Clifford Snow bio photo

Clifford Snow

Clifford is described as an OpenStreetMap Supper Mapper. He started contributing to OSM in May 2011. Hosts OpenStreetMap-Central-Salish-Sea Meetup Group located in Mount Vernon, WA. He help organize the 2016 State of the Map US in Seattle. His prior endeavors include glassblowing, managing an art center facility and telecom management.

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Why OpenStreetMap

Recently I posted a request for help with my OSM presentation at the Linuxfest Northwest in Bellingham. Here is what I learned.

What do you enjoy most about OpenStreetMap?

Ian McWen “I love most being able to do things and add things at broader or more specific scales and see the fruits of my work almost immediately – both the breadth of possible participation and the quick feedback loop.”

Mark Bradley “That you can contribute as much or as little to the map as you want, anywhere you want, but always making the map better for everyone!”

David Wisbey “I am a volunteer mapper. I enjoy contributing a lot of new data and fixing/deleting existing data with errors. I especially like bringing small towns and certain special parts of cities “alive” (often areas are very poorly mapped; when I’m done with them, it’s amazing)”

What about OSM surprised you most?

Richard Weait “The amazing diversity in the interests of new contributors. I meet new OpenStreetMap contributors every month, and the interest that brings them in to meet us differ widely.”

Ian McEwen “This is nerdy, but I guess you’re talking to a linuxfest audience anyway: the data model. My Day Job (TM) is working on another open-data project (MusicBrainz, if you’re curious) and I was impressed and surprised how much OSM does with three basic objects that contain each other, free-text key-value fields, and a single derivation step (from raw data to a map, or to a route, or to whatever else).”

Mark Bradley “That it is such a comprehensive map! Millions of people making a volunteer map of the whole world!”

David Wisbey “How colorful the rendering is (compared to Google Maps and even Mapquest).”

What do you tell people when they ask you why you map?

Ian McEwen “Because I use it! OSM is my go-to map for seeing things anywhere in the real world, from OsmAnd and its offline maps on my phone, to looking up addresses with the search/Nominatim, to figuring out routes with OsmAnd or manually, to the very specific task of figuring out ranges for portals for playing Google’s augmented-reality game Ingress. Secondarily, though, the reason I use it is because I believe in the value of open data both to serve needs that corporate establishments cannot or will not and to ensure growth and provider-independence.”

David Wisbey “It’s a way to continue doing the kind of work I used to do in a real, paid job, but is still rewarding to me, especially two years ago when I won a scholarship to State of the Map-US in San Francisco. “

Mike Thompson “Mapping in OSM is a form of free expression (really a broad form of free speech), just like blogging, editing a Wikipedia article, or creating a video. In the past editors a publishers decided what got mapped, now - with OpenStreetMap - we can decide.”

What is should I absolutely not leave out of the presentation?

Richard Weait
1. “Go outside and survey your neighbourhood. There is nothing better that you can do for OpenStreetMap, than behave as though you are tending a shared garden.”
2. Time for questions. I have trouble with this because I like to talk. :-)
3. “It’s Fun. It’s Free. You can help.” One of the earliest tag lines used in the project. True then. true now.

Ian McEwen “I doubt you would leave this out, but a call to action and a bit of a demonstration: as I mention, I really love the quick feedback loop of editing OSM, and I think an in-presentation “open iD/potlatch/josm/whatever, make changes, go to the page and see, look! it’s there now!” would be the best way to demonstrate exactly how nice that is, and obviously also asking people to do the same for the parts of the world they know and frequent is the whole goal!”

Mike Thompson “The big problem that OSM solves. For a Linux audience this shouldn’t be difficult, but I would still state that most other map sources are not truly “free” - and say a little bit about why that is a problem. “

Mark Bradley “There are recommended practices on how to map almost everything. Read the wiki about the features you intend to map before proceeding.”

David Wisbey “How enjoyable and rewarding it can be to contribute to Openstreetmap.”

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