Dear OpenStreetMap Community, As we celebrate the vibrant spirit of OpenStreetMap (OSM) and the incredible progress it has made over the years in the upcoming annual meeting, I am excited to express my interest and enthusiasm in becoming a potential board member for the OpenStreetMap Foundation.
While I may not boast thousands and thousands of edits on the OSM platform, I have dedicated my efforts to advocacy and education, recognizing the which I think play a crucial role these aspects play in fostering a thriving OSM community. My journey with OpenStreetMap has been one of constant learning, teaching, engagement, and a commitment to making OSM accessible and valuable to people users around the world.
From when I made my first OSM edit in Nepal during a HOTOSM & Maptime Miami Mapathon. (Maptime is a global volunteer meetup group that teaches beginners and experienced folks alike about mapping, geography, OSM and more.) Since then I have volunteered to teach others about OSM in a few ways, such as through Maptime meetups, where I served as the leader of Maptime chapters in Miami and Boston, and to teaching the basics of geography and OSM to Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) fellows about how they can use and apply geography and OSM in their communities, to leading Maptime chapters in Miami and Boston (as I moved around).
For the past three years, I have had the privilege of serving on the OpenStreetMap US (OSMUS) Board, where my I focused on collaboration and commitment to community values and collaboration has been paramount. In my role as a member of the Code of Conduct Committee, I actively contributed to the drafting of the official Code of Conduct for OSMUS, ensuring a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members. Additionally, I played was a volunteer organizer a crucial role in of the organizing Mapping USA and State of the Map US Conferences, facilitating spaces for knowledge exchange and community building. Throughout my tenure on the board, I’ve made it a priority to actively listen to the needs of the OpenStreetMap community, striving to bridge gaps and promote a vibrant and supportive atmosphere within OSMUS.
Advocacy has been at the forefront of my contributions, as I firmly believe that awareness and understanding are key components to the sustained success of any open-source project. I’ve also worked with OSM as part of my career in transportation planning, where through my work, I have strived to explore shed light on the potential of OpenStreetMap in more unconventional areas, such as its capability to map curbs / kerbs – “seize the curb” as I like to call it.
One of my articles, titled “Potential for OpenStreetMap to Seize the Curb”, explores the innovative ways OSM can be used utilized to map the curb effectively. This not only showcases the versatility of OSM but also underscores its relevance in addressing real-world challenges such as mobility, transit and accessibility. Additionally, I had the honor of presenting my insights at the 2018 and 2021 State of the Map US conferences , where I delved more into the intricate details of curb mapping using OpenStreetMap.
My passion for education extends beyond individual projects. I believe in empowering OSM users with the knowledge and skills they need to contribute meaningfully to the map. As a board member, I envision creating and supporting initiatives that foster learning, inclusivity, and collaboration within the OpenStreetMap community, and to welcome and support more chapters around the world.
I understand that my candidacy might differ from others in terms of edit counts, but I think editing is only one of many ways people can contribute to the OSM project. I firmly believe that a holistic approach is vital for the overall health and sustainability of any community. I believe my focus on advocacy and education complements the technical expertise present in our diverse community, with the goal of contributing to a more well-rounded and robust OSM ecosystem.
I am excited about the opportunity to bring my unique perspective, energy, and dedication to the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board. Together, let’s continue building a map that truly represents the world we live in.
Thank you for considering my nomination. - Daniela (Dani)