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

I kindly ask you to refrain from spreading misinformation, as it causes confusion and works against the benefit of this project. If you don’t know much about a particular topic, I recommend waiting for an answer from others.

is this to say it will be based on rapid?

Thank you for the extra feedback! It makes me happy to see it :slightly_smiling_face:!
I will include your points in the survey summary, which will be available 1-2 days after the survey closes.

No, it would be an API interface instead (that can be run locally or self-hosted remotely) to allow integration by any editor, such as iD, Rapid, JOSM, etc.

Even though this thread is now primarily satire, I thought I’d give a serious reply to one of the assumptions.

You’re implying IRC is the primary communications channel, which is absurd.

I am on various OSM IRC channels, use a traditional IRC client, and am probably the person in OSM who uses IRC the most for OSM-related stuff. I do not consider IRC the primary communications channel for OSM.

For me, the communications channels I use regularly are

  1. Github
  2. Non-public email
  3. Community forum
  4. IRC
  5. Discord
  6. Matrix
  7. OSMUS Slack
  8. Video calls

If I don’t use IRC as the primary communication channel, who does?


I think several questions could have been phrased better (really not a fan of “How should the OSM Foundation approach software development incentives?” for example), have questionable underlying assumptions (such as the one about IRC), or are (to me) unanswerable as written (for example “What is your perspective on the project’s reliance on big tech companies?” and “How important do you think it is to preserve people’s freedom as a core value of the project?”, but this might be somewhat subjective). Thus the results from this survey will have to be taken with a scoop of salt.

That said, writing good survey questions is really, really hard (and something many companies that don’t work primarily with surveys get wrong, though I generally like the surveys done by Jetbrains but even they usually contain a question or two that’s questionable). And even though they might be somewhat off, I still think there’ll be some valuable insights to be gained from (parts of) this survey.


@NorthCrab I think a majority of the questions are ok, but I will be honest that questions 6 and 7 especially could have been formulated better. Freedom is a very broad concept, and can be defined any number of ways in the context of OSM, so regardless of the number of people that answer in the affirmative, the result will be nearly meaningless. It is the same with the use of the word ‘reliance’ in question 7. What you think of as reliance, I am not sure if your view corresponds to that of the median OSM’er. I interpret your view as reliance being anything short of total cessation in involvement by corporate entities. Is this interpretation fair?

1 Like

I wouldn’t over-think it. Our beloved OP has said

so he can ask questions however he likes, and draw any inference he likes from them. It doesn’t have any greater significance than that.

To be honest, it strikes me as incredibly misleading to headline this thread “OpenStreetMap Community Survey” when it’s nothing of the sort, merely an attempt to divine “Where I, the prodigiously talented NorthCrab, should devote my efforts next”. If a thread like this were started on any of the (non-OSM) forums I moderate, I would have edited the thread title accordingly. But I am not @forums-governance, and I’m sure they are weighing up the various factors in order to keep the forum harmonious.


I have now renamed the topic title from “OpenStreetMap Community Survey - Vote until January 13th:arrow_right:NorthCrab’s OSM Community Survey — Vote until January 13th” to better reflect the ownership of the survey.


There is no implication here. The exact same question can be used to ask about any communication platform:

  • How do you view the use of Reddit as the main communication channel?
  • How do you view the use of Discord as the main communication channel?
  • How do you view the use of IRC as the main communication channel?

I hope this clears things out for you.

I want to survey the community. Is there anything wrong with asking such questions?

Hey! About the IRC question, please see above.

I want to emphasize that I am just a human and I am not perfect – please don’t expect perfection from me. Surveying others isn’t something I typically do, so naturally, someone experienced might handle it better than I can. However, is it really necessary? The main goal is for me to understand the general sentiments within the community. If I find the need for more specific answers to certain questions, I’ll address those separately. When surveying, one can either get lots of answers on general questions, or just few on very specific questions. This survey aims to (obviously) accomplish the first. It will serve as a good guide for determining the next steps. We all have to start somewhere.

When it comes to living my life, I’ve accepted that achieving perfection isn’t possible, so I aim for ‘good enough’. Many times, in pursuit of perfection, people end up doing nothing at all. This survey represents just that: ‘good enough’ for me. Something that I can work with. If you believe some questions are wrong, feel free to skip them entirely or select ‘prefer not to answer’.


Absolutely, I completely agree. I aimed to ask general questions, which sometimes might be open to broad interpretation. If necessary, I’ll gather additional feedback in follow-up threads. My perspective is this: including a few extra questions in a general survey, where each question is quick to answer, doesn’t harm anyone and provides some insight upon which future feedback can be based. I could have skipped some questions, but why? Skipping them wouldn’t benefit this survey.

Regarding your second question, mostly yes. When I talk about reliance on big tech companies, I primarily mean using their services. I don’t think I’d agree with a ‘total’ cessation. Extremes are rarely beneficial. When I say not relying on big tech, I mean not significantly depending on them (in an arbitrary manner).

1 Like

Thank You. I will keep that in mind going forward!

And my general answer to everybody.

I’d love for the OSMF to conduct more official community surveys. I believe it’s a valuable tool for sentiment analysis within such a diverse community. Naturally, each survey would require pre-discussions on what questions to ask and how.

My aim was to create an unofficial survey that could answer some of the questions I had in my head. If I ever need to delve deeper into any topic, I’ll ensure to do so. Participation is optional, and everyone is free to interpret the survey answers as they wish.

As @Richard said, “(this survey) doesn’t have any greater significance than (NC’s personal understanding/feelings)”.

Let me leave you with this quote:

  • A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new

In all seriousness, I’m not really sure how a community sentiment survey helps you complete the python port. I have a feeling that letting the community become a part of it’s development will give you the feedback your looking for.

People will start asking for changes when they think they are being heard or feel their voice might make a difference. At the moment, it seems as though you have already made up your mind. Why should the community respond if it likely won’t affect anything.


Well if the result is a tool that is beneficial to the community, or merely useful for your own purposes, I support you. However, I hope something is ultimately created that receives widespread use.

I believe this is some of the best critique given so far in this thread, in a respectful manner.

1 Like

Judging from the comments, I’m not sure anymore if this survey is serious.

In case it is:

  • Can you enable multiple answers? (in particular to Q3)
  • Can you offer a “Other” choice with free text? Hardly ever are respondents’ answers as simple as we imagine them when creating a survey. When dozens, hundreds, or thousands of brains answer, there will always be cases that the single brain that created the survey hasn’t thought of. Forcing users to use one of the default answers although none of them fully applies, may severely impair data quality and deny users from giving you valuable feedback (e. g. a broader view on the problem).
1 Like

3 posts were split to a new topic: Legal Particularities of OSMF Membership vs. Local Chapter Membership

I wanted to post a small reminder that there are still a few days left to vote! :crab:

@martianfreeloader I aimed to make the survey easily accessible, which is why it’s conducted using this forum’s software. This obviously limits some usability, but I believe it’s acceptable for this type of survey.