StateoftheMap Organizing Committee/Minutes/2015/2015-06-18 Meeting

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

SotM WG meeting

Previous minutes: StateoftheMap Organizing Committee/Minutes/2015/2015-05-28 Meeting


June 18th 2015, 17:00 GMT (The WG did not meet on 11th June as too few people were available.)


  • Gregory M
  • Randy M
  • Rob N
  • Serge W
  • Henk H
  • Alyssa W
  • Richard W

Absent Apologies

  • (none)

The meeting flowed without a formal agenda, the headings being added afterwards to aid reading. This meeting started with an introduction/update from Rob, which has been spread over the first few headings.

Rob: Thanks for taking time to reflect on matters before replying to e-mails. We congratulate the US group on running a successful conf, over 800 delegates at the UN. Amazing to have lots of people gathered in one place.

Update on group

Rob: Events happening this last week. Concerns raised over bitterness, past politics, and welcome atmosphere of WG. As replied on e-mails, it is key to look forward to 2016 but also our Code of Conduct for conf applies for WG itself. OSMF Board met on Monday, outcome decided not to disband the group. They’ve made it clear that they’re empowering the group to enforce it’s CoC and bring in, or remove people as necessary. Not something I(Rob) wants to be be doing, but will do if needed. Mentioned that having an extra person for CoC reasons. Asked Gregory to act as that secondary/alternative person, who has accepted. Kate has volunteered to be a liaison between WG and Board. Won’t be joining the WG as such but will liaise for transferring messages beyond and will support.

Rob: Why I believe we’ve come under scrutiny. OSMF Board is always being pulled amongst the members in different directions on all sort of areas. Difficult for them to work out, but they’re now working that out. We’re possibly the most front-facing WG of the OSMF so we potentially get a lot of those pulls (focus on commercial or not, community, etc). I don’t have all the answers to that strategy/direction, it’s a bigger picture and needs to be worked in with the board for long term action. We need to be pragmatic and I caution against big jolt changes. More evolution not revolution. How do we find direction? We;ve done post-SotM surveys in the past, the 2013 Birmingham response will be circulated with the WG. Idea for the board doing an annual survey of it’s members, this has been talked with Kate about and will be passed on to the wider board.

Direction for SotM

Rob: My key aims for conference: keep costs low (sponsorship supports this), reintroduce a scholarship program(sponsorship to support this would be fantastic), purpose of SotM to provide a platform for 3 groups within OSM: data producers(inc volunteer mappers not necessarily geo-professionals), data consumers(personal interest & commercial use), those who work on our tools(devs for tools that support production and/or consumption of data). Good place for people to talk to people of the other groups. Aim to provide an environment for that and to move OSM forward together. Suggest we go round the group to say where people fit.

Rob: OSM work is entirely voluntarily, data producer. Played with tools(to see what can be done) but not really a data consumer.

Randy: involved with an OSM business, data consumption, not much mapping but does, developing tools for a bit of both. Alyssa: about the same (as Randy)

Henk: same as Rob

Greg: volunteer mapper, data consumer (personal, and trying to increase commercial-wise as a freelancer), occasional playing as a dev but not really

Serge: primarily producer, most of time spent (deving) tools to assist contributors (analysis or contributing). No financial interest.

Richard: Touch on all 3, more of a mapper than the others. Primary interest in building contributor community.

Henk to look at archived surveys from previous SotMs.

Venue Selection - Bucharest

Last call looked at 3 bids. Suggested Bucharest bid be dropped due to it being weaker in comparison to the other two. Were missing Henk & Randy from that call.

Henk: Sent an e-mail before (28th May) meeting stating my view on things. Suggested taking Bucharest, Romania because it’s taking SotM to places(Eastern Europe) we have been before.

Rob: Bucharest team is being purely driven by Chris, although a second person is now listed on the team. Risk putting it all on one person driving it. Only got 1 venue when we asked for multiple.

Henk: Developments the last few weeks. I don’t feel we need to carry on too much talking about Bucharest.

Randy: I’m sympathetic to go with the reasons for Bucharest but it’s good to avoid the higher risk venue and I support the decision to drop it.

Venue selection - Brussels

Rob: Update from Brussels is when Ben came back from SotM-US at the UN. He’s very impressed with the scale and location to that and has had a seemingly knee-jerk reaction and wants to change the bid to the European Parliament building. I’ve told him that we can’t hold back on deciding, suggest if we select Brussels we should pencil in the uni venue still. Ben has suggested 2.5 months to investigate the EU venue.

Serge: I support that.

Alyssa: does he have contacts?

Rob: has a few listed. I’m not convinced it’s entirely possible.

Richard: another/better contact would be welcome if anyone has them.

Henk: yes, would be good to use as many contacts as possible to get in there. It does help that the UN has set a precedent, will make it more difficult for the EU to say no to us.

Rob: Kate mentioned that HOT summit (nothing concrete but) going to Europe next would be good for it. If we were to be in Brussels they might try tie-in with it or make it a higher priority.

Venue selection - Montreal

Rob: Montreal bid, we were concerned with WSF and how it would work. Nothing on that added beyond the research Rob did(inc in the summary document). We want to distance ourselves from that & hotel rooms would taken. Some dates before WSF have been suggested, which leaves Concordia university Aug-Sep(during summer week).

Venue selection - selecting

Anyone make a proposal to what you suggest, for a starting point for discussion.

Richard: All teams would be good, best team is in Brussels.

Randy: I support that and the involvement of OSM France is very strong so I add to that.

Serge: me to.

Alyssa: agreed.

Henk: yep me too, and possibility to be in EU parliament/commissioner would be very good.

Greg: me too. I think the interest in EU building supports choosing that team even if we don’t end up in the EU building.

Having agreed on Brussels

Henk: suggest we don’t set a date yet, if EU is a possibility then they might need to set a date. We can say next year is going to be Brussels but date & location being worked on (if we go public).

Richard: I think a 2.5-3 month stretch on this is going to kill us and I’d like us to move faster than that. If uni will play ball get something penciled in, hold of on announcement and see if we can get something from the EU in 2-3 weeks before we announce.

Rob: agreed, we should try and now secure something with the Libre uni. Giving us some time of investigation for EU would be good for us and if that pulls through back out of the uni. Happy to give 2.5 months, that would then give us a year before the conf and still find to move venue. Beyond that I would be cautious. I would want to tell Montreal they are the back-up in case things go completely wrong, but we don’t see that event happening. To reduce our risk further.

Serge: a week is too short, 2.5 months is too long. I would say a month to 1.5 months, split the difference.

Randy: I agree with that (Serge). Another point to consider, scholarships take time to organise [refers to Alyssa].

Alyssa: For SotM US 2015 we proposed the date to allow 3 months for visa applications, ended up being 2 months and not enough time. I recommend 4-5 months. If contacts are ready I say we engage but quickly. I would imagine those places official permission won’t happen in a week but we can get an idea of possibilities.

Richard: with 2 months, nothing could happen in 1 month.

Alyssa: let the team know we would like Brussels and move with urgency to find out possibility with EU parliament/commission. quote e-mail from Ben: “If Brussels gets SOTM 16 I suggest we set the deadline 2.5 months from now. This will give us the opportunity to try 100% to make this happen. Otherwise we will be left with the feeling that we should have tried harder most likely... if in Brussels we will want to set the date at the end of the year anyway.”

Rob: unsure about last bit.

Henk: if we wait 2.5 months and don’t look any further that will look weird. Within 1.5 months we will have idea if it’s working or not but might still need the time to finalise the gritty details and official confirmation. During the time we will hopefully find feeling if it’s going to happen, but being silent for 2.5 months isn’t the way forward. We can look at do we know organisations or contacts within the EU or in orgs like the Red Cross that work with the EU.

Randy: Lambert from the UNRIC office might know someone.

Alyssa: Got that as a to-do and having a meeting with him next week.

Henk: We should all keep each other updated (inc Brussels local team) on progress of contacts. Going to be an important 2.5 months.

Keeping momentum in organising

Rob: don’t want to lose momentum in that time. Is there anything we can do not venue-specific.

Richard: need to work out comms plan. Do we announce, who do we trust with embargoed info?

Alyssa: Also start talking with sponsorship tiers and designing the cards to advertise those and venue announcement. Making list of sponsorship potentials to reach to. Scholarship plan. Website plan etc.

Rob: significant work for us to do to keep the momentum. If everyone’s happy with the approach.

Europe building clarifications

Alyssa: is there one building we’re looking at or multiple?

Rob: European parliament is spread over few, but that might be offices and the meeting rooms might be in one.

Henk: European Committee is a different organisation and so a different building. Possibility is the venue in Strassberg is offered as that secondary building is not used much by the parliament.

Alyssa: has there been a conf there before?

Rob: closest I found Googling is some materials-engineering company that was also an European alliance that might have had closer links to the EU commission. Everything else is hosted by EU or EU MEPs.

Henk: An approach needed to take is linking to the European INSPIRE directive and they might be interested in sponsoring, they could claim the venue and give it to us. E.g Conf Centre of Amsterdam was reserved by a city dept that sponsored SotM and that’s how we got in.

Rob: Caution people to not get too carried away. Feeling the European commission/parliament is a lot slower-moving than the UN. It’s a functioning parliament that might not have times of recess to make the building available. Let’s try our dam hardest to get this but it’s not a certain we can get this.

Sorting out actions

Rob: actions for today. Write to the 3 bid teams, does anyone want to have a go at drafting that.

Richard: I could do something within the hour.

Rob: something basic, feedback to them later.

Greg: public announcements or embargo?

Henk: If we have Uni Libre as back-up, I don’t see anything wrong about announcing “we’re going to Brussels” without announcing exact venue/dates.

Rob: So we want to get Brussels to get something firm for uni libre.

Richard: Brussels team on a call, next week?

Rob: I’ll circle a doodle poll for that.

Rob: tell Montreal they’re back up?

Richard: don’t see that as a positive thing.

(general agreement)

Serge: better to thank them for the bid. Better to beg if needed than to tell them they’re back up which is a bit insulting.

Richard: are we all embargoed about the selection.

Rob: yes for now, good to get an announcement out soon (once bid teams informed).

Richard: then communication on OSMF blog and SotM blog?

Rob: yes, both I think.


  • Richard: draft e-mails to the 3 bid teams so we can send them out.
  • Rob: doodle poll once e-mails have been sent.
  • Rob: circling post-SotM13 (Birmingham) survey response to current WG
  • Henk: looking into archive for other post-SotM surveys

Any other business


Next meeting

Next meeting To be arranged, with Brussels local team. (will need to divert from Skype due to 7-person max)

End of meeting at +59 minutes and 30 seconds.