mikelmaron has commented on the following diary entries

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Share your story: Open Gender Monologues 2 days ago

Well, I now understand that it is not a topic for heterosexual men. Yes, I've now got that point (sigh).

I'm a heterosexual man, and I'm ready to listen. You individually are free to not participate @alexkemp

Share your story: Open Gender Monologues 2 days ago

Hey men of OpenStreetMap. I also have heard specifically from women and gender minorities in OSM that they have experienced problems. If you're hearing that gender is an issue for participation in OSM and haven't directly heard concrete details yourself, don't cast doubt or trivialize. It's our duty to be patient and listen, not demand proof before anyone has had a chance to even share their experiences. As @wonderchook said, if that's your approach, this topic may not be for you. I for one very much look forward to and welcome anyone who's ready to come forward and talk about what they've experienced. My hope is that can be a step to an even more welcoming community.

Will the DWG block us all one day? 29 days ago

it would be possible to obtain details of the actual incident from the block(s) associated with it

Something to consider. We could add a category field to blocks, that could capture the general type of issue(s) the block addresses. Would make it easier than trying to parse the text of the block

the user blocks list is not a "list of shame" I have never met someone seeing it this way, except from the OSMF or Working Group environment.

Perhaps simply adjusting the labels to differentiate between zero hour blocks, and more serious blocks, could help. The zero hour blocks could even be separated into a distinct list, with another label and description.

Will the DWG block us all one day? 30 days ago

Great fidelity in the stats, on an ongoing basis, would be interesting. Pivot by length of block, who applied the block, parse the text for some indication of the purpose of the block. Would be useful to spot patterns in problems the DWG is dealing with, without placing additional burden on them to report out their activities.

Not Yours, OpenStreetMap about 1 month ago

the moment you express anything but positivity and loyalty, you stop being respected. Even by members of The Board. You did well, but words are what matters: you said the wrong words, we don't respect you any more, please leave.

Oh man, this is getting tiring. You are starting to imagine things -- who told you to leave? Are you ok? I said "It's important to think critically -- as I said, I agree with some of the source issues you raise." I don't think everything is fine, and I don't demand loyalty. Get a grip dude.

Zverik you wrote "Since around 2012 OpenStreetMap is headed directly into abyss." If you want respect and to help OSM grow, maybe try to use some metaphors that inspire people, rather than spreading your personal frustration far and wide.

Not Yours, OpenStreetMap about 1 month ago

Finally, I came to despise the "do it yourself or gtfo" attitude, common to open projects, that Mikel's expressing in his latest comment.

That's not what I'm expressing at all.

It's important to think critically -- as I said, I agree with some of the source issues you raise. OSM does get plenty of critique, from all directions. But what's even more important is what you do with those insights. How do you express yourself and what to what directions do you point? Express a vision of where things need to go, that can motivate people to make the changes you want to see.

I'll admit, I'm having a difficult time showing you respect right now, after you let your frustration with OSM get the best of you. Maybe at best, I can empathize. Yes, you have made a lot of contributions to OSM. And I also know the frustration of things not working out they way you want. There are times I've certainly felt like throwing it all away, and writing a post like this. But I cool down, and try to see where I can put energy -- hands on or vision -- that takes things in the direction I want.

At least, you chose to post on the OSM diaries, and not score points across the Internet by aiming for the top of reddit. So I do appreciate you keeping this within the OSM community.

Not Yours, OpenStreetMap about 1 month ago

Hey @imagico, I'm happy to work with you on practicalities of what corporates can bring. Just please don't demand humility, that's a contradiction and I would love see more practice of what we preach here.

Seems like you really want recognition of your intellectual value -- I will grant you that.

Let's make room for all, and maybe try to have a level headed discussion, and a reality based grasp of all the people and groups in the room here.

Not Yours, OpenStreetMap about 1 month ago

Some constructive suggestions

And being a watchman is hard: in fourteen years the best we could do was OSMCha. Users of which are still complaining about wide, albeit thin, changesets. We’ve successfully lost the author of OWL

I think OSMCha is pretty good. There's lots more brewing. Integrating OSMCha into History tab is one idea worth pursuing.

You’ll never hear a thanks, but will get a full bag of comments instead.

Get over it and help create the environment there you would like to see. Do the hard work of working through feedback. TomH does hard work reviewing all code. Help there too.

A hope for an “area” data type was faint five years ago, but by now even the most optimistic osmers stopped dreaming of change.

Do some work or put up money.

The main distinction and advantage of OpenStreetMap is a free tagging model. It has grew so enormous, nobody, not even experienced users, can choose correct tags.

Create tools that help us manage the process of designing and integrating tags better.

It’s 2018 outside, and we’ve got no developer environment, no integration tools, no financial support, no strategic plan

There's a ton to do here. Andy's work is a great start.

Nobody, not even the Legal Working Group, understands ODbL.

There's work happening to communicate this better.

Also in response to Christoph

We need a broad and open but ambitious and thoughtful discourse about these kind of topics (in contrast to the cacophony of spontaneous and not well thought through opinions that is all too frequent these days) and this depends on broad education. And to be clear: This is not something you can expect the corporate players in the OSM world to substantially contribute to.

Well that's uninformed. Corporate players are very interested in this and have a lot to bring to the table.

Not Yours, OpenStreetMap about 1 month ago


You have some fair points. There are important things to work on that I agree with.

But they are completely buried in lazy negativity, finger pointing, with no creative thought about ways forward. This post is just going to absorb more energy which could have gone towards productive work. We don't need this.

Also want to say thanks to Andy for his excellent response and amazing work with the website.


Peru’s response to redaction about 2 months ago

Incredible work @karitotp and OSM Peru.

I agree both that there was not much more DWG could directly do, and that more could have been done. The redaction code is well designed, and did what was needed, and needs to be run in this kind of situation. More could be done to prepare for the repair before the redaction happens, but the DWG does not have extra time or resources to do that.

Some communities do -- and I recommend we allow a bit more time and find ways to be more collaborative to prepare before the redaction starts. Things like extracting tags that are not compromised by private data, and building a service to refer to while repairing the map; Set up metrics to track how close the repair is to prior data coverage; develop tasks and workflows.

I guess it could also be argued that the community wouldn't have responded so fast unless the data was just deleted. I think with a deadline for preparation of 2-4 weeks, and good documentation on how to prepare, communities could be even more ready for situations like this.

Building an inclusive map - OSM and gender discussion 3 months ago

hey @alexkemp, check yourself. You're wildly misrepresenting Heather's viewpoints, and repeating baseless attacks on her character. You are being way out of line -- this kind of hostile, and frankly unhinged, communication has no place in a reasonable discussion in our community.

"other genders" here refers to people who do not identify definitively male or female.

Building an inclusive map - OSM and gender discussion 4 months ago

@Harry Wood @Richard -- on the Board, I'm actually in the process of restarting OSMF announce (or messages from CiviCRM -- the channel is tbd). Stopping auto subscribe to osmf-talk is not something I thought about, but worth considering too.

And thank you @Heather for this diary post. Great summation of the discussion so far, and positive directions we can take.

AI With Satellite Images for OpenStreetMap 4 months ago

To recap

"There's some pretty cool things which maybe could be done with machine learning and mapping"

"Humans are better than machines and you're offensive and I'm scared"

"Well maybe it's still interesting, someday it will be better"

"Only if you are white and male and rich"

It's hard to have a calm discussion about this topic anywhere -- developments (real and imagined) in artificial intelligence tech are overwhelming human society.

The reality is for mapping -- there's lots of potential, a few early successes, but a long way to go. Yet it's moving fast. Humans are not being removed from the mapping equation. Machine learning is a fancy way of describing a certain class of statistical models run by computers. They can be helpful aids for human mappers, to help us map faster and bring our attention to things we might have missed. We already use machine learning a lot in OSM -- anyone ever map from mapillary detections? Improving these workflows and applying to other parts of the mapping process, while keeping our wits, can only help us make the map better.

About another OSMF board meeting 5 months ago

Sometimes you're hilarious @imagico. You split hairs about the meaning of the word "speculate", then admonish me for focusing on words. Meanwhile one of your key points hinges on specific words in a tweet. And finally, you focus on one part of my response that's about your word choice and ignore my arguments.

About another OSMF board meeting 5 months ago

Whoa there @imagico, let's slow down here. I want nothing more than a reasonable discussion, as you say you are doing. I would never suggest that you shouldn't speak your mind, and I hope you would extend the same courtesy to others, particularly people and institutions you are commenting on.

Through the course of this post and comments, my actions and the Board have been suggested to be "spin", lacking in "credibility" and lacking an "open mind", and finally a "bully". I am not here to defend myself against name calling, but to claim that these cv aracterizations are part of a reasoned discussion doesn't strike me as accurate.

My first comment explained at some length my thinking on the Taking a Stand topic. You haven't engaged in my reasoned points at all.

You do state that you don't want to speculate, but then you do go on to speculate. You speculate "it is not clear if these are favours given in return for money". This is what led me to call you out for peddling conspiracy theories.

I am all for transparency and clear processes. There's already been a full accounting of the donation in this case. I don't see much issue with how it was handled myself. But I can agree with you that developing clearer procedures is something we should do.

Linking credibility to Taking a Stand, and implying repeatedly that our decisions are influenced by the donation, is not reasonable. Again I've explained why I don't think that's the right course of action.

About another OSMF board meeting 5 months ago

@imagico There is no relation between the donation and our discussion on the taking a stand agenda item. There are no "favors" doled out. To suggest these things are you are here is a colossal conspiracy theory, erodes the credibility of other good points you make, and frankly this attack on the OSMF Board is actually something worth taking a stand against.

About another OSMF board meeting 5 months ago

Thanks for your write up and perspectives @imagico. It's helpful for me to get a chance to clarify areas where there's confusion on what's happening within the Board, through an outsider perspective. Appreciate comments from others here. There's one point I want to weigh in on now.

The discussion on "Taking a Stand" was much more wide ranging than your write up. Here are my thoughts, for the record. I was not happy with Dale's tweet at all. There was other discussion on social media I found disappointing. And I'm not excusing it all but -- these tweets are being blown way out of proportion. Dale did not call all OSMF members racist, but the mailing list activity in the election racist, and then he backed that out to prejudice, and that 90% of the mailing list posters are fine. I still am not happy with the tweet.

Further, this tweet has not had much or any impact outside of OSM. Frederik has painted a picture of Dale running around and knocking on doors all over DC, calling OSM a viper pit of racism to everyone who listens, and people recoiling in disgust. Of everyone in this discussion -- I'm the only one who lives in DC. And I talk about OSM nearly every day. And I have 5 times the followers on Twitter than Dale. And I have never seen the level of interest and support for OSM than we have right now in DC, or anywhere. OSM is highly respected.

There was plenty of messages over the course of the election that I found really troublesome. I am not about to call out one, especially one that while really not good, has been highly misconstrued. This has nothing to do with loyalty for receiving a donation, the suggestion is ridiculous. I wouldn't call out anyone in particular at this point, because it doesn't help us work together better as a community.

Finally, I did not call for stricter rule on OSM communication. Back in 2011, the Board accepted Etiquette guidelines and moderators. We've had this in place for years, it has been very helpful at times, even recently, though applied very inconsistently and the awareness is not what it should be. It's not cohesive. My point is that we need to examine and discuss that this guidelines and processes are up to date, and then make sure they are resourced in a responsible way. And that this is certainly not the only thing we should consider, the only frame, or necessarily the starting point.

100€ for a notifications listings page 6 months ago

Let's do it @Stereo! @Skippern, been a while -- still interested?

Holiday reflections on OpenStreetMap 6 months ago

Excellent point @SimonPoole, agree a "news" feature directly in could be great. Going to ruminate on all the ways we could approach that, and make it a core part of the experience of Also note, @joost schouppe had and generated a tremendous set of ideas here

(also noting that @-username doesn't notify anyone presently, there's another feature :)

Holiday reflections on OpenStreetMap 6 months ago

If you feel there's things that could be improved on the mailing list or to improve new mapper retention, let's do them! I have a list of a few things I might explore in another post on my priorities for 2018.

(Yea I think I disagree with point d and your "summa summarum" ("all in all" in Latin, I had to look it up :) since I think there's a second order affect on how and what people in the core of the project do based on the their perceptions and experience of the mailing list, and I do think people talking about this are sincere just as you are but that's beside my point).