Author Archives: HarryWood

About HarryWood

Posting mostly in a Communication Working Group capacity (and often with text written collaboratively among CWG and others) About me on the OSM wiki

Board elections and other OSMF changes

We’re about to see some changes to the OSMF. The most pressing thing to be aware of is the election of new board members:

Board elections

There are four board seats up for grabs, so this represents a considerable change of faces leading our organisation. As was announced previously, we’ll be taking votes by email from 1st September. Before that though we need a finalised list of candidates. The candidates for election (so far) are listed on this wiki page.

Some good candidates but we’d like some more. We have four board seats to fill, and it’s clearly a more healthy democratic situation if we’ve got a bit of a choice. We’re looking for people who can lead our organisation to success in 2011 and going forwards. We’d like to see dedicated OSMers, people who are engaged with the community, but perhaps also people who are in a position to reach out beyond the community. We’d also like to see geographic diversity. The relative importance of these factors will be up to the voters.

If you have ideas for people who fit the bill, now is the time to have a whisper in their ear and persuade them to run for election. Ideally candidates will ensure there is a description of themselves on their wiki user page, and preferably also an election manifesto, before adding themselves to the list. But don’t forget nominations close on Wednesday 31st in time for voting to commence the day after.

To run as a candidate, and also to take part in voting you need to be a fully paid up member of the foundation, so be sure to join the foundation now if you haven’t already.

Management Team

Another recent change has been the introduction of a new “Management Team”. This new group is made up of representatives from the various working groups and (as detailed on the Management Team page) is tasked with regular feedback from/to the working groups, scoping of working groups, and decisions around implementing the budget. One of the main reasons behind this is to ease the workload of the board by taking care of some of the day-to-day trouble-shooting issues. There are various potential downsides to this idea, which people have raised on the osmf-talk mailing list. It remains to be seen how well it will work, and nothing is set in stone, but hopefully this will make life easier for board members new and old, and free them up to do more strategic decision-making.

Engineering Working Group

Also announced recently, we have a new “Engineering Working Group” with the task of assisting and guiding the community-driven development of OSM-related source code and tools. Again it remains to be seen how well this will work, and this is very open to some more keen participation. To be clearer about separation of concerns here, the “Technical Working Group” has been renamed as the “Operations Working Group”. You can find definitions of all of these teams, their membership, and their meeting details linked from the Working Groups page .

Potlatch 2 is here

OpenStreetMap editing just got faster smarter and smoother! We’ve done the switch-over to Potlatch version 2 on the ‘edit’ tab of the OpenStreetMap homepage. If you haven’t tried it already, click that ‘edit’ tab and get mapping!

This represents a lot of development work by Richard Fairhurst, Andy Allan, randomjunk, and others. The work really picked up pace recently, with everyone pulling together, but Potlatch 2 has been in the pipeline for a couple of years now. It doesn’t stop there of course, but it’s ready for prime-time now, so we’ve made the switch. We hope you like it, but for now you can still get back to the old potlatch by hovering your mouse over the edit tab.

So what’s new in Potlatch 2?

  • User-friendly tagging with customisable presets
  • WYSIWYG rendering
  • Vector Background Layers
  • A more flexible undo/redo system
  • OAuth support so you can deploy it on other websites

Keyboard shortcuts and other aspects of general editing have largely stayed the same

We’ll be working to update documentation and hopefully create some nice new video tutorials etc (and anyone can help with these things) but for now you can find out more on the Potlatch 2 wiki page and the Potlatch 2/Primer