As some of you may have read http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/wonderfullyrich/diary/9136 while doing traces her in Kampala I was detained by the Ugandan Police several days ago for several hours in a somewhat nerve wracking situation. Eventually the US Embassy was involved and things were resolved, however it was eye opening. Some of the comments to the entry above mimic my own opinion that a business card might lend credence to people in this situation, however I’m also now curious if a slightly more organized response might be useful.
As I said in one of my comments to the diary, given the continuing–and sometimes serious–incidents that mappers have had http://thinkwhere.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/a-tale-of-a-mapper-from-uganda/ I’m thinking about a semi-formal guidelines, tracking, and response mechanism for users. Perhaps not globally, but focused on countries and areas where incidents are known to take place.
Specifically I’m interested in discussing the notion of a web page or forum area for incidents involving security personnel, as well as guidance on how and what to describe OSM to unfamiliar (and suspicious) security personnel. Anyone have thoughts?