10 Year OSM Usiversary

Posted by russdeffner on 13 October 2020 in English (English).

Ten years ago today, I created this user profile!

Although it was not my first profile, the other one I only did a few edits before forgetting the password and a couple months later created this one. I since found that other password but instead of trying to ‘revive’ or switch-over, I chose to have the sysadmin folks delete the slightly older profile and continued on with this one. Hence, celebrating a few months late :D

However, rather than just celebrating the fact that I’ve been contributing to OSM for 10 years+, I will also use this as an opportunity to fulfill my voluntary obligations as a Voting Member of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) to summarize my contributions (since my last summary in January of 2019) and aspirations for the coming year. Over the almost 2 years now, things have changed quite dramatically. You might think ‘because of Audacious?’ or ‘because of HOT launching a fully funded Disaster Services program?’ - which yes, and yes; but much more so because I got married, had a baby and have been living on the other side of the planet (mostly due to the COVID situation) since my last update - yep, time flies when you’re having fun :)

To the business of being a voting member of HOT. Just recently I started the transition away from being a multifaceted contractor working with the HOT Community & Partnerships team (mostly related to Missing Maps), consulting with our Technology and Innovation team on version 4 of the Tasking Manager, continuing to have a significant focus as Project Manager on the AI-Assisted Roads project as well as being the sole staff assigned to Disaster Services (for just a few hours per week unless there was a response) - to soon being fully focused on Disaster Services as the Disaster Response Coordinator for HOT. Meaning I will be focused on making sure that when there is an event that HOT should respond to, that we do as quickly and efficiently as possible, that we do everything in our power to reach a successful conclusion, and that we no longer leave communities digging out from a mess of data (kindheartedly) dumped in their area; on top of dealing with the real life issues left in the wake of disaster.

Of course that is going to take a lot of support and help, so I am happy to say there will be a handful of other staff across the globe helping to recruit volunteers, monitor for incidents and stand up responses as they are able. Some concentrating on a regional scale, but a few others with me looking at things globally. We will also continue to rely heavily on volunteers - not just to map, but to help ensure high quality data is generated from the get-go; local communities are directly engaged throughout the entire process; and every aspect of coordination is open, transparent and has the global community engaged (as is practical in these swift moving disaster incidents). If you are interested in being involved, feel free to join us in the HOT Slack #disaster-mapping channel and/or jump right into the training at the HOT Training Center

For my fellow members, of course I will still be engaged in governance; as most of you know I was the lead author of the most recent Bylaws revision to formalize our practice of using Ballots for our elections - which is now being put to the test in the vacant Board seat election. I have many more things I would like to see improved with our governance, so expect to see me at the next Governance Working Group meeting. I also want to see newer members getting involved with our procedures, practices and performance so am happy to have a chat with any of you about our legal doctrine. Leave me a note here, Slack, or via email.

Lots has happened over the last couple of years, I’m sure I left out a ton of important things, but wanted to keep this fairly short so folks may actually read it…

Cheers to 10 Years!


Comment from arnalielsewhere on 13 October 2020 at 06:53

Cheers to 10years! =)

Comment from unen on 13 October 2020 at 11:15

Cheers Russ. Glad that our paths have crossed.

Comment from Glassman on 13 October 2020 at 19:13

Congratulations Russ and thank you for all the help you given me over the years.

I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years brings. Besides a much older me :)


Comment from GrabID_martinmbaihaqi on 13 October 2020 at 23:19


Comment from RebeccaF on 26 October 2020 at 08:34

Congrats on 10 years Russ, amazing milestone!

Comment from cbeddow on 11 November 2020 at 14:27

Congrats, Russ! Great to have you. I still owe you a beer for helping me try and get a credit card to me in Tanzania even if I screwed it up!

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