered: all
  • Additional ressources:

What do you think qualifies you for a position on the board of the OSMF?

Tobias Knerr

  • extensive experience in OSM in various fields
  • independence from organized interests as a pure hobby mapper

Jo Walsh

  • experience on the board of OSGeo and OKFN
  • having been an OSM contributor for a long time (but not very visible recently)

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • OSM involvement in general but nothing specific

Joost Schouppe

  • no preconceived opinions
  • compromise builder

Guillaume Rischard

  • WG experience
  • political experience and with non-profits
  • ability of reaching compromise

Miriam Gonzalez

  • seeing things in an objective way (sic!)
  • local community experience

Nuno Caldeira

  • board experience in a hiking camping association,
  • ability to accept different points of view

Commentary

  • relatively wide spectrum of different experiences
  • i find it kind of weird that the two candidates with OSM related work experience (Geoffrey and Miriam) are the ones least specific in specifying their specific qualifications. That might be a bit of a cultural thing because they are also the only candidates not from Europe but since both have worked or are working for American and European corporations/organizations proactively presenting their qualifications when you apply for a position is probably not that unfamiliar to them.


The values and goals of the OpenStreetMap project

Tobias Knerr

  • focus on do-ocracy
  • critical of centralization and hierarchies
  • open-source software
  • specific mapping conventions not on the same level as core values

Jo Walsh

  • scope of the OSMF Board too wide
  • autonomy of WGs
  • board administers, does not direct

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • existing values very good and relevant
  • would like to add "verifiability" but seems to understand this as meaning a stronger emphasis on local on-the-ground mapping (as opposed to remote mapping)

Joost Schouppe

  • nothing of substance

Guillaume Rischard

  • wants routine evaluation of goals
  • doing a survey

Miriam Gonzalez

  • not answered

Nuno Caldeira

  • wants to emphasize the attribution requirement of the ODbL
  • sees deficits in the OSMF enforcing this

Commentary

  • only Tobias, Guillaume and Nuno seem to have a position on the matter of immutable values (see my original question) - Nuno is very specific on the single matter of attribution here, Tobias sees certain immutable values while Guillaume clearly tends towards dynamic adjustment to the current interests of the community.


Mappers, Mappers, Lots of Happy Mappers

Tobias Knerr

  • mappers being able to map what they are interested in and have fun this way is of high significance
  • importance of tools to support this and working on those tools
  • OSMF to support and not control community
  • no behaviour regulation
  • diversity concerns primarily about geographic diversity
  • local chapters play an important role here
  • imports or organized editing can be counterproductive
  • reduce barriers of OSMF membership

Jo Walsh

  • Welcome Working Group
  • pro CoC, but minimal, not by board (but how then?)

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • better acknowledge new mappers efforts
  • (no really meaningful stance on diversity)
  • Regulation of OSM community members should be spearheaded by the OSMF (!!!)

Joost Schouppe

  • better welcome new mappers, editors integrating communication
  • diversity should be approached bottom-up, his focus seems to be on women
  • contributor recruitment from data users (like Facebook users)
  • (no position on behaviour regulation)

Guillaume Rischard

  • better tools for welcoming new mappers
  • diversity as means to the end of creating a better map
  • specific improvement plans for transparency in diversity of OSMF (membership statistics)
  • pro CoC, but through community consensus, no decision power of the OSMF
  • need for fundamental changes in OWG/core development, but no specifics

Miriam Gonzalez

  • emphasis on the importance of real world meetings
  • welcome messages to new mappers, possibly automated
  • gather more information on signup to create useful statistics
  • diversity: focus on women: sharing experiences, safe space and specific support at events to accomplish this.
  • seems pro CoC but as "guidelines" to help people to be more polite and less agressive

Nuno Caldeira

  • mentoring as a method to welcome new contributors

Commentary

  • various interesting ideas on welcoming and recruiting new mappers
  • regarding diversity Joost and Miriam focus on gender diversity while Tobias and Guillaume focus on geographic diversity. Miriam has the most specific ideas on this.
  • behaviour regulation/CoC - Tobias is against centralized regulation, Jo and Guillaume are for a CoC but not from or by initiative of the board. Miriam seems relatively vaguely for a central CoC but seems aware of cross culture/cross language difficulties with that and is ultimately overall non-specific about this and Geoffrey looks enthusiastically for a top-down CoC. Joost and Nuno have no statement on this.


You & the other candidates

Tobias Knerr

  • focus on existing board members

Jo Walsh

  • mentions Guillaume as recent acquaintance and Mikel from past times

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • mentions only other HOT members

Joost Schouppe

  • nothing of substance

Guillaume Rischard

  • mentions having reached out to the other candidates
  • gives his impression on each of the other candidates

Miriam Gonzalez

  • has met Joost and Geoffrey and has positive impression of them

Nuno Caldeira

  • nothing of substance

Commentary

  • interesting that Tobias, Jo and Geoffrey mention the current board member and the rest only the other candidates - in particular Miriam for whom Martijn is a former colleague.


Board diversity

Tobias Knerr

  • bottom-up approach: OSM community -> OSMF member -> board member
  • de-emphasizing physical board meetings and synchronous communication
  • lack of diversity in OSMF members as source of lack of board diversity
  • more active mappers as OSMF members
  • growing local communities of individual volunteer contributors outside North America/Europe

Jo Walsh

  • not answered

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • OSM is a global project of global contributors
  • But also seems to indicate a more federated approach: leaders of local OSM communities as candidates for the board

Joost Schouppe

  • bottom-up approach: bring the OSMF membership to represent mapper base
  • English language requirements as a big problem
  • Necessary investment of time for board members is a problem, favoring people with professional interest
  • questionnaires to involve the broader community (without specifics)

Guillaume Rischard

  • large and diverse membership as key
  • board members should represent the whole community and not just their demographics
  • local community support and greater voice to local chapters.


Miriam Gonzalez

  • focus on diversity of the whole community because important for a richer map and a richer project
  • I consider myself a Glocal citizen because I had the opportunity to live in different parts of the globe including China, France, UK, USA and Mexico. I consider this give me an advantage to understand better the cultures and geographical differences.


Nuno Caldeira

  • against quota system
  • interest of the individual candidate is key

Commentary

  • Tobias, Joost, Guillaume and Miriam emphasize the need for diversity to come from the base (to varying degrees), Geoffrey seems to take more of a top-down approach but also has the interesting idea of a more federated OSMF. Miriam's statement is kind of odd because it implies that diversity is represented in herself as a single person (which depending on your idea of diversity might not really work as a concept).


Conflicts of interest

Tobias Knerr

  • sees no likely own CoI but aware of the possibility
  • CoI is not limited to employment relationships
  • CoI disqualifies from using their voting rights and other privileges in the board's decision-making process

Jo Walsh

  • sees no likely own CoI
  • not much more on this subject


Geoffrey Kateregga

  • Works for HOT
  • Chairman MapUganda (local NGO)
  • CoI should lead to refraining from taking part in any OSMF decision making related to the matter

Joost Schouppe

  • Rules out work related CoIs
  • not much more on this subject

Guillaume Rischard

  • sees no own CoI
  • mentions a strong disapproval of the way Mikel handled his CoI on the organized editing subject
  • mentions familiarity with CoI handling in politics
  • supports clear rules on CoIs for the board

Miriam Gonzalez

  • Rules out any own CoI
  • If I become employee of a company that relies on OSM I can inform it.

Nuno Caldeira

  • is a "Mapillary ambassador" (presumably involves some sort of payment)
  • My decisions as a member of the board will never be influenced by third parties or interests

Commentary

  • Generally the CoI statements are kind of disappointing
  • No one made a statement if there are criteria for overall disqualification of a person for the board. Only Tobias in his manifesto suggests a quota rule (no more than one member from a single organization).
  • No one made a clear statement what activities on the board are taboo for members with a CoI.
  • Tobias seems the most reflective and considerate candidate on the matter but Guillaume is the most specific regarding practical application in the OSMF.
  • Miriam categorically ruling out a CoI and not having a general stance on the matter despite until recently working for a company on OSM related matters is not convincing and seems all too familiar with current board members.
  • From Geoffrey as the candidate with the clearest potential for CoIs i am missing a clear statement of his understanding of what constitutes a CoI. But at least he indicates to consider guidance of other members on this matter (which is more than what can be said for some current board members).


Your opinion on Term limits for board members?

Tobias Knerr

  • personally not convinced but wants to implement them because the demonstrated preference of the membership
  • disproportionate influence of corporations and other organized groups more significant than term length

Jo Walsh

  • I am in favour of term limits for Directors.

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • For 4 year term limits, supports this with the political experience in his home country

Joost Schouppe

  • I think some form of term limits are necessary

Guillaume Rischard

  • no one should stay on the board forever
  • but ultimately, it's up to the members
  • unclear what this means exactly

Miriam Gonzalez

  • not answered

Nuno Caldeira

  • for term limits

Commentary

  • Almost everyone who answered seems to be effectively for term limits
  • Guillaume is unclear - seems to indicate he wants to put this to another vote of the members
  • Geoffrey makes the most eloquent statement here


Your opinion on Paid staff

Tobias Knerr

  • keep existing paid positions
  • will not push for additional paid positions but will constructively work with board members who want this
  • will oppose any attempt to install paid management or leadership positions

Jo Walsh

  • status quo makes sense
  • will not seek to hire more people to work for OSMF


Geoffrey Kateregga

  • We need to keep this and also hire more people
  • Sees this as a way to support the OSM community in Africa because it is more difficult for them to volunteer (unclear why)
  • At the same time thinks this will not compromise the involvement of volunteers


Joost Schouppe

  • wants to hire people for project management (reporting, planning, organising)
  • sees this as a support role (make the life of core volunteers easier, not to replace them)

Guillaume Rischard

  • keep existing paid positions
  • new paid work should only be for tasks that volunteers haven't been able to get done
  • Volunteers must remain at the core of what we do (and gives example where this is important)

Miriam Gonzalez

  • keep existing paid positions
  • evaluate if more positions are needed
  • this is a good way to have more control and communicate better to a large audience

Nuno Caldeira

  • I agree with the current situation, mostly based on volunteer.

Commentary

  • for maintaining status quo: Tobias, Jo, Nuno
  • guarded position for additional paid position: Joost, Guillaume, Miriam
  • enthusiastically pro hiring: Geoffrey
  • Joost's project management idea would clash with the red line of Tobias not to install paid management
  • the arguments for hiring people to me do not appear to be well thought through


Your opinion on Organized editing

Tobias Knerr

  • sees a need for organized editing regulation
  • would have preferred a regulation more like the first DWG draft
  • supports the new guidelines
  • stresses the need for evaluation of the effects

Jo Walsh

  • somewhat unclear position, seems to only talk about the first DWG draft.

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • emphasizes the variable mapping density in different parts of the world as justification for organized editing
  • supports the new guidelines

Joost Schouppe

  • supports the new guidelines

Guillaume Rischard

  • supports the new guidelines (and has largely written them)
  • They should be reevaluated once we can judge what impact they've had, not before

Miriam Gonzalez

  • not answered

Nuno Caldeira

  • sees organized editing mainly as a data manipulation and neutrality problem (like SEO spamming etc. probably)
  • supports regulation of this in general

Commentary

  • everyone seems to like the new guideline - but this seems to be mostly a glad we have a result of some sort kind of like rather than this is a great way to deal with organized activities.
  • Tobias and Guillaume emphasize the need for later evaluation.
  • Tobias is the only candidate who shows an awareness of the needs and interests of the individual local hobby craft mappers while the rest seems to look at this mostly on a political level balancing interests that are articulated and lobbied for in the political domain.
  • Geoffrey seems to represent the HOT position here (which happens to be part of the reason why many mappers feel the need for regulation).


Deciding on who gets grants

Tobias Knerr

  • importance of measurable goals of projects supported
  • supported people must have a history of volunteer OSM activity
  • views responsibility of picking the recipients as most sensitive
  • would like assembling a group on a per case basis and not a permanent institution
  • selection of people of this committee should be based on a person's contributions to the project

Jo Walsh

  • would like a large review committee with a geographic quota to ensure diversity of interests.

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • in selection the wider OSM community should be involved (like OSM Awards)
  • I think the funded programs should be those that innovatively use OSM to solve local problems.
  • suggests combination with mentorships

Joost Schouppe

  • wants clear goals for the whole grants project
  • suggests fine grained milestones for the start of projects
  • thematic focus should be general support of startup OSM communities and to unlock stalled projects
  • warns of organizational overhead, wants to solve this with paid project management
  • selection through a democratic voting system by the wider community

Guillaume Rischard

  • selection through a working group
  • thematic scope: We need to support infrastructure and communities sustainably
  • we must be able to measure outcomes, not output

Miriam Gonzalez

  • thematic scope: Support communities, New Mapping tools, Diversity
  • selection: have a group of volunteers within each working group (???)

Nuno Caldeira

  • thematic scope: for promoting OSM in underrepresented regions

Commentary

  • the idea of Geoffrey and Joost to make grants a popularity contest is kind of scary
  • candidates vary in how specific their ideas are of what kind of project to support - from non-specific to specific: (Tobias < Jo < Geoffrey < Nono < Guillaume < Joost < Miriam)
  • candidates vary a lot in how much they perceive the task of selecting recipients for grants as a critical issue - but most of the ideas in that direction are rather vague.


Due diligence reverting edits

Tobias Knerr

  • reverts should be handled with care, in particular with new contributors
  • At the same time, reverts are a necessary tool in any wiki-style project
  • does not consider this to need involvement of the board normally

Jo Walsh

  • No-one should revert lightly, and we should try to assume good intent.

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • Just like for imports, I think it is necessary to discuss a revert on the country’s mailing list before a revert is made.


Joost Schouppe

  • reverting should be done carefully to avoid removing useful information
  • preferably after consultation with others.

Guillaume Rischard

  • always assume good intentions
  • current set of guidelines work quite well

Miriam Gonzalez

  • not answered

Nuno Caldeira

  • a changeset discussion attempt should precede reverts
  • More experienced contributors should be granted access to revert immediately, to avoid incorrect reverts.

Commentary

  • overall mostly thoughtful statements
  • i have the impression that Geoffrey had somewhat different types of reverts in mind (likely based on different practical experiences) than the others here - otherwise it would seem odd to require an import-like procedure for simple reverts of small individual edits.


Criticism on social media

Note the Crimea situation was unfolding while the candidates were working on their answers so not everyone had this on their radar probably.

Tobias Knerr

  • When OSM or its contributors are subject to attacks and hostility, it is the board's responsibility to stand firmly behind the project and targeted individuals

Jo Walsh

  • be calm and measured, avoid making statements that might be seen as speaking for the OSMF

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • However bad the message may be, It’s crucial to stay positive in the face of criticism. I would respond by addressing the issue, offer a solution, and give further options for follow up on the issue at hand.

Joost Schouppe

  • Our way of dealing with each other is damaging to the project. Trying to do something about that may drive away the few who refuse to be reflexive about their tone, but we drive away the "softer" people all the time.
  • Under very narrow circumstances a board decision for a public rebuttal of a statement might be in order.

Guillaume Rischard

  • I like that lively debate is usually how we handle things.
  • The campaigns against the OSMF and DWG and personal attacks on fellow DWG members are not helping, and I hope that the Ukrainian community will join me in condemning them.

Miriam Gonzalez

  • not answered

Nuno Caldeira

  • OSM image must not be affected and try to remain neutral in controversial issues.
  • Criticism must be answered by decision of the board and not as an individual member of the board.

Commentary

The question was a bit vague regarding what kind of criticism it refers to. It was probably asked in reference to inappropriate and demeaning critique in the past and in that regard Joost's reply looks a bit like victim blaming but overall i think the different interpretations of the question make comparison of the answers here impossible.


The role of proprietary communication channels in community discourse

This and the next questions are ones that were not part of the official questions where i picked out statements and other indicators for the opinion of the candidates.

Tobias Knerr

  • seems strongly pro open source (considers this part of the core values)
  • uses github for osm2world
  • does not appear to much use proprietary communication channels

Jo Walsh

  • seems strongly pro open source (as indicated by osgeo/okfn involvement)
  • uses twitter

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • no clear statement
  • teaches Open Source software as part of his job (QGIS)
  • uses twitter

Joost Schouppe

  • no clear statement
  • says: We should explore more media than just mailing lists. No specifics but mentions Kialo which is proprietary.
  • uses twitter

Guillaume Rischard

  • no clear statement
  • uses twitter
  • advocates telegram

Miriam Gonzalez

  • no clear statement
  • emphasizes the importance of real world communication
  • uses twitter
  • advocates telegram

Nuno Caldeira

  • no clear statement
  • uses twitter and other proprietary social media platforms (instagram, youtube, facebook)
  • advocates telegram

OSMF Member recruitment

This is an extraction of answers to my question about the proportional representation of the OSM community in the OSMF membership and: Do you consider this a problem and if yes what specific plans to address this do you have or support?

Tobias Knerr

  • considers this a significant issue
  • wants to therefore extend OSMF membership to all active mappers
  • sees the fee waiver program as a positive step

Jo Walsh

  • no clear position on this
  • wants to reduce the influence/power of the OSMF over OSM which can be interpreted as a potential measure to mitigate the problem

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • regards a more federated OSMF as a means to improve proportional representation
  • sees paid staff as a means to get better involvement of underrepresented regions
  • seems to be pro centralization including actively bootstrapping community by the OSMF

Joost Schouppe

  • We should actively try to bring the OSMF membership towards being representative of at least the mapper base
  • sees this in particular as a problem of language and culture divides
  • sees the fee waiver program as a positive step

Guillaume Rischard

  • sees this as a problem and is in particular worried about external interests actively working towards dominating the OSMF (regulatory capture)
  • wants to change rules for membership to avoid this (but not very specific)
  • I ask every OSMF member to help get getting other mappers to join, increasing our membership numbers
  • sees the fee waiver program as a positive step

Miriam Gonzalez

  • considers diversity of the whole community important - as well as on the OSMF board
  • does not seem to have a position specifically on the OSMF members

Nuno Caldeira

  • no clear position on this


Manifestos

Tobias Knerr

  • key goal: strengthen the influence of individual volunteers in the OSMF and reduce the influence of organizations
  • to do that:
  • Extend OSMF membership to all active mappers
  • Handle Conflicts of Interest responsibly
  • Limit board members from the same org to 1 seat
  • Discourage companies from exerting influence through employees' memberships
  • Improve transparency and community involvement
  • other goals can be found in the responses to questions

Jo Walsh

  • no statement

Geoffrey Kateregga

  • talks about his road in OSM from a craft mapper to working for HOT
  • describes attending SotM-US 2015 as defining experience
  • focus on community building through the Local Chapters Working Group and the Microgrants program if it comes to life.
  • There is a need to start up communities where they don’t exist (kind of conflicts with current OSMF mission)

Joost Schouppe

  • I think my biggest contribution might be to bridge gaps between the fragments of our community.
  • if not elected wants to work on:
  • relaunching the Local Chapters Working Group as a Community Working Group
  • OSM-science: bring more scientifically solid facts into OSM discourse, bring more OSM into science
  • main goal: growing the community
  • We should find ways to shield people from all the politics and still be able to help in a meaningful way
  • the voices of OSMF should reflect volunteers from all over the world to the same degree
  • bridging gaps in language, culture and communication styles and methods

Guillaume Rischard

  • main goals:
  • Level playing field: concern about special interests taking control of the OSMF through mass sign-up and ultimately regulatory capture. Wants to develop concrete measures to avoid that
  • Board transparency: reduce intransparent parts of the board's work
  • Working groups: work on reducing overload of the working groups, in particular OWG and MWG

Miriam Gonzalez

  • talks about her involvement in the local Mexican community
  • and about Mexican Boundaries Import and Humanitarian mapping in Mexico
  • talks about Geochicas
  • main goals:
  • supporting local communities especially in countries with different needs than the ones in the Northern hemisphere
  • reduce the gender gap
  • Support new mapping techniques, developing good human-machine workflows, that keep a human oriented map made better by machine power

Nuno Caldeira

  • I try to promote Opendata, OSM and contribute at the same time with focus on tools that can improve and add more data to OSM.
  • Improve the way OSMF supports projects
  • Improve action on the usage of OSM data with lack of attribution.
  • Improve communication towards OSM community


Commentary

The very different styles of manifestos made summarizing them appropriately and justly somewhat difficult - so you might want to read the full version here - even if you don't want to read all the answers to the questions.