Introducing the Strategic Working Group

Long time OpenStreetMap contributor, OSMF board member and OpenGeoData
contributor, Mikel Maron[1] has launched a Strategic Working Group for
the OpenStreetMap Foundation. If you are not familiar with Mikel by
name or through his participation on the OSMF board since 2007, you
might know him as one of the driving forces behind

The Strategic Working Group is in the very earliest stages of planning
for itself and for the future of OpenStreetMap. In fact, it should be
no surprise if you have heard little of the Strategic Working Group
before now. Thus, this introduction.

To date, Mikel is the only member[2] of the Strategic Working Group,
and also serves as its chair. Points of contact for the Strategic
Working Group are the mailing list[3] and the beginnings of some wiki

The goal of the Strategic Working Group is to serve the OpenStreetMap
Foundation and community by raising funds where needed and to plan and
provide for the smooth operation and growth of OpenStreetMap.
Essentially the goal is to do those things individual mappers may not
care to do, and those things that individual mappers may not be able
to accomplish in ad-hoc groups. These goals will be refined and
formalized with time.

When this group was first announced on 21 May 2010, on the OSMF
mailing list[5], Mikel envisioned the tasks as:

I anticipate the WG would be looking at tasks like the following:

* Evaluate our current fund-raising strategies and budget allocations.
* Assess the overall needs and priorities for the Foundation, and
determine where resources are needed.
* Make recommendations for changes to the budget allocations to the Board.
* Assess the strengths and positions of funders with interest in
OpenStreetMap. Assess other fundraising methods.
* Help shape programs and draft proposals to funders.

Your thoughts on what the Strategic Working Group should be, what it
should do, and how it operate are important. Now is a great time for
you to get involved with the Strategic Working Group.

There has already been some interest in the SWG from members of the
OSMF mailing list. On the Strategic Working Group mailing list you’ll
see some business people who are OSM consumers, you’ll see some of the
usual community faces you’ll see some of the developers and admins who
keep OSM running.

To be successful, the the Strategic Working Group will need more than
a few business people, a few OSM folks and good intentions. To be
successful, the SWG needs to perform the tasks that you assign to it.
Now and in the future, the SWG needs to listen to the community and
remove the obstacles that hinder mappers.

To be successful, the SWG needs to make sure that OpenStreetMap keeps
getting better. An ideal SWG would be indistinguishable from a magic
lamp; if mappers make a wish, the SWG should provide. You can help by
participating. What do you wish?

What are the problems that the SWG should solve? How should the SWG
best communicate with you? How will the SWG know that their goals
have been reached?

* Is it impossible to edit OSM in your preferred language?
* Does it take too long to save data edits?
* Is your connection to OSM servers irregular?