Local Chapter Congress Notes from SotM 2016Posted by mikelmaron on 17 April 2017 in English (English). Last updated on 18 April 2017.
The sun shined on the Local Chapter Congress at State of the Map 2016. It was fantastic to hear from so many people from so many communities.
Yes, sorry, it is long overdue to share – shortly after SotM, I took leave after the birth of my son, and only finding space to pick this up with the upcoming Board Face to Face.
There were many solid ideas, and of course further discussion. Would love to find several avenues to explore these. I think one could be the Advisory Board, which will include representatives from official Local Chapters. For “incubating” local chapters, maybe we discuss ideas on the local chapters mailing list. For communication ideas, we should figure out the right place…
Dorothea took thorough notes from the session. Posting the summary below.
Organising local communities
How OSMF Could Help?
- Add new “tier” to Local Chapters for semi-formal groups not ready to register as a formal organization or full Local Chapter status
- Subsidize some costs of groups in poor communities, including support for accessing internet and computer equipment
For OSMF membership
- 2-level tier for membership fee, to include mappers from poorer countries
- Vetting of members at lower membership fee by local chapter
Other fundraising options for local groups:
- Ask local companies
- Mapathons at places (like bars / coffee shops) which donate percentage of the proceeds
- On membership signup, option to donate additional amounts
- Restart equipment (GPS / phones / laser distance devices) lending program, either from OSMF, or between local communities
- Legal questions on OSM activities in places like Pakistan
- Groups as part of larger organisations
- Organize national level donation collection through non profit associations for tax benefit, then donate to support OSMF
- Central OSM-supplied platform for social aspects, there is fragmentation between communication tools (lists, some people find IRC/forum unappealing, FB, etc) ** The platform should also be helpful for organisation purposes (i.e easy past message retrieval)
- Creation of map that has local groups with contact details on it
- Tickbox on sign-up page to accept push-notifications
- Short video (maybe localised) before the first tutorial in iD, that explains what OSM is all about
- Identifying & contacting new mappers as they join – Belgium and Switzerland have models
Build tool to contact new mappers. The welcoming message will, ideally ** be personalised ** push people to come into contact with local groups ** let them know options available ** mention local upcoming events ** also, it will be followed-up after a few weeks/month (people have limited time)
Possible revitalisation of Welcome WG
- Friendly reminders to decrease duration of mapping inactivity
- Drop-down list with current news (national/regional) on osm.org
Comment from Nakaner on 17 April 2017 at 15:38
mikelmaron wrote: > Creation of map that has local groups with contact details on it
You can reuse the German Usergroups Bot and its map.
Comment from RobJN on 17 April 2017 at 19:37
Great write-up. Let’s get this on the OSM blog. :-)
Comment from Glassman on 18 April 2017 at 00:11
Mikel, You seem to have two major threads in your diary entry. The first is Local Chapters and the Second is Communications. Not to belittle Local Chapters, but it’s the communications aspect that interests me.
Push notifications is a dream for many of us. It’s likely that only a small fraction occasional mappers belong to one or more of our current communications tools. Push notifications isn’t going to solve our communications problem, but it will help, so long as we can prevent spam.
Two other communications avenues that need exploring is more press and conducting user surveys.
Local Chapters would ideally take the lead to get articles published. Currently most articles on OSM are connected with either Missing Maps or HOT. I’ve had new mappers sign up for humanitarian events that believe OSM isn’t used for developed countries. Getting press isn’t easy. I worked with a consultant for the 2016 SotM US trying to crack the barrier. I suspect we need to look at other approaches to find what interest the press.
Surveys could be used to help understand how people find OSM to help us in our “marketing” and learn their preferred method of communications.
Lastly, as someone who “borrowed” the Belgium welcome message and have been using it for the last couple of years - I agree that we need to do more to welcome new mappers.
Comment from mikelmaron on 18 April 2017 at 12:30
Yup – that’s what came up during the Congress. Better communication is a top topic for Local Chapters.
It’s getting close. This PR would implement. May need some policy work. Showing support for the PR could help get this moving :) https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/pull/1431
Would love to figure out strategies here. Possibly a starting point is to start generating good stories on our diaries / blogs, then picking out the best ones to pitch. What are good stories coming out of OSM US?
Comment from ImreSamu on 20 April 2017 at 01:16
Is it possible to order/receive OSM Stickers for small osm communities?
( Like: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Category:Stickers )
For Example ( Hungary )
Comment from mmd on 23 April 2017 at 16:57
The current implementation as it stands really has privacy issues, as it would exhibit your personal email address if a third party requests it and you approve it. This won’t go away with some “policy work”.
Also, if you don’t authorize an App up-front, there will be no way to send a push notification at all. A user really needs to explicitly consent to it in the first place. Just randomly selecting some area and sending messages to all mappers will NOT work with this pull request on its own.
There are some ideas to mitigate the situation and have an approach that could work out for everyone without compromising privacy, and still offering the benefits of push notifications via email (or possibly some API). I’m not going to repeat that here, see the Github pull request for details.
Thanks for your time!
Have fun :)
Comment from RobJN on 23 April 2017 at 21:42
I don’t get what the fuss is here. The OSM authorisation page is so clean it shows you exactly what will get shared and has simple tick boxes to exclude parts you don’t want to share.
As I understand it, this enables an option that allows users to easily share their email address with third parties who ask for it (easily=via the OSM auth page).
Or am I missing something?
Returning to the original issue (“Tickbox on sign-up page to accept push-notifications”), I’m not sure the PR solves this. I would prefer an option at new-user sign-up stage to select to subscribe to newsletters from the OSMF and from your local community. If you opt to get newsletters from your local community then you are agreeing to your email address being passed on to the Local Chapter that represents you region.
I find it disappointing that OSMF haven’t implemented this as it could really help to grow the sense of local community in OSM. Instead we have some local chapters tracking the changelogs for signs of new users and then sending them messages through the OSM messaging system. Feels like a waste of everyone’s time - a simple tickbox allows those who want to hear from their local community to enable this.
Comment from Glassman on 23 April 2017 at 21:56
@mmd My goal is enabling push notifications. If email oauth permission gives that capability then I’m in favor of seeing it implemented. If too many people opt out because they don’t want to give their email address then oauth permissions may not be the right means to an end.
@RobJN comments express my thoughts on push notification. If this is the wrong PR, then we need to come up with a better PR.
mmd - apparently you wouldn’t be in my target audience in anyway. It doesn’t appear your user_name has edited in OSM.
Comment from SimonPoole on 24 April 2017 at 07:20
@RobJN the PR implements an opt-out approach (ibecause of that legally likely not tenable, but we haven’t looked at that yet in detail) and hiding the permission page itself is trivial, which for example JOSM does.
The other aspect is the reputation risk for the OSMF when a hacker group goes off with the addresses stored by one of the clients, or direct misuse. As I pointed out in the PR it is not as if the OSMF will get the addresses back if they are unhappy with what they are being used for.
Comment from mmd on 24 April 2017 at 09:15
@RobJN: > Returning to the original issue (“Tickbox on sign-up page to accept push-notifications”), I’m not sure the PR solves this. I would prefer an option at new-user sign-up stage to select to subscribe to newsletters from the OSMF and from your local community. If you opt to get newsletters from your local community then you are agreeing to your email address being passed on to the Local Chapter that represents you region.
Unfortunately, the PR is not geared towards this. Primary target is allowing third parties to get your email address. Let’s take this oauth example:
With this PR in place you would get additional checkbox “see your e-mail”, if the third party requests it. Once approved, the demo app would also have access to your email (obviously this is not available on osm.org as of now).
For your new local community members, this would mean to manually send each new member such a link to a third party app to sign in (pretty much as it is today), and afterwards receive updates via push messages.
Bottom line: in terms of easy community management and keeping new members in the loop as you describe it, this PR may not be exactly what you’re looking for.
Comment from RobJN on 24 April 2017 at 09:50
You’re preaching to the converted!
As for this PR, I’ll let someone else solve the mess. By which I know this translates to “it will fester for ages, go stale and nothing will be done”.
Comment from PlaneMad on 24 April 2017 at 10:31
This is a real blocker in many countries that have outdated laws that only allow licensed institutions to survey and map. Google got into trouble in India a few years ago for having a mapmaker competition and the government shutdown the street view program as a risk to security. This opens up the fear for anyone of contributing to OSM or Mapillary which can potentially get one into trouble.
While its going to be hard for OSMF to offer protection to local chapters or change laws, what might help is if OSM as a project got the endorsement at a really high level like the UN as an essential project to help hit the Millennium Development Goals. This would help pave the way for a policy change of encouraging participatory mapping and recognize the project as a tool of citizen empowerment and development for a better world.
Comment from TylerOSM on 8 June 2017 at 20:55
@mikelmaron great summary. HOT would love to help/lead some of these initiatives. One starting point this year is that we’re working with 9 OSM communities to provide financial support for basic needs e.g. equipment, internet access, etc. We are also helping several OSM communities to form local associations/become legally registered in their countries. Through donor support we plan to offer the program again in 2018.
@PlaneMad a few of us in the OSM community have been presenting at UN events including World Data Forum and working to integrate open geospatial data / OSM into thinking around Sustainable Development Goals. We’re also participating in the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (Data4SDGs.org) and published a guide on open mapping for the SDGs available at http://www.data4sdgs.org/toolbox
Happy to chat more on either of those if interested. Tyler (firstname.lastname@example.org)