Signal's Fundraising Appeal Has Lessons for OSM

My goal is to start with all the businesses who use it, who don’t donate. :slight_smile:

I think an important part of the story is how many people are working together across cultures, to build something that is good for humankind. how many communities or data sources can claim that as true?

I don’t know how many communities, but I do stand tall as I realize this: in 2009 I discovered this project and in 2016 I was interviewed and said “maybe it took until the 21st century for the technology and a good spirit of sharing to merge, but now with OSM, anybody can learn to map and anybody who needs a decent map can have one or make one!”

That thrill still thrills. This project has a lot of good things to say about ourselves. Step up to the mic.

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How about all the businesses who use OSM but aren’t spreading the word about it to their users. Imagine how much awareness could be raised if they were.


For me, I got my “volunteer itch scratched” when I discovered OSM. It touched upon my natural curiosity towards environment, communities, infrastructure, architecture and more, blended them with mapping with a crowd (“the” crowd?!) and I practically can’t stop now. Not everybody is like that, or has such natural curiosity or a lot of things that might cause a miss / disconnection.

With OSM, I have certainly “discovered my greater world…and then some,” let’s say. See, I’m no good at this slogan stuff.

Even when I explain to others (say, professional cartographers I work with…) how much OSM does, they seem to find it hard to believe it is a bunch of volunteers or how much it already touches a lot of what they see and do and touch and know and work with. Amazingly, we are a bunch of volunteers.

Please, others here: step up to the mic!


We sometimes see the same thing in comments to the DWG from other mappers! :cry:

Some people appear to think that while they’re a volunteer, there are also paid staff sitting at a desk 8 hours a day, ready & waiting to help :crazy_face: :roll_eyes:


Yes, diversity of contributors bring this projekt closer to peoples daily live then other instituional projects can ever be. And nobody lead this project - it’s the summary of it’s contributors activities - a really fascinating thing.

I think one of the points may be, OSM helps you discover the world.

Regular (proprietary) maps are used for getting from A to B, or for finding a thing. OSM makes you, as a contributor, take roads less travelled, and as a user, get surprised with shortcuts. Both in positive and negative senses :slight_smile:

So now, what will we lose if we lost OSM? Sense of wonder at the world around… And of course data and APIs for virtually all geospatial research and commercial projects. Which is hard to quantify.


Ok. this is really starting to glitter. The idea of “OSM helps you discover the world” evokes the golden age of cartography and exploration without leaving out the idea of data and innovation.

I think this is a really good direction to explore for a top level message.


This is really lovely and it goes really well with Ilya’s idea:

“It touched upon my natural curiosity towards environment, communities, infrastructure, architecture and more, blended them with mapping with a crowd (“the” crowd?!)”

I sometimes frame the issue like this: You just cannot leave such an important matter – as to what on earth people take interest in and where it is located – to the discretion of few corporations. Certainly, they have more shops in their data, but is that all there is?

That said, our governmental GIS has lots of paths e.g. something that I am quite of keen of in OSM. Thankfully they only sell a limited set. Unluckily, OSM does not always do well in attributing meaningfully.

This is beautiful.

This is not a map from a corporation, this is not a map from an institution; this is our map, and we make it for us all to make life a little better.