OSM US Board Election Manifesto

Posted by Mele Sax-Barnett on 4 October 2013 in English (English)

Hi there! I'm Mele Sax-Barnett, and I live in Portland, Oregon. I'm running for the OpenStreetMap US board because I think OSM is a valuable resource and I want to help it continue to succeed.

I've done quite a bit of editing (in 2012, I was one of the top 5 most prolific contributors in the US by # of changesets), and I use OSM data in nearly all of my side projects. I also love teaching people about OpenStreetMap, regularly giving trainings and presentations (including a couple at SOTM US 2012), as well as helping organize and lead our local editathon meetups.

Moreover, I've worked with OSM data in both of my most recent jobs. I was part of the OpenStreetMap improvement project at TriMet (the transit agency for Portland), where we updated roads, trails, parks, and bike facilities from jurisdictional data to get the area into great shape. TriMet is now using OpenStreetMap data for its trip planner, to plan and adjust routes, and even by the bus dispatch system. This has allowed it to free itself from proprietary datasets and trip planning systems. In my current job at Urban Airship, OSM is one of the most robust datasets we offer our customers to send push messages by location.

I believe you should elect me to the board because I understand various points of views about OSM. I have seen how most government agencies are wary to trust crowdsourced data, but how others can not only use it but also contribute back to it very successfully. I've also seen how it can be an amazing asset for private, for-profit companies, especially those just getting started.

I also talk to people all the time who hear it's great and want to start contributing or using the data but are overwhelmed, not sure where to start. There's a lot we can do to make OSM more friendly to beginners, and I think it has recently made a number of strides in the right direction. I would be honored to be part of the continuing effort.

I have learned so much from working with OpenStreetMap, and if you elect me to the OSM US board, I'll be able to give back even more.

Location: University District, Portland Downtown, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, 97201, USA

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