OpenStreetMap

HOT 2014 Review

Posted by russdeffner on 1 December 2014 in English.

Greetings, this is a brief recap of my contributions to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) in 2014.

In February 2014 I was nominated and accepted as a Voting Member of HOT and in March I was elected as the Chairperson for the Voting Members.

At the end of March, as some of you well know, we began an Activation to assist Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), aka Doctors Without Borders, with the Ebola crisis in West Africa, see https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/2014_West_Africa_Ebola_Response for details. I assisted the Activation Coordinators at the beginning of the Activation by updating that wiki page for about the first month, as well as completing a handful of mapping tasks. I also remotely contributed to the Map Lesotho Mapathon in July.

As Chairperson, my focus was less on the mapping, and more on the ‘behind-the-scenes’ operations of HOT. I attempted to assemble the Voting Members for an ‘annual meeting’ twice, but was unable to get a quorum (at the time a majority) of our members. This was obviously a problem and after many meetings and conversations it became fairly clear that with a worldwide membership, even meeting electronically, would be difficult.

So I shifted my efforts to helping re-ignite the HOT Working Groups, especially the Governance WG. Although I also participated in the Activation WG, Training WG, Community WG, Communication WG, and attended a few Technical WG meetings; I’m going to focus on the achievements of the Governance WG here. Our first priority was to address the issue(s) of assembling our membership to hold legitimate meetings in order to conduct business. We decided our best course of action would be to ease the quorum requirement; the alternative would have been to start removing members (which would have been an extremely difficult and much longer process). In order to do so, we needed to get a majority of members to assemble in order to ratify a change to the bylaws. So first, we drafted and proposed Proxy Rules which were approved by the Board of Directors to use for a Special Meeting of the Voting Members to adopt an amendment to our Bylaws changing the quorum to ¼ of our members – which the Gov WG also drafted.

This culminated in our first ever meeting of the Voting Members, on October 16th, where a majority of us were present or represented by a proxy; i.e. able to conduct business. The meeting was specific to ratifying the quorum clause of the Bylaws and that was approved. Although I had high hopes to accomplish more in my first year as Chair, I am pleased with the progress we made as this should make future meetings of the membership much easier to conduct. Now the Governance WG will set its sights on the (quickly) approaching new member nominations and HOT election cycle.

As a side note, I also had to address an issue with several members regarding how we speak to and respect each other and hope I brought enough of a resolution that no further disciplinary action is required. Also throughout the year I continued to support our OSM community in Mongolia, see http://hot.openstreetmap.org/projects/mongolia_mapping_ulaanbaatar for the backstory and spoke at the University of Colorado on the subject in February.

Sincerely,

Russell Deffner

Chairperson for the Voting Members

The [Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team] (http://hot.openstreetmap.org/)

Discussion

Comment from skorasaurus on 2 December 2014 at 01:34

Nice recap Russell; it was great to meet you at SOTM-US in April!

Also, thanks for following through with the quorum - 3rd time ended up being the charm :)

Looking forward to another HOT year in 2015.

Comment from russdeffner on 1 January 2015 at 00:47

Thanks Will, good to meet you as well! And just to note, I also made a small financial contribution to HOT as well! You still have a bit of time (if you’re in the US) to make a (2014) tax deductible donation to HOT: http://hot.openstreetmap.org/donate

Log in to leave a comment