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¿Qué es un Hub Regional?

Posted by RebeccaF on 25 March 2021 in English (English).

Publicado por RebeccaF el 12 de febrero de 2021 en Inglés (English):

Como continuación a mi última entrada en el diario, quería compartir más ideas sobre los principios y el propósito que están detrás de la nueva estructura de hubs regionales que HOT está estableciendo, así como continuar el diálogo y la evolución.

El propósito de una estructura de hubs regionales es proporcionar un apoyo cada vez más descentralizado al movimiento de OpenStreetMap; impulsar la evolución y el crecimiento de los ecosistemas de OpenStreetMap en países prioritarios a través de apoyo y liderazgo que sean contextualizados y adecuados.

Las primeras ideas sobre lo que debería ser un hub son hello

Y los principios iniciales:

  1. El hub sirve al movimiento de OpenStreetMap en su región. Esto tiene dos implicaciones: en primer lugar, el hub no sirve a HOT "la organización". En segundo lugar, el hub sirve a las actividades de OpenStreetMap dentro de la misión de HOT, es decir, en relación con los resultados humanitarios o de desarrollo.
  2. El hub tiene que entender lo que significa la participación comunitaria en su región, y tiene la autonomía y la flexibilidad para adaptar su trabajo en función de ello. El tiempo dirá qué tan similares son los cuatro hubs entre sí, pero los directores regionales pueden flexibilizar de acuerdo a la retroalimentación que reciban en sus regiones.
  3. El hub debe centrarse en la construcción del movimiento: "no es un movimiento a menos que se mueva sin ti" (libro recomendado al respecto:
  4. Los equipos globales del personal funcional de HOT deben apoyar al hub; el hub puede instruir a los equipos globales de HOT sobre cómo apoyarlos.
  5. Los centros deben defender los 9 valores fundamentales de HOT:
  6. Se agradecen comentarios y opiniones...
Location: Crystal Palace, London Borough of Bromley, London, Greater London, England, SE19 2GA, United Kingdom

HOT is setting up a new regional hub structure globally (see previous posts), and with the two new hub directors Nama Budathoki (Regional Director: Asia-Pacific) Monica Nthiga (Regional Director: East Africa), and Head of Community Pete Masters we’ve been pondering what they should be called.

Why is this important?

  • We want to signify some of the values of what the hubs should be in the name, to signal what a hub stands for. The name should indicate that it is an open and participatory space for communities to engage with. More on hub principles here.
  • We also need to communicate what the hubs do not stand for; that this is not a HOT country office, nor do we want it to be.
  • The hub work is only just beginning; now is a great time to choose a name which indicates what the hub could be for communities that have not yet engaged with OpenStreetMap at all. The name should help connect these communities with what to expect from the hub.
  • The word “humanitarian” is not applicable to all of the locations and contexts the hubs serve, and does not resonate with many OpenStreetMap communities globally. Using HOT’s acronym could be useful to signal that the hubs are related to HOT, but the word humanitarian may be less so.
  • Building awareness is really hard, and so it would be easier if the hubs share a commonality in their naming, that is, we don’t have four different hubs with four completely different names

What’s not possible?

  • Several people have suggested we could use OpenStreetMap hub or OSM hub - unfortunately that’s not allowable under the current trademark agreement that’s coordinated between the HOT & OSMF Boards.

Idea for a formula:

What do we need to include?

  1. The region (Asia Pacific, East Africa, West Africa, Latin America & Caribbean)
  2. A link to HOT; how do we identify these open mapping spaces are supported by HOT?
  3. Something about the nature of the space; what is it?

Some examples of ideas (using Asia Pacific region as an example):

  • HOT Open Data Hub: Asia Pacific
  • HOT Open Data Lab: Asia Pacific
  • HOT Open Map Lab: Asia Pacific
  • Asia Pacific Map Lab: HOT
  • Open Maps Asia Pacific (a HOT open mapping hub)

What do you think? Add some ideas in comments on what words should be in here… collective, space, open? Open to ideas, but please don’t suggest Boaty McBoatface.. :)

Location: Crystal Palace, London Borough of Bromley, London, Greater London, England, SE19 2GA, United Kingdom

What is a regional hub?

Posted by RebeccaF on 12 February 2021 in English (English).

Following on from my last diary, I wanted to share more thinking around the principles and purpose underlying the new regional hub structure HOT is setting out, and continue the dialogue and evolution.

The purpose of a regional hub structure is to provide increasingly decentralised support to the OpenStreetMap movement; to power the evolution and growth of OpenStreetMap ecosystems in priority countries through contextualised and appropriate support and leadership.

Initial thoughts on what a hub should be are: hello

And initial principles:

  1. The hub serves the OpenStreetMap movement in its region. This has two implications: first, the hub does not serve HOT ‘the organization’. Second, the hub serves OpenStreetMap activities within HOT’s mission; i.e. relating to humanitarian or development outcomes.
  2. The hub needs to understand what community participation means in their region, and has the autonomy and flexibility to adapt their work according to this. Time will tell how similar the four hubs look to each other - but regional directors can flex this according to the feedback they get in their regions.
  3. The hub should focus on movement building - “it’s not a movement unless it moves without you” (recommended book on this:
  4. HOT’s global functional staff teams should support the hub - the hub can instruct HOT’s global teams how to support them.
  5. Hubs should champion HOT’s 9 core values:

Thoughts and feedback please…

Location: Sydenham High Street, Perry Vale, London Borough of Lewisham, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

HOT is at the beginning of a transformation. One aspect of this is setting up regional hubs in Asia, East Africa, West Africa, and Latin America/Caribbean. Last week, the first ever Regional Director started working at HOT - Dr. Nama Budhathoki. I wanted to take the opportunity to outline some of the early thinking around what a hub should be, and questions that Nama, myself and others are thinking about. The plans and details of hub implementation will be led by Nama over the coming year - there are no specifics or details to share on that yet. This post is to share thinking, that is evolving quickly - input, ideas, comments are very welcome - please comment on this post or chat with us on Slack. Nama is also joined by a few other hub team members; a Community Manager (Mikko Tamura), Partnerships Manager (Bry Damasco), and Operations/HR Associate (Bea Ocampo).

In this post, you’ll see the use of hOSM, which stands for humanitarian OpenStreetMap. Whereas HOT is often used to describe the work of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team as an organization, hOSM is used to describe the humanitarian OpenStreetMap ecosystem as a whole.

What is the purpose of a hub, and how is thinking around this evolving?

  1. To inspire and mobilise a hOSM movement across Asia. This means:
    1. the hub serves hOSM, not HOT... but how do we realize this? The hub needs to engage with community members in Asia over the next weeks and months - hint: reach out to Nama ( with ideas
    2. How do we measure movement building, and how do we know if we’re doing the right things to encourage it? This will be a long and expansive conversation, but in a nutshell, one of my favourite books New Power ( says “it’s not a movement unless it moves without you” - how do we make sure HOT’s work amplifies and supercharges hOSM, but does not control, claim, or own hOSM or OSM?
    3. We’ve made some simple but important changes to communications - including branding the hub as the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap hub, *not* the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap *Team* hub, and changing Nama’s Job Title from Regional *Hub* Director Asia, to Regional Director Asia, reflecting the fact that the Hub is not just a physical space in one country, but a virtual space and concept serving 25 countries across Asia and Oceania.
  2. To power the evolution and growth of hOSM ecosystems in priority countries through contextualised and appropriate support and leadership, which is culture & language-appropriate. This means we need to think broadly; coming up with ways to identify and support the variety of OpenStreetMap individuals and organisations in a country, rather than working exclusively with one actor. In a given country, a thriving ecosystem could be made up of organised OpenStreetMap community/communities, individual contributors, NGOs, government actors, universities, students, national and international organisations all building and / or using OpenStreetMap.
  3. To decentralize: move decision making and resource allocation closer to the communities and partners HOT wants to serve
    1. This is a brand new structure for HOT as an organisation and might be a bit less interesting to OpenStreetMap community members -- but changing HOT’s structure comes with a lot of challenges! To date we have had global functional teams working on things like Partnerships, Community programs and Operations - and now we need to embed those functions in the new Regional Hub structure, and make sure HOT’s global functional teams work closely with and support hub evolution.
    2. Allow the hOSM ecosystem to flourish in different countries by stopping opening long term country offices, and starting to support HOT’s existing country office staff to transition to fully independent local entities in 2021. This will involve providing financial resources, training, support and maintaining a close affiliation, with the goal of enabling agility and independence for strong local hOSM actors.
    So… to move this forward, we’ve picked three guiding questions to focus on over the next month or so… what do you think?
    1. How can the hub be co-designed with the community in Asia? (as a physical and virtual space)
    2. How can the hub provide value across the humanitarian OSM ecosystem in Asia?
    3. How can the hub catalyze a humanitarian OSM movement across Asia?
Location: Sydenham, London Borough of Lewisham, Greater London, England, SE26 4PN, United Kingdom

In December, HOT launched a new pillar of work under the name “Transformation and Community.” This pillar will be formed of six teams: four regional hubs, the community team, and the communications team. The Transformation & Community pillar exists to reorient HOT’s work and to serve humanitarian OpenStreetMap communities, individuals, and organizations worldwide. Facing the task of supporting humanitarian OpenStreetMap community growth across 94 countries, over the past few months we’ve established a Community Team, taking the opportunity to welcome exciting (and some familiar) faces into the HOT staff team.


Arnalie Faye Vicario - Online Community Engagement Lead

Who are they? Arnalie has been advocating for a more diverse and inclusive OpenStreetMap community since she first became involved in 2016. She is passionate about building inclusive spaces in the OSM community - where the communities that we serve and map are prioritized, listened to, and are able to voice their concerns. Her professional background is as a GIS specialist, using OSM for projects supporting disaster risk reductions and management in the Philippines (e.g., Project NOAH - WebSAFE and ISAIAH), and OSM for social welfare and development (e.g., the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s MapViewer and MAPAbabae). Alongside OSM Philippines, she is a member and supporter of various local mapping collectives in the country, such as GeoLadiesPH, Ministry of Mapping, UP Resilience Institute Youthmappers, Mapbeks, and Mental Health AWHEREness.

What are they working on? Arnalie will build engagement with many groups that collaborate in the humanitarian OpenStreetMap (hOSM) online space, including HOT’s staff and Voting Members, Working Groups, Youthmappers, national/local mapping organizations, and online volunteers. Her priorities for the first months/year of work in HOT will focus on increasing participation of diverse communities/individuals not only in terms of mapping/”edits” contribution, but also in involvement in conversations relating to the future of OSM and hOSM.

Geoffrey Kateregga - Community Manager, East Africa

Who are they? Geoffrey has worked building OpenStreetMap in Africa since 2015 and has worked on mapping projects in person in four African countries and remotely in 32. Geoffrey is passionate about open data and building online communities. He is an active member of the OpenStreetMap Africa community - a network of local OpenStreetMap communities from all over Africa that organizes the State of the Map Africa conference and joins hands to share resources and collaborate to grow and produce a complete and well-detailed map of Africa on OpenStreetMap.

What are they working on? Geoffrey’s role is to support the development of OpenStreetMap communities in all 21 countries the East Africa hub serves through providing community support, training, and mentorship to communities looking to grow. In the first year, his focus will be localizing community support through the East Africa hub, supporting the growth of sustainable OSM communities and making the microgrant program more exciting, collaborative, and impactful.

Mikko Tamura - Community Manager, Asia

Who are they? Mikko has been at the LGBT forefront of the mapping community in the Philippines. He is the founder of MapBeks, an online community of volunteers advocating for LGBT representation on OSM and other mapping platforms. He has also been working and volunteering with various NGOs such as the Philippine Red Cross, The Asia Foundation, UN-Habitat, and Cordaid in the past years, training and mapping the most unmapped and remote areas of the country. He has been an OSMF and HOT Voting Member since 2020 and is well known for his approachable, funny, and high-energy demeanor.

What are they working on? Mikko is now the Community Manager for Asia and its Pacific neighbors. He will be part of the team that will empower, build on, and capacitate new and emerging communities in the world’s most populous continent. He is a strong believer that the key to achieving our Audacious goal is putting the spotlight on the OSM communities and the contributors and that there is always heart in whatever we do! You can expect a few jokes and laughs when talking to him, but he can absolutely assure you that he will get on top of any concern.

Pete Masters - Head of Community

Who are they? While working at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Pete was part of the team that set up and ran Missing Maps in 2014 and MapSwipe in 2016, before heading up a medical research and innovation team. He is a HOT Voting Member, has spent three years on the HOT Board, and is an active member of the London Missing Maps community. Pete’s experience means he has worked extensively with OSM data creators in multiple countries and with humanitarian OSM users. His best mapping experiences have been in Lesotho (remotely) and Kamrangirchar, Bangladesh (on the ground).

What are they working on? Pete leads the new HOT Community Team, and his role includes guiding HOT’s evolution from a project-led NGO to a community-centric organization that supports the mobilization of OSM contributors in places of high humanitarian need. The team is developing support for individuals, organizations, and communities working to solve local problems through open data, tools, and community and building stronger connections and collaborations between HOT’s staff teams and humanitarian OpenStreetMap communities. In the first year, this will focus heavily on understanding communities’ needs and ambitions and piloting and testing new models of community support and approaches to building local and regional sustainability.

Rubén Martín - Community Strategist and Research Lead

Who are they? Rubén has a long history of 16 years supporting open source communities. He drove and implemented strategies and initiatives for Mozilla’s product and technology teams, including Mozilla Support, the data-crowdsourcing project Common Voice, Firefox, Pocket, Addons, and Localization. His work resulted in a significant cost reduction, expanded reach, aligned collaboration, and increased contributors’ satisfaction.

What are they working on? Rubén joined our team this week! Given much of his experience from Mozilla, part of his early role in the team will be to help us get to know ourselves better. For a data organization, we have nowhere near enough data about HOT and humanitarian OpenStreetMap work. Part of Rubén’s mandate is to create a HOT & hOSM network snapshot and help us better measure and monitor community health moving forward, using this data to propose strategies and initiatives that can boost our Audacious goals in the coming years and ensure strong community sustainability in the long term.

Sophie Mower - Community Support Manager

Who are they? Sophie’s background is in community development and inclusive innovation, and she’s been contributing to HOT’s mission as a volunteer since 2017. Over the past six months, Sophie has created HOT’s first-ever Rapid Response Microgrants program providing Microgrants to seven communities mapping in response to Covid-19, and set up HOT’s Facebook Community Impact Microgrants, serving five communities to date.

What are they working on? Sophie’s key priorities are to make HOT’s microgrant program more exciting, collaborative, and impactful, and to support Community Managers in each Regional Hub to navigate the complexities of granting funding to communities. She will focus on application processes, planning, budgeting, due diligence, governance, monitoring, and reporting.

Shared priorities:

All members of this team have committed to another goal: thinking in public. This involves sharing thinking and ideas before finalizing them and creating better listening channels to integrate any feedback. This is now a fully-fledged team with big ambitions. Get in touch with any team members individually or get more involved by emailing or joining the #community_wg channel in the HOT Slack.

Location: Sydenham, London, Greater London, England, SE26 4PN, United Kingdom

At the State of the Map and HOT Summit conferences this year, we discussed ways to increase diversity and promote inclusion in OpenStreetMap (OSM). These discussions have evolved in format over the past few years; this year focusing on practical actions individuals can take to improve diversity. Read these ideas from 40 people attending State of the Map, to see how you can help.

By diversity, we mean broad representation across demographic characteristics of participants, including gender, racial, ethnic, geographic, socio-economic, age, sexual orientation/intersectionalism, and other dimensions of difference. We are concerned not only with the presence and participation of our diverse community, but also with the quality of the experience being inclusive.

Support diverse applications for talks and scholarships

  • Many conference organisers and program committees would like to select diverse talks and scholars, but do not receive much diversity in applications. For future conferences, we should reach out proactively, directly to underrepresented groups to encourage them to apply for talks or scholarships, rather than expect them to apply. Also, session organizers should reflect on the gender and representation balance as they make selections for which formats and visibility (talks versus posters, for instance). Furthermore, session or track committees should strive for diverse representation on the committee itself.
  • Volunteer to help/mentor others to write a talk or scholarship application. If someone is not comfortable delivering a talk alone, suggest doing it together. Similarly, if you are asked to give a talk, can you consider who else could do it for you to share the space. Be sure to take care about power relations, and give appropriate acknowledgements.
  • Advocate for newer or smaller projects so people are able to find or learn about them, making them more likely to be selected for conference talks (encourage people to submit to WeeklyOSM and diaries).
  • If you are presenting about a topic for a specific region of the world, be sure to include someone from that region. OSM is diverse, but must infuse inclusion in all that we share. “Build with” should be our method.

Encourage participation in more languages

  • Include stickers / flags for the conference badges for different languages. Many people find it difficult and tiring communicating in English all day, but might not realise there are lots of people around them who are keen to talk with them in another language.
  • Talk more slowly in presentations so someone speaking a second language can understand, and avoid using slang and cultural references that may not be universally understood.
  • Give the benefit of the doubt regarding language translation and discussions not being in someone’s first language; never assume people mean badly when sharing their opinions.
  • Consider funding to add subtitles to videos that are being streamed online, auto subtitle services, or take live notes, which could be translated.
  • Consider pairing volunteer translators with participants to “whisper translate.” Be an ally for those speaking a different language. Ask how we can improve and share. Support people attending a conference for the first time
  • Acknowledge that for many people it’s their first time at a conference. Organise newcomer sessions or a preconference event, or simply approach someone who’s standing alone at a coffee or lunch break. Additionally, you could ask on registration if this is someone’s first conference, and if it is, assign them a buddy who’s more familiar with OSM conferences to help them to integrate.
  • Consider speed mentoring sessions for youth attending the conference.
  • Have a “meeting bingo” session at a networking session early on in the conference.
  • Direct people to introduce themselves to a neighbour they haven’t met before in breaks between talks.

Participate in a conference organising committee and overall OSM

  • Communications & social media on the conference should explicitly focus on diversity of audiences and inclusivity.
  • Host State of the Map and HOT Summit in different locations to enable more underrepresented groups to attend. This will have a direct impact on the quality of OpenStreetMap; data and quality of our map is differing because we’re lacking contributors and a fully representative community.
  • Consider the visa situation before agreeing on conference location and how that will affect attendance.
  • Many talks presented at SOTM are incredibly technical; consider ways to bring in more people without very technical backgrounds.
  • Ensure dedicated seats for women and other underrepresented groups in leadership positions. Support different communication and engagement methods to be more inclusive. Governance models, policies, terms of references for working groups/boards and practices should codify inclusion
  • Suggest diversity committees to focus on diversity across every aspect of a conference, particularly ensuring inclusive language around speaking and scholarship applications. This group should ensure that diverse applications for talks/posters make it through to the conference program. They could also consider what other activities we could do to improve inclusion such as ensuring conference food does not include common allergens, and supports attendees with a range of dietary requirements.
  • Consider how we evaluate what is a successful conference: should we change the things people are recognised on?
  • Encourage surveys with diversity questions to better baseline diversity and attendees opinions within the conference.
  • Publish data on who applied for talks, and who was accepted to receive talks, including gender / location (see below).

HOT Summit 2019: how did we do for diversity?

As mentioned, one suggestion from the diversity discussion was understanding how to baseline diversity levels in OSM, and how these are changing. In looking through the data we collected on diversity for the HOT Summit, my biggest learning is we have not systematically captured data at key points of the conference process in order to be able to concretely measure how we are doing. The data points below, which are based on the questions included in the call for speakers, serve as a baseline against which we can track our performance going forward: * 35% of speaker applications self-identified as from an underrepresented group, 49% of total talks were from speakers who self-identified as from an underrepresented group * 41% of speakers selected were female * 35% of speakers selected came from outside North America & Europe

Get more involved in Diversity with… * State of the Map Working Group * HOT Summit Working Group & Community Working Group: * GeoChicas Telegram group: * OSM Diversity list: * YouthMappers and the LetGirlsMap campaign (

Location: San Blas, Cusco, Distrito de Cusco, Province of Cusco, Cusco, 08001, Peru