Thanks for sharing this, Deb. It's a fascinating and compelling critique of how the early decisions made by an organization (and a young free culture movement) can have huge downstream effects.
A couple thoughts and issues this raised in my mind: I'm delighted by how Serge frames his argument for changes to OSM around user needs (both contributors and consumers). I love the case that Serge lays out for what I guess I would call a more cohesive "product strategy" for OSM. I think we (WMF, Movement) would do well to consider many of the issues raised here as we move forward with WikiData development and WikiBase federation. Serge's description of how OSM works as a stand-alone platform for contributing and consuming map data, and why it works that way, explains a lot. I've made a few OSM contributions, and tried to use their API for research purposes, and was always baffled by how hard it was to learn the ropes, and do seemingly basic things. I'm probably spoiled by how good Wikimedia's tools are—both the WMF supported ones like RESTbase, and the broader ecology of community created bots, gadgets, web apps, etc. It's interesting to hear a call for *more* centralized control over the platform by OSMF. I don't get the sense that this happens much in OSS projects! WMF (aka the "Wikipedia Foundation" :/) is often criticized within the Wikimedia Movement for being *too* centralized. I'm ambivalent about this argument (obviously), but I can certainly see how the fact that WMF has employees in traditional tech industry roles (development, design, research, product management, etc.) has allowed us to adapt our platforms to changing needs and circumstances. Whether we always do that well is an entirely different matter--but we have the capacity to do so, unlike OSMF. And I found compelling his argument that the decision by OSMF to outsource these responsibilities to other individuals and organizations can create conflicts of interest which inhibit change--even positive change. This makes sense to me, based on what I know about organizations and communities generally. Whether he's right about every point (he asserts a lot of bad-faith motivations to people's actions, which I'm always wary of) is another story. Some researchers at Northwestern and the University of Minnesota did a study of OSM last year that's relevant to this discussion, I think. They gave a Research Showcase <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Research/Showcase#July_2017> about it last July (video <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC1jgK8C8aQ>, slides <https://figshare.com/articles/Wikimedia_Research_Showcase_July_2017_Andrew_Hall_pdf/5270962>, paper <http://jacob.thebault-spieker.com/papers/CHI17_OSMQual.pdf>). They focused on how the design of the platform created tensions between different contributor groups with different needs. IIRC, the researchers come to many of the same conclusions as Serge! Thanks again, Jonathan On Fri, Feb 23, 2018 at 9:48 AM, Deborah Tankersley < dtankers...@wikimedia.org> wrote: > Apologies for cross-posting... > > Cheers, > > Deb > > -- > > deb tankersley > > Program Manager, Engineering > > Wikimedia Foundation > > ---------- Forwarded message ---------- > From: Chris Koerner <ckoer...@wikimedia.org> > Date: Fri, Feb 23, 2018 at 10:14 AM > Subject: [Maps-l] "Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble" > To: map...@lists.wikimedia.org > > > In a blog post by Serge Wroclawski, a long time OpenStreetMap contributor > and the founder of the OpenStreetMap US organization, outlines reasons why > he believes OSM is in trouble. > > https://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2018/02/16/osm-is-in-trouble/ > > A choice quote. > > "The first problem that I feel plagues OSM is that the OpenStreetMap > Foundation views the mission of the project to provide the world a > geographic database, but not geographic services." > > See also this thread on the OSM-talk mailing list: > > https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2018-February/080161.html > > Yours, > Chris Koerner > Community Liaison > Wikimedia Foundation > > _______________________________________________ > Maps-l mailing list > map...@lists.wikimedia.org > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/maps-l > > > > _______________________________________________ > Discovery mailing list > Discovery@lists.wikimedia.org > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/discovery > > -- Jonathan T. Morgan Senior Design Researcher Wikimedia Foundation User:Jmorgan (WMF) <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jmorgan_(WMF)>
_______________________________________________ Discovery mailing list Discovery@lists.wikimedia.org https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/discovery