NorthCrab's OSM Community Survey — Vote until January 13th

Dear OSM Community :crab:,

Today I open an anonymous community survey. I want to gain a better understanding of the community’s needs and to focus my efforts more effectively in the future. The voting will remain open until 13th January 2024, 00:00 UTC (for 3 weeks), and the results will be remain hidden until that time.

The survey is single choice. Please select the option that best describes your opinion.

(1) How would you assess the current state of the OpenStreetMap project?
  • Improving
  • Remaining the same
  • Declining
  • Prefer not to answer
0 voters
(2) How prepared do you think the project is for the upcoming 10 years?
  • Well-prepared
  • Somewhat prepared
  • Not prepared
  • Prefer not to answer
0 voters
(3) How should the OSM Foundation approach software development incentives?
  • Hire developers
  • Offer grants and bounties to independent developers
  • Provide other financial incentives
  • Provide other non-financial incentives
  • Do not provide incentives
  • Prefer not to answer
0 voters
(4) How do you view the need for innovation in the OpenStreetMap project?
  • Strongly needed
  • Somewhat needed
  • Not needed
  • Prefer not to answer
0 voters
(5) What is your stance on the use of proprietary solutions in the OpenStreetMap project?
  • Support the use of proprietary solutions
  • Support only if no open source alternative exists
  • Oppose the use of proprietary solutions
  • Prefer not to answer
0 voters
(6) How important do you think it is to preserve people’s freedom as a core value of the project?
  • Crucial as a core value
  • Important, but not as a core value
  • Not important
  • Prefer not to answer
0 voters
(7) What is your perspective on the project’s reliance on big tech companies?
  • Support reliance on big tech companies
  • Neutral about reliance on big tech companies
  • Oppose reliance on big tech companies
  • Prefer not to answer
0 voters
(8) How do you view the use of IRC as the main communication channel?
  • Support IRC as the main channel
  • Neutral about IRC as the main channel
  • Oppose IRC as the main channel
  • I don’t know what IRC is
  • Prefer not to answer
0 voters
(9) What is your view on displaying OSMF membership status on OSM user profiles?
  • Support displaying membership status
  • Neutral about displaying membership status
  • Oppose displaying membership status
  • Prefer not to answer
0 voters

Thank you for voting and have an amazing new year :slightly_smiling_face:/.


I would like to directly react with “:popcorn:” to changesets, and I can’t believe that’s not represented in your survey.


:popcorn:yum, popcorn

Hey! When it comes to NG development and its new features, I will create separate threads to discuss them. This survey, in particular, focuses on the general questions I have for the community. I do think that some sort of “approve/disapprove changeset” feature would be a good addition, but I haven’t reached that part yet. It would be nice to easily see which changesets have been verified by others and which have been not.

Where’s the answer that says “this question is making a misplaced assumption”? :smiley:

Depending on what sort of communication you’re talking about, that could be perhaps be Github, or Discourse or (depending on subject or location) a couple of others. One of the busier IRC channels is #osm-dev, and that’s had four humans posting since last night (and one of those was me).


I suspect that Brian wasn’t being entirely serious in his question…

I don’t believe I’m making any assumptions here. The question “How do you view the use of IRC as the main communication channel?” simply aims to gather opinions on IRC being the primary communication channel, without any additional implications.

You are probably right. Interestingly, this is one of the NG ideas I have in my notes, and I think it would be interesting to experiment with this concept. So, I’ve decided to play along :slightly_smiling_face:.


I genuinely still don’t understand this question, are you asking how we feel about IRC mostly replacing current communication channels like this forum, changeset comments, OSMWeekly, wiki talk pages, the OSM Mastodon instance, mailing lists, github issues, Slack or Telegram channels of various communities, blogs…? Or some more specific aspect of current communications?


I think you might be overanalyzing this question. I mentioned, “I want to gain a better understanding of the community’s needs and to focus my efforts more effectively in the future” and “Please select the option that best describes your opinion”. The main goal of this survey is for me to better understand the community’s opinions on various topics. The results of this survey will primarily dictate how I will contribute in the future; I want to optimize my contributions where it matters. This question will not have any direct impact on how the OSM community communicates in the future. :slightly_smiling_face:! For a question like this to have a direct impact, it should be posed officially by the Foundation rather than by me.


@NorthCrab, I would like to apply for the job of your communications director. I’ve already worked up an ambitious roadmap for your contributions to OSM over the next year. Fresh off your successes on replacing the rails port and the voting system, here’s what I think we can tackle over the next twelve months:

  • January: @NorthCrab announces OpenCrabMap-NG, a project to replace the standard tile layer with a new modern map.
  • February: @NorthCrab announces MapEdit-NG, a project to replace JOSM with a new, modern editor.
  • March: @NorthCrab announces WebMapEdit-NG, a project to replace iD with a new, modern web-based editor.
  • April: @NorthCrab announces Tension, a project to replace Slack and Discord with a new, modern chat platform.
  • May: @NorthCrab announces MapWith.NorthCrab, a project to add AI-based imagery scanning to speed up armchair mapping
  • June: @NorthCrab announces IANAL-NG, a project to automatically send nastygrams to companies that are using OSM without attribution.
  • July: @NorthCrab announces CrabCoin, a project to incorporate cryptocurrency mining to OSM, where contributors can earn coins by contributing
  • August: @NorthCrab announces TelepathEdit-NG, a project that allows users to edit the map just by looking at it and thinking about what should be there.
  • September: @NorthCrab announces SecureOSM-NG, a project to add quantum encryption and secure identity management to permanently solve OSM’s sockpuppet and vandalism problems.
  • October: @NorthCrab announces RoboMapCop, a project to replace the Data Working Group with AI-based changeset inspectors.
  • November: @NorthCrab announces OSMF-NG, a project to replace the OSMF Board with AI chatbots.
  • December: @NorthCrab announces NorthLobster, a project to replace @NorthCrab with an AI chatbot.

Think of what we could do…together…


You should trademark that one :grinning:.


I will respond to your suggestions as I believe there are some actually good ideas there. However, I do believe this is a little off-topic, and I would discourage further continuation of this topic. Feel free to DM me for further questions.


I do not currently plan to replace the standard tile layer. However, I believe that any tile innovation should be primarily based on the vector layers.


I am not a desktop/mobile software developer, so any work with contributions to JOSM, etc., is out of the discussion.


I do believe iD/Rapid editors do not necessarily need drastic improvements at the moment. I would rather focus on improving the existing editors. I would love to develop a proper GUI for mapping turn:lanes and better visualizations for roads.


Working on chat platforms is not my preference. I prefer to use existing, well-established solutions.


I would love to pursue the idea of AI-based imagery scanning, something like a co-pilot for the maps. “Add a grass area here? Yes/No → Pop!” I would also love to explore the idea of enhancing low-resolution imagery with AI.


This would be a fun project! It wouldn’t send anything automatically but rather create a list for other people to look through.


While the incentive idea is cool, I do not believe that a cryptocurrency coin would be the right answer for now.


This is an excellent accessibility feature! With brain activity reading devices becoming cheaper and cheaper, I realistically believe this is something doable. While initially, it would be less efficient to map than using standard interfaces, in the end, I think that mind-based mapping would be a lot more efficient! I see myself working on this idea in 5-10 years from now.


This sounds like a general internet identity problem. I will just say that the only viable solution would be one that preserves users’ privacy and anonymity. This is quite a difficult problem to tackle and is not on my list of priorities.


I strongly believe that AI should always be moderated, operated, and managed by humans. I do not think a complete replacement of anybody is a good idea.


This is not something I plan to do, for the same reason as above.


This is not something I plan to do, for the same reason as above.


Thank you for providing a smile this morning.

I was going to reply to NorthCrab, but I was falling into an easy trap.


Someone is wrong on the internet, but others are addressing it until the satire has rolled around and become serious again.

Instead, I’ll propose that this page be replaced by a haddock.



I see 9 identical options which all say ‘Click to view the poll’, which one should I click?

Hey! There are 9 questions, each within a separate poll. Currently, there is no option to create a multi-question poll. I believe that whichever “view” button you click, you will be redirected to the website forum (from the email), and there you will have the opportunity to vote. :slightly_smiling_face: Thank you for your interest!

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Like Rapid?

But new!

IRC as main channel…I’m not opposed, but last time I used it for frequent communication was ten years ago and I have used several others since then (currently my main channel is Telegram) and returning to that could be kinda weird for many. It may still used by some people in general, but for some people I believe it would feel like a backwards step (as in, being an old technology).


Not quite. I consider utilizing the segment-anything project to segment literally anything (roads, gardens, buildings, lamp poles, etc.) and subsequently use a secondary AI model to provide suggestions regarding appropriate tagging for the segmented area. User interaction and feedback would play a crucial role in the mapping process. In contrast, the Rapid editor involves only precomputed suggestions, frequently resulting in just “OK” quality. The goal would be to create a co-pilot for mapping.

1 Like