I’m running for OpenStreetMap United States board in the upcoming board elections.
This past year the board worked with the local organizing team to put together a great State of the Map US in Boulder and made progress on hiring an executive director. But I was a little disappointed with how quiet we were in other aspects of the community.
This coming year, I’m looking forward to hiring an excellent executive director so we can rely on a full-time person to help us move forward with some of the tasks OpenStreetMap US has been working towards for years. Supporting and building a community of enthusiastic mappers requires a lot of time and the board has struggled to do it in recent years. As I mentioned in last year’s statement, my hope is that by hiring and supporting a talented individual to help us we can look forward to a stronger community in a shorter amount of time.
I’m also looking forward to finishing off some other important pieces that the board has been working on for quite some time. We have a draft policy that makes our existing habit of supporting mapping parties through food and drink sponsorship clear. I’d like to see us get feedback from the community and vote that into a real policy with a clear way for community members to request reimbursement. We also have similar policies for reimbursing the cost of community tools like Meetup, and for travel to speak about OpenStreetMap at local events. I’d also like to see us revamp our website so that resources like this are more obvious to our community members.
My time on the OpenStreetMap US board has shown that it’s easy to overestimate what we can get done as just the board. I think our job as the board should be to enable others to do the community building and to make it easier for others to participate and be excited about OpenStreetMap. The board itself doesn’t have the time to do these things itself, but it does have time and resources to help others. I can help do that with the rest of OpenStreetMap US if you make sure you’re a member and vote for me as a board member.