Working Group Minutes/SWG 2011-12-02

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


IRC Name Present Apologies
chrisfleming Chris Fleming
Eugene Eugene Usvitsky
mkl Mikel Maron
apmon Kai Krueger
RichardF Richard Fairhurst y
mackerski Dermot McNally y
stevenfeldman Steven Feldman y
TomH Tom Hughes y
wonderchook Kate Chapman y

Next meeting

Next meeting 16th December 16.00 UTC

Draft agenda:

  • Core Values
  • Suggestions review in light of above


  • All SWG members to contribute potential core values to [1]

IRC log

16:05 RichardF: ok: two things to discuss today that I'm aware of;
16:05 -: firstly we have the progress on the Suggestion review ( and discussion page) and how we start to bash that into something that can inform strategy
16:06 -: secondly, I believe the Board would like us to begin to draft a set of "core principles" or "core values"
16:06 mackerski: RichardF: Yes...
16:06 RichardF: things that encompass what OSMF is, and that it will always be, that can be written in stone and referred to in the relevant official documents
16:06 mackerski: This arose at the board meeting
16:06 -: It was my idea.
16:07 RichardF: aha. Henk referred to it in a conversation we had this afternoon, too.
16:07 stevenfeldman: mackerski an excellent idea
16:07 mackerski: In particular, the idea was to draft them in a way that made them suitable for any mapper or the community in general...
16:07 -: Though, we should roll them out as OSMF core values
16:07 -: And invite others to agree with us if they wish
16:07 stevenfeldman: also for potential users and contributors?
16:07 mackerski: Utterly...
16:08 -: It's something that can work very well in, um, business
16:08 mackerski: whispers that last word
16:08 RichardF: would you see them being a "lowest common denominator" of the sort of thing we can agree on without any controversy (free/open, geographical, etc.)...
16:08 mackerski: The idea is that goals and mission statements can be either over-specific or under-specific, respectively
16:08 -: Yes, exactly that
16:08 RichardF: or do you think they can be more aspirational (we value first-hand survey, etc.)
16:09 mackerski: Good core values act as a good test for any future unexpected initiative
16:09 -: It's a kind of "What  would Jesus do?"
16:09 -: So you can have, for instance "Assume good intent"
16:09 RichardF: tries to translate "give to Caesar what is Caesar's" into OSM
16:09 mackerski: That one has already been floated many times, but never really written down
16:09 stevenfeldman: better not to go down the religious route :)
16:10 mackerski: agrees with stevenfeldman
16:10 RichardF: (aw. I was hoping to be official OSMF organist so that I could drown out any working groups I didn't like.)
16:10 mackerski: Now, it had been my intention to come in here armed with a set of possible core values for discussion.
16:10 stevenfeldman: can I suggest we throw up a mindmap that everyone can dump thoughts into and then we can all collaboratively review to try to get to core values etc
16:10 mackerski: But it seems that there's enough prior understanding on everyone's part that we could easily all drop our own into a central pot
16:11 -: Does it need a mind map?
16:11 -: Core values tend to be simple statements
16:11 -: Assertions of principle
16:11 -: And therefore each pretty standalone
16:12 stevenfeldman: start off then
16:12 -: Open to whom?
16:12 mackerski: A big reason I would wish to see core values that can be agreed to be common to the project as a whole is that it would help defuse some of the criticisms the OSMF gets about lack of transparency
16:12 -: Good question...
16:13 -: I'd suggest a closed group initially, if that's practical
16:13 wonderchook: mackerski: so that if OSMF was acting within the values there would be less of a question?
16:13 mackerski: Or at most an open document with an unpublished address
16:13 -: wonderchook: Exactly...
16:13 TomH: unfortunately Dilbert's Automatic Mission Statement Generator no longer appears to be online
16:14 mackerski: All the boldest OSMF initiatives attract the stock criticism that it's acting outside of the terms of something or other
16:14 -: TomH: This is why the suggestion is _not_ to draft a mission statement
16:15 blackadder: ..... to boldly go where no OS surveyor has gone before
16:15 mackerski: To boldly split infinitives no man has split before
16:17 RichardF: begone, Victorian grammarians.
16:17 -: so, currently, we have:
16:17 -: "OpenStreetMap is an initiative to create and provide free geographic data, such as street maps, to anyone. The OpenStreetMap Foundation is an international not-for-profit organization supporting, but not controlling, the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and to providing geospatial data for anyone to use and share."
16:17 -: how would you want to expand on that?
16:17 mackerski: I wouldn't
16:17 -: I'd augment it
16:18 -: We might, indeed, also consider changes to the mission statement
16:18 RichardF: well ok ;)
16:18 mackerski: So I'd publish, alongside it, a list of core values
16:18 -: Explained as the principles that should guide us at all times
16:18 blackadder: The first quetion that might be asked is whay the current statement does not say and whether that is an ommission or not
16:19 mackerski: I think the two are fundamentally different
16:19 TomH: the "such as street maps" looks out of place to me - specifying one concrete item out of a whole class seems odd
16:19 wonderchook: so at least a couple projects list things into categorizes, would that make things more clear?
16:19 -: for example:
16:19 -: or
16:20 mackerski: It's an option.
16:20 stevenfeldman: the mission statement is a nice bit of waffle core values or principles help to define who we are and how we will behave
16:20 mackerski: My instinct would be to first of all draft them freeform, then see which ones can be neatly merged
16:20 -: And that might well give rise to categories
16:20 RichardF: I can see the value of that approach.
16:21 mackerski: We probably will have one or more value dealing with community
16:21 -: Ideally it would serve among other things to underline the importance of talking to other mappers
16:22 wonderchook: yeah, I think something with community, and something with openness of data
16:22 mackerski: A good core value is short, and easily understood
16:22 wonderchook: at least as a start
16:22 mackerski: It doesn't have to be measurable in the strict sense...
16:22 -: But it should be such that everyone knows compliance when they see it
16:26 RichardF: ok. so how do we want to go from here?
16:26 -: mackerski: do you want to put up some kind of jotter/mindmap/what-have-you for SWG people to put their initial thoughts down on?
16:27 mackerski: We all pour our suggested core values into a joint doc TBD for next meeting
16:27 -: RichardF: Yeah, I think so. I favour text, either wiki or Google Docs
16:27 -: What do we think is best?
16:27 RichardF: I'm easy either way.
16:28 mackerski: There is the OSMF wiki, right?
16:28 -: Is that a good place, or do too few people have access?
16:28 stevenfeldman: i have a web mindmap account which is very easy to use and to manipulate
16:28 -: easy to grant access to all
16:28 mackerski: stevenfeldman: I can't see the mindmap structure helping...
16:28 -: It forces us to categorise our stuff before we do anything
16:29 stevenfeldman: I think the opposite but happy to work however you wish
16:29 mackerski: I suggest a non-linked page on the main wiki
16:29 mackerski: goes and makes one, link coming
16:30 mackerski:
16:31 -: Have added the first value
16:31 -: Let's just pour in as much as we think of
16:31 -: Don't worry about duplication of ideas
16:31 -: We will probably distill them afterwards anyway
16:31 RichardF: excellent. So is that an action on us for a fortnight's time - pour ideas into there and we'll discuss next time?
16:32 mackerski: Yes, I suggest so
16:32 -: It's really easy to come up with core values
16:32 -: The simplest exercise I've ever done in a business environment
16:33 RichardF: splendid. any more to add on this topic?
16:33 mackerski: Just a last reminder to make them more about mapping generally and less about the OSMF
16:33 -: For portability
16:34 RichardF: noted!
16:34 -: ok, shall we move onto the suggestion review exercise?
16:34 stevenfeldman: 1 in from me :)
16:34 mackerski: \o/
16:35 -: I'd suggest values in the form of sentences, BTW, but that can all come later
16:36 RichardF: on the suggestion review: we currently have (our scrapings of the various communication channels)
16:36 -: and
16:36 -: which is the result of asking people for ideas on the main mailing lists last week.
16:36 -: I guess the questions are:
16:36 -: 1. is that enough, or do we need to gather more?
16:37 mackerski: I think we need not close submissions
16:37 RichardF: 2. how do we start shaping those together into something that informs strategy?
16:37 -: and
16:37 mackerski: But we can certainly run with a lot of what's there
16:37 RichardF: 3. do we actually want to postpone doing 2 until we've completed the Core Values?
16:37 -: (4. there is no point 4.)
16:37 mackerski: First step is probably to harvest points from the discussion and add their essence to the main page
16:37 RichardF: because I wonder if having the high-level Core Values completed would actually make it easier to draw out the strands from the suggestion review.
16:38 mackerski: I'm happy to get the values down first
16:38 wonderchook: agreed
16:39 stevenfeldman: +1
16:39 RichardF: ok. so we'll wait for the suggestions to continue to come in while we work up the Core Values.
16:40 -: and if in that period anyone has time to trawl more lists/wikis/etc. and add more stuff to the pages, all to the good.
16:40 -: in which case I think that concludes our two 'agenda items' for this week.
16:41 mackerski: Agreed
16:41 RichardF: any other business? anything we should be talking about in future meetings?
16:41 -: speak now or forever hold your codpiece
16:41 mackerski: holds his codpiece
16:41 RichardF: declaring meeting closed in 15 seconds unless anyone objects...
16:42 stevenfeldman: silence
16:42 RichardF: ...and that's it :)
16:42 wonderchook: andddddddddddddddd it is bed time:)
16:42 RichardF: thank you all very much for turning up
16:42 -: next meeting, same place in a fortnight's time?
16:42 mackerski: A nice weekend to all!
16:42 -: Zes
16:42 RichardF: excellent.
16:42 -: I'll post the minutes if I can remember how to work MediaWiki :)
16:43 stevenfeldman: have a great weekend all