Working Group Minutes/SWG 2011-06-03

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


IRC Name Present Apologies
_chrisfl Chris Fleming y
Eugene Eugene Usvitsky y
Firefishy Grant Slater y
apmon Kai Krueger y
mkl Mikel Maron y
RichardF Richard Fairhurst
samlarsen1 Sam Larsen y
stevenfeldman Steven Feldman y
toffehoff Henk Hoff y
TomH Tom Hughes y
wonderchook Kate Chapman y

Also attending
IRC handle Name
blackadder Andy Robinson y
mackerski Dermot McNally Apols


27th May 2011 Minutes approved

Old business

Outstanding matters were covered in the following agenda items, which continued previous discussions


  • AoA
  • List etiquette
  • Front Page
  • Face to Face at sotm-eu

Articles of Association

No meeting this week

Response from MapQuest has highlighted that a decision regarding charitable status may be important when redrafting AoA.

  • Charitable status may be more attractive to some donors - is this an issue?
  • Charitable status could limit OSMF freedom to lobby for example

Action Henk: Review issues and advantages of charitable status with legal adviser on AoA subgroup

List etiquette

Skeleton moderation guidelines in last week's minutes need to be fleshed out into a fuller statement.

  • Suggestion made that a list of blocked people (possibly with explanations) should be maintained - no consensus on this.

Action Kate: Draft moderation guidelines based upon the skeleton and the guidelines for the OSM professional list for 10th June - to be presented to OSMF Board on 11th June.

Face to Face in Vienna

  • Mail sent out by Steven to Strategic mail list.

Front page

No further progress with hacks to FP as Dermott has been away, he hopes to resume mid next week

  • Discussion about tile policy and whether it applies to overlays e.g. hiking routes - agreed policy does apply
  • Prompted further discussion about how to present overlays and distinguish from base maps
    • Is this something OSM FP should provide?
    • Discussion to be continued at next meeting

Next meeting

Due to travel commitments neither chair available for next 2 weeks. Next meeting 24th June 15.00 UTC


(09:59:09) mkl1: nice
(09:59:50) ***blackadder is around today
(10:00:27) stevenfeldman: afternoon everyone from sunny London
(10:01:16) blackadder: 22.9 degC here in Brum
(10:01:33) mkl1: keep that around for next week
(10:01:35) samlarsen1: ping
(10:01:39) mkl1: today's minutes:
(10:01:50) wonderchook: hello from Toronto:)
(10:01:53) mkl1: last weeks:
(10:01:55) wonderchook: different city every meeting
(10:02:21) mkl1: where's next?
(10:02:33) mkl1: Agenda today is continuation of old biz
(10:02:59) TomH: pong
(10:02:59) mkl1: * AoA
(10:03:07) mkl1: * List etiquette
(10:03:10) mkl1: * Front Page
(10:03:14) mkl1: * Face to Face at sotm-eu
(10:03:40) mkl1: apologies from Dermont and Eugene
(10:04:02) mkl1: who is secretary today?
(10:05:33) stevenfeldman: me if no one else steps up but minutes going to be ultrabrief. Hint Hint
(10:05:35) mkl1: is it really so bad?
(10:06:25) mkl1: i guess so
(10:06:43) mkl1: anyway, let's move
(10:06:46) apmon: With the IRC log in place, I am not sure the "summary" minutes are so important
(10:07:05) mkl1: ping Firefishy, RichardF, twain47
(10:07:10) stevenfeldman: apmon most people won't want to read thru irc log
(10:07:24) mkl1: apmon: they are, we can't go fishing through everything to pull out decisions, actions, etc
(10:07:27) mkl1: anyhow
(10:07:31) toffehoff [~toffehoff@] entered the room.
(10:07:40) mkl1: AoA update?
(10:07:42) mkl1: hi toffehoff
(10:07:49) toffehoff: Hi all, sorry I'm late.
(10:08:14) toffehoff: AoA: we hadn't had a meeting last monday.
(10:08:18) Firefishy: pong
(10:08:20) mkl1: ok
(10:08:39) mkl1: any word from external advisors on the AoA?
(10:09:10) stevenfeldman: Re donors, the main issue will be whether or not you are a registered charity, not the details of your Articles per se. To be honest, you will struggle to get institutional donors to look at you if you are not a charity. Then, donors tend to focus on the cause, then the key people, then the charity’s financial position, and will rarely if ever be interested in the minutiae of your constitutional arrange
(10:09:48) mkl1: So the issue is, if we ever potentially wanted to go for charitable status, what should we have in the AoA or not
(10:10:33) stevenfeldman: He is saying for UK charitable status we need to look careful at charity commissioners web site and rules. This is one for the legal boffs
(10:10:41) mkl1: toffehoff, has that come up in the discussion with the lawyer?
(10:10:42) toffehoff: Looks like we need to define our goals in the Memorandum pretty clear.
(10:11:00) stevenfeldman: He reckons AoA's are not the important bit for charitable status
(10:11:00) toffehoff: Nothing yet.
(10:11:08) blackadder: mkl1: yes, CC require extra hoops. But I suspect staying close to the model AoA now generally required of all new companies under the 2008 Act would help
(10:11:51) stevenfeldman: Nigel also suggested that we would HAVE to have charitable staus for most large donors
(10:12:21) mkl1: stevenfeldman: i'm not sure about that. i've had discussions where it hasn't come up.
(10:12:25) apmon: because of tax credits for them, or due to principles?
(10:12:33) blackadder: toffehoff: Can't recall if you have the model AoA link or not
(10:12:52) mkl1: for instance, OSI is not concerned
(10:13:02) blackadder: The main issue with C status is that C's are not allowed to lobby
(10:13:18) blackadder: (politically that is)
(10:13:23) apmon: It seems like a sensible thing to investigate though if charitable status is achievable at some point
(10:13:24) mkl1: interesting question whether we do that or not
(10:13:34) mkl1: already
(10:13:51) blackadder: mkl1: It was one of the reasons it was discounted in the past as I recall
(10:13:51) toffehoff: Well .... this makes it a strategic question.
(10:14:07) wonderchook: well, I think the first question is do we want to look for large grants
(10:14:08) toffehoff: Do we want to lobby for open data in the future?
(10:14:15) mkl1: seems like a legal quesiton ... given what we already do, is that lobbying?
(10:14:17) wonderchook: and also do we want to lobby
(10:14:30) mkl1: i don't think we want to lobby
(10:14:35) TomH: blackadder: problem is that we want to do "unusual" things so the model articles may not be much help
(10:14:42) wonderchook: me neither, but I think you are right on the legal question mkl1
(10:15:00) blackadder: TomH: agreed
(10:15:17) TomH: and if charities aren't allowed to lobby then there's a lot of them breaking the law ;-)
(10:15:43) toffehoff: TomH: it's how you define lobbying ....
(10:15:45) toffehoff: :-)
(10:15:48) mkl1: probably by strict definition, we aren't. but i think the lawyer could help answer these questions
(10:15:49) mkl1: yup
(10:16:18) stevenfeldman: we are too anarchic a community to ever get a consensus for lobbying
(10:16:45) toffehoff: Ho wait. We're talking about the Foundation, not the community Steven
(10:17:43) stevenfeldman: toffehoff: fair point but even so I imagine consensus amongst foundation will be difficult on most lobbying issues
(10:17:45) apmon: Don't most/many charitable foundations "lobby" in some way or another? After all, many have some form of "political" motivation for their existence.
(10:17:57) stevenfeldman: apmon +1
(10:18:01) toffehoff: ... and with lot's of countries still having closed data, we may want to take a position in that discussoin.
(10:18:05) mkl1: toffehoff: you'll bring up these issues with the lawyer?
(10:18:11) toffehoff: Yes.
(10:18:31) toffehoff: But I cannot answer the question whether we want to lobby or not (in the future)
(10:18:48) stevenfeldman: so is decision to review position re charitable status with lawyers before progressing AoA further
(10:19:21) mkl1: i wouldn't say that exactly ... it needs not a stopper, but is part of the discussion with the lawyer
(10:19:32) toffehoff: We shouldn't hold on the AoA. This is only a minor issue when it comes to AoA.
(10:19:35) apmon: Does it have consequences on for what and to whom OSMF pays money?
(10:19:41) mkl1: toffehoff: more guidance on what lobbying is exactly would be helfpul
(10:19:51) toffehoff: mkl1: yes.
(10:20:09) toffehoff: apmon: for charity: I think so....
(10:20:12) mkl1: apmon: probably. remember, we're only talking about making sure the AoA allows the possibility
(10:20:34) apmon: true, so that is likely not an issue for the moment
(10:20:43) mkl1: ok, anything more? we move on...
(10:21:08) toffehoff: Right mkl1: making AoA so that we can change to charity if wanted.
(10:22:05) mkl1: so let's see, we're on List Etiquette
(10:22:59) mkl1: we left it last time at the need to draw up guidelines
(10:23:07) mkl1: we have some outlines in the minutes last week
(10:23:21) mkl1: is this basically good enough as a framework
(10:23:43) mkl1: and would someone be able to flesh it out into a proper policy over the next week?
(10:23:59) mkl1:
(10:25:34) mkl1: ?
(10:26:27) mkl1: guess it's perfect?
(10:26:29) stevenfeldman: is there a time lase on irc?
(10:26:38) stevenfeldman: lapse not lase
(10:27:17) apmon: perhaps, the guidline could include, that decision to block users should be made public (if the person affected does not object)
(10:27:35) stevenfeldman: I made up the skeleton from last week's discussion but I don't use lists enough to have the experience to go any further
(10:27:53) mkl1: depends on what made public means
(10:28:13) mkl1: for blocks on the api, they are public, but only attached to the user, not listed generally
(10:28:26) mkl1: i think we can model a lot of this on DWG
(10:28:41) apmon: Listed somewhere with reasons that everyone can access.
(10:29:17) stevenfeldman: have added to skeleton for whoever writes up to policy
(10:29:29) mkl1: ie, there are policies, and its the last resort
(10:29:30) mkl1:
(10:31:36) mkl1: ping
(10:31:44) toffehoff: pong
(10:31:52) mkl1: any thoughts? are we tired of this? anyone willing to take the next step?
(10:32:12) mkl1: like i've said, i'm actually willing to be part of a team of moderators
(10:32:13) wonderchook: sorry, I thought my wireless went out. I think there are already guidelines written for the ill-fated OSM-professional mialing list
(10:32:17) toffehoff: I'm way over my head with other things I need to work on.....
(10:32:17) mkl1: but we need this policy
(10:32:26) wonderchook: so I can look over that and see if it is appropriate
(10:32:30) wonderchook: and adjust as necesssary
(10:33:19) mkl1: wonderchook: that would be great if you can put together a draft
(10:33:23) stevenfeldman: Action on wonderchook to draft policy combining skeleton and existing materials
(10:33:36) toffehoff: Thanks!
(10:33:49) mkl1: having this prior to face to face board meeting is ideal
(10:34:00) wonderchook: mkl1: when is that?
(10:34:06) mkl1: next saturday
(10:34:08) mkl1: june 11
(10:34:30) stevenfeldman: wonderchook Never volunteer :D
(10:35:03) wonderchook: okay, so I volunteered to have it by our meeting on the 10th, right?
(10:35:05) wonderchook: :)
(10:35:12) mkl1: thanks
(10:35:36) mkl1: btw, i'm going to be absent at the next meeting due to travel
(10:35:44) toffehoff: Me as well.
(10:35:59) mkl1: hmm, can't meet then?
(10:36:15) stevenfeldman: Is that a postpone then?
(10:36:29) mkl1: and looks like June is going to be tough for me. I have travel to Kenya for meetings.
(10:36:59) mkl1: toffehoff: would you be around to chair the next meeting after, june 17?
(10:37:19) toffehoff: June 17 will be problematic.
(10:37:41) toffehoff: Also traveling then.
(10:37:56) toffehoff: The week after that is OK
(10:38:18) mkl1: we might then have to postpone next meeting to June 24
(10:38:45) mkl1: wonderchook: still, would want to have a draft for the board meeting
(10:38:58) wonderchook: mkl1: okay, can do
(10:39:14) toffehoff: Let's see it as a bit of summerholiday :-)
(10:39:22) stevenfeldman: mkl1 is board meeting still open on 12th?
(10:39:30) mkl1: yes, announced yesterday
(10:39:52) mkl1:
(10:40:52) stevenfeldman: re summer holiday Brits only
(10:41:04) mkl1: anything more on list etiquette?
(10:41:37) mkl1: ok
(10:41:51) mkl1: so let's just talk sotm-eu before front page
(10:42:09) mkl1: stevenfeldman: any arrangements to make?
(10:42:37) stevenfeldman: woops, I was meant to pst a mail to strategic list and forgot :(
(10:42:43) stevenfeldman: will do now
(10:43:33) mkl1: ok
(10:44:32) mkl1: then front page
(10:45:10) mkl1: where do we go from here
(10:45:29) mkl1: mackerski is experimenting. we've talked over all the issues throughly.
(10:45:33) apmon: A quick question on tile inclusion policy.
(10:45:58) mkl1: i feel like we need a plan, or options for a plan, and something for the board to discuss and support
(10:45:58) apmon: Does the policy only count for base tiles, or also for overlay tiles?
(10:46:08) mkl1: apmon: for example?
(10:46:32) apmon: OpenSeeMap e.g. is only a overlay of see marks on the mapnik background
(10:46:43) apmon: Same with a hicking routes map
(10:46:56) apmon: The question is would these be valid candidates for inclusion too?
(10:47:30) toffehoff: I don't see why not ....
(10:47:57) mkl1: sure ... i think it would go through the same process
(10:48:02) apmon: I sent out an email to talk-de to ask for potential candidates for inclusion ( ) and those were potential candidates that came up
(10:48:27) apmon: OK, thanks for clarification
(10:48:45) mkl1: next step would be to email , right TomH, Firefishy?
(10:49:08) samlarsen1: apmon+1
(10:49:14) stevenfeldman: layer control would get filled up pretty fast if we have loads of overlay layers as well
(10:49:41) wonderchook: hmmm, well maybe there are design things that could be done to make that look better:)
(10:49:49) wonderchook: just meaning overlays versus base info
(10:49:53) wonderchook: but I think that is something to worrya bout later
(10:50:06) samlarsen1: there would be symbol duplication (tiles & overlay)
(10:50:07) stevenfeldman: 1 more for mackerski
(10:50:10) apmon: People are "complaining" about the current layer chooser anyway that it is too "intransparant"
(10:50:46) mkl1: certainly could use some thought!
(10:50:50) apmon: samlarsen1: That would be covered by the "uniqueness" criteria of the inclusion policy
(10:50:53) mkl1: anyone have an idea
(10:51:21) wonderchook: I would probably divide overlays and base tiles and not try to have a long list with check boxes
(10:51:38) apmon: the google solution (with buttons) will probably not work, as it not scale well
(10:51:43) wonderchook: some sort of catalog or something, but I may have spent too much time with GeoIQ;)
(10:52:20) stevenfeldman: wonderchook +1
(10:52:21) wonderchook: on GeoCommons it is brought up in a catalog with pictures. If anyone is bored they could check it out
(10:52:58) stevenfeldman: A catalog means we don't have to be too choosy about overlays
(10:53:39) blackadder: could layer choosing be something one does from your personal page?
(10:53:50) wonderchook: +1 blackadder
(10:54:01) wonderchook: I like the idea of a customized view for users, i.e. I will never need a sea map
(10:54:06) apmon: No, as most new visitors don't have a personal page. And they should see the diversity too
(10:54:08) stevenfeldman: balckadder do you get a personal page if you are a guest?
(10:54:22) blackadder: stevenfeldman: nope
(10:54:31) blackadder: just mapnik
(10:54:44) apmon: -1
(10:54:45) blackadder: (in my view)
(10:55:04) stevenfeldman: blackadder probs want visitors to understand that OSM is much more than another base map so need the overlays to be available to choose
(10:55:09) blackadder: we are not in the business of providing lots of map view to all and sundry
(10:55:12) apmon: The whole point is to show off diversity to demonstrate the flexibility of OSM. That would totally counter that purpose
(10:55:31) wonderchook: apmon: well I was thinking there is the page newbies see and then the customization for regular people
(10:55:40) blackadder: stevenfeldman: That doesn't need to be don on www though does it?
(10:55:45) wonderchook: meaning if we were not going to go to hte map directly anymore either, the layers could also be highlighted
(10:56:19) Firefishy: I think we really need to feature ! :-)
(10:56:31) blackadder: Multiple layers simply means multiple confusion for the vast majority of "guests"
(10:56:40) mkl1: yea, it wouldn't be any old overlay. it's about OSM data. i'm not sure how many overlays that means in practice
(10:56:44) apmon: Firefishy: Yes, although without the bluremap... ;-)
(10:57:42) You're not channel operator
(10:57:42) stevenfeldman: blackadder: and now we are back to the old question of who is site for?
(10:58:00) mkl1: circles!
(10:58:06) blackadder: Lets assume for a mo that OSM has a sister project. Its called
(10:58:13) apmon: On an unrelated note. In case people are interested, I have set up an instance of the rails_port for people to see the progress on the routing inclusion
(10:58:17) apmon:
(10:58:55) blackadder: Personally I feel uncomfortable about turning OSM as it is now into a glorified rendering farm
(10:58:59) apmon: It contains Soren's (Frederik's) patch for routing
(10:59:14) samlarsen1: apmon - like it
(10:59:14) blackadder: Though a rendering farm is a good way of getting the data seen in different formats
(10:59:14) mkl1: apmon: like the animated logo :)
(10:59:47) mkl1: folks i gotta run to another call
(10:59:54) toffehoff: blackadder: would it help to sort of introduce the different formats....
(10:59:57) apmon: blackadder: That is the main point to show the data in different formats and that OSM is more than a simple basemap
(11:00:04) mkl1: please feel free to continue
(11:00:09) toffehoff: Thanks mkl1
(11:00:18) wonderchook: same with me
(11:00:23) wonderchook: same call actually
(11:00:24) stevenfeldman: mkl wil you paste log
(11:00:25) wonderchook: bye guys!
(11:00:31) blackadder: toffehoff: apmon I don't think we can ever agree on what formats to use though
(11:00:43) stevenfeldman: bye all
(11:00:49) apmon: The more the better ( within reason)
(11:00:49) Firefishy: apmon: blurmap removed.
(11:01:07) blackadder: so why bother. Leave the formats up to others (the more the merrier) a bit like a cloudmade approach
(11:01:51) apmon: Firefishy: Great. Looks very nice now!
(11:02:02) toffehoff: We could have a button or something linking to "Hey, there are way more sort of maps you can make with OSM, here's a selection...."
(11:02:22) blackadder: toffehoff: or.... here's a link to a selection
(11:02:24) toffehoff: Instead of just hiding it under a selection button.
(11:02:48) toffehoff: blackadder: that's saying it shorter ;-)
(11:02:55) apmon: toffehoff: Well, that is what the layer chooser is meant to do. Just that it is not obvious enough
(11:03:10) blackadder: toffehoff: but gets around the problem of who's map style is in and who's is out
(11:03:12) toffehoff: k, so let's make it more obvious.
(11:03:28) apmon: yes
(11:04:11) toffehoff: blackadder: isn't that were the tile-policy is for?
(11:04:15) toffehoff: Who's in or out?
(11:05:06) blackadder: If someone comes up with a new style, do we promote it or ignore it. When do we decide one style has had its day and we need to move to an alternative
(11:05:28) wonderchook left the room.
(11:05:53) apmon: blackadder: Yes, that is what the policy is about
(11:06:37) Firefishy: apmon: any reason the OSRM routing isn't working on your demo? Route works fine on
(11:07:10) apmon: Access seems blocked from the dev server
(11:07:11) ***toffehoff looking for the link to the policty
(11:07:33) apmon: It gets time outs. Works fine on my local instance
(11:07:52) apmon: It may be as port 5000 is blocked. Although not sure why, as it is outgoing
(11:08:21) Firefishy: apmon: yes, port 5000 is blocked.
(11:08:22) toffehoff:
(11:09:54) blackadder: toffehoff: I have no problem with the policy, I just don't think in reality its workable on www. What if there are 100 excellent formats?
(11:10:15) toffehoff: Let's first get to that problem :-)
(11:10:25) blackadder: Even 10 layers would be ugy
(11:10:33) blackadder: ugly even
(11:11:05) toffehoff: on the current layer-selector, yes
(11:11:19) apmon: blackadder: If we were in a position to have 100 layers acceptable under the policy we would be in a great position
(11:11:35) blackadder: but if you had one default and a link to a million (sorted and grouped) that would work for me
(11:11:42) apmon: I have been trying to get only a single layer more in the last year or so and haven't found one
(11:11:56) apmon: It looks like no there be one or the other that would qualify
(11:12:11) apmon: being one
(11:12:18) toffehoff: But making the diversity of layers visible by a special selector which is more user-centric would help.
(11:12:31) blackadder: apmon: The tile policy could be far more relaxed if the link was off the front page
(11:12:55) blackadder: toffehoff: I agree to that
(11:13:17) blackadder: anyway, enough from me today
(11:13:23) apmon: blackadder: If it is off the main page, we don't need any policy ( )
(11:13:56) blackadder: apmon: We might want a policy in place if we were promoting a page of layers
(11:14:55) blackadder: Then there is some control of showing off the best
(11:15:13) blackadder: rather than the half baked ideas that never got finished
(11:15:34) apmon: We have those in the wiki already
(11:16:05) blackadder: indeed
(11:16:28) toffehoff: have to go ....
(11:16:38) blackadder: cheers
(11:16:51) toffehoff: Have a good weekend all!
(11:17:03) apmon: you too