OSM US Candidate Statement 2023

Posted by hdevine825 on 5 February 2023 in English.

I’m Harrison Devine, and I am running for the OpenStreetMap US board. I edit on OSM and OHM as hdevine825. I have come to OSM through a confluence of my love of maps and open projects.

I got my first start in OSM contributing a few changesets to a HOT project in 2014. I never engaged with the community during this brief stint, and I think that is one reason I did not get more involved. Fast forward to 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, I dove into editing Wikipedia. As I got into Wikipedia, I discovered a passion for cataloging information and contributing to open projects. Then in late 2021 I got back into editing OSM and quickly got involved with the local mapping community.

I’m located in Brooklyn, NY where the map is already densely populated. That has led me to mapping smaller details of sidewalks, tactile paving on curbs, and benches in parks. My largest contributions have been in mapping sidewalks around Brooklyn. I also work on welcoming new mappers and connecting them to the community through the OSM US Slack and giving feedback and resources for their mapping.

Professionally, I work in non-profit accounting. In this role, I work with multiple organizations overseeing their finance function. Often I am the person presenting financial statements to the non-profits’ boards. This has given me considerable experience with compliance and best practices that I hope to contribute to OSM US.

OSM US has taken a lead in building the OSM community. Creating or supporting projects such as TeachOSM, OpenHistoricalMap, and now OSMCha help grow the community and actively support existing mappers. Meanwhile, working groups like the Trails Working Group and Government Working Group connect stakeholders to the community. I see these two avenues as the framework that OSM US should follow and build upon. Beyond simply having these initiatives, the organization has been able to grow with multiple full time staff. However, this also brings additional financial commitments. If elected to the board, I will use my non-profit accounting expertise to build financial stability and create strong processes and controls as bookkeeping is moved in house. This stable financial footing will sustain the existing programs and provide a platform for new initiatives.


Comment from GLOBOTREE on 5 February 2023 at 17:07

Interesting work here described and made reference to sidewalks, l would be interested in this welcome committee you also mentioned. So I appreciate your taking time to explain your experience, this helps people understand computing can be useful and rewarding and not all work is for profit, this I like. So I have a project and would be interested to connect, hope you continue and i look forward to checking your work out.

Comment from hdevine825 on 6 February 2023 at 14:23

Hi GLOBOTREE, I use a tool originally created by the Belgian OSM community to welcome new users: If your area is not included you can add it to the tool as well.

Feel free to send me a direct message about any other projects.

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