OSMF Board candidates: Joseph Reeves

Posted by pnorman on 28 November 2015 in English (English)

In preparation for the 2015 OSMF board election I am gathering basic info and question responses by candidate, to help people be better informed about their choices.

I've added annotations in italics where I felt they would be useful.

Joseph Reeves * Location: UK * OSM User IknowJoseph * Manifesto


Where do you currently participate in the OSMF?

I admit that I have not contributed to any OSMF Working Groups. I greatly appreciate the work they do, however, and would only work to encourage participation in them. I am happy to join any WG that I can be an asset in. I have done work to promote OSM outside of more formalised methods and would continue to encourage others to do the same

Which contributions to OSM should I consider for my decision beyond your data edits at OSM?

Do you use OSM at work for business purposes?

First of all, please don't judge my, or anyone else's, suitability to serve on the Board by their map edits! I'd argue that a previous preoccupation with mapping skills has been to the detriment of the OSMF and has contributed to a cultural problem that is inhibiting diversity and community involvement. In my opinion crucial Board skills involve communication, planning and organisational skills. Most relevant to my OSMF Board application, I have served on the HOT Board. I have been a long term contributor to HOT as a Member and have participated in a number of Working Groups and activities, including three trips to Indonesia. An example of my writing is available on the HOT Blog. I have spoken about OSM at numerous events including an Oxford University seminar series that can be watched online here, and TechCamp Sarajevo 2014.

Conflicts of Interest

No. I am a member of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and have previously conducted paid work for that group, but I am not expecting to be doing this again in the near future. From my time on the HOT Board I have had a great deal of exposure to Conflicts of Interest procedures and resolution.

Who should the OSMF serve?

I joined the OSMF as a member because I wanted to support OSM, not to have the OSMF Board further my interests. As a Board member I would work to ensure that the Board, and the OSMF members we represent, continue to work in the best interests of OpenStreetMap. The needs of OpenStreetMap are varied and are going to change over time, as such I don't think it's appropriate to single out a single priority to represent over the Board term.

Role of the board

Has not responded.

Communication with the community

Has not responded.

Community involvement in OSMF

The OSMF community needs to grow in size and improve in participation experience. I used to think that successful community was something that just happened organically and grew from a group of like minded individuals, having worked with some amazing Community Managers, however, I can see the error in my thinking. The Board needs to target actionable points of the community and set targets and standards to aspire to. This is much more productive than rehashing past issues. I would like to see the OSMF promote it's achievements, and the benefits of membership, more readily. At the same time we need to improve the experience of people who are either existing members or new to the group.


As OSM grows we are naturally going to recruit more members; diversity for me is to be measured by these new members. I think there's reasons to be hopeful; I have seen first hand great diversity in the HOT Indonesia team as well as at MissingMaps mapathons. This needs to continue, and I believe that diversity will continue to increase by attracting new mappers and new projects. The OSMF has to become more diverse to reflect changes in the OSM user group. I don't think the current OSMF mailing list is the best communication method to encourage diversity, or community involvement, and I would promote diversity as central to any actions to improve community experience.

Paying People

Has not responded.

Board term limits

I don't currently have a strong opinion on the issue and am happy to have the various views explained to me again. The Board seems to be functioning without the special resolution. I passionately believe that all Board Members have to be useful and have to be productive; it may be that term limits can help here, but any changes to the OSMF articles need to be made within a broader culture of "getting stuff done".


Transparency is, of course, hugely important. It should be remembered, however, that there are sometimes legal barriers to complete transparency in the Board's discussions. Staffing matters, for example, can be an example of where a Board is not legally allowed to publicly discuss an issue. I can also think of situations including funding or project partnerships where a third party may request that we do not immediately disclose all the details. In short, the Board should be as open as possible, but you simply cannot say we will be transparent about every issue for the 2016 term. When transparency is not an option we should be effective at communicating the issues to Members. Vote reporting is, I think, an issue for individual members, although I am happy to have the details explained to me further.

License violation enforcement

I think almost all licence violations are unintentional and I am often impressed with how the community deals with the issue by explaining the problems to violators. I'm convinced the use of OSM is going to grow enormously, so we're likely to suffer more violations in the future, at which point we may need a more formalised approach. At present communication is key. I am impressed by efforts such as the OSM copyright page and the MapBox attribution instructions and hope to see these methods become more commonplace.

Imports and remote mapping stance

In my election statement I described OSM as a wonderful patchwork that covers the World: Imports and remote mapping are part of this patchwork and aren't going away any time soon. Imports and remote mapping needs to be conducted within a dialogue with local mappers. I have conducted both and see them as important and useful methods of mapping. I am currently mapping areas of Syria from aerial imagery; I have visited the country, most recently at the end of 2011, and I don't believe there is a strong local mapping community in the country. Maps of Syria are very important, however, both for aid delivery and news reporting, so I have no issue with contributing remotely. I hope it helps in some small way.

Commercial and Organized Editing Policy stance

Has not responded.

Comment from IknowJoseph on 28 November 2015 at 11:03

This is great, thanks Paul,

I've completed the questions I missed before - apologies for being a little slow on them!

Cheers, Joseph

Comment from Владимир К on 7 December 2015 at 08:36

Broken URL to the OSM user.

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