CWG meeting 2011-10-10

Communication Working Group meeting on 10th October 2011


  • Richard Fairhurst
  • Richard Weait
  • Harry Wood
  • Jonathan Bennett
  • Oliver Kühn


  • Thanks to Hurricane for her help on CWG. Good luck with the baby!
  • Facebook page proliferation problem. Matt Williams has granted adminship to harry and JonathanB for the second of the two 'pages'
  • Tile server abuse issues and what's left to improve regarding communications. Some changes made to


  • Richard W: (rollover) draft blog on scrapers and commercial use of OSMF resources.
  • Harry: (rollover) to discuss with management team ideas around blog posts from working groups.
  • JonathanB: said it may be possible to merge the two facebook pages. "I'll do some reading."
  • Oliver: closing budget to be discussed with management team and communicated somehow (AGM minutes still needed from Henk also)
  • Everyone review Richard Fairhurst's changes to

IRC logs

(2:00:08 PM) rweait1: Hallo CWG!
(2:00:42 PM) RichardF: hello!
(2:01:15 PM) JonathanB: Oh hai!
(2:01:17 PM) harry-wood: hello
(2:03:24 PM) JonathanB: harry-wood: You should have a friend request from Matt Williams on Facebook. This is needed to make you an admin of his OSM Facebook page.
(2:03:39 PM) harry-wood: oh yeah
(2:06:23 PM) rweait1: our previous minutes are here.
(2:06:35 PM) Oliver [] entered the room.
(2:07:45 PM) JonathanB: Can't see any problems.
(2:07:50 PM) rweait1: I'm happy to propose the previous minutes. Can we get a second?
(2:07:55 PM) JonathanB: 2nd
(2:08:43 PM) rweait1: From old-business, I see that I dropped a couple of things. oops. Will pick them up this week.
(2:09:46 PM) harry-wood: RichardF: hello
(2:09:52 PM) harry-wood: Oliver: hello
(2:10:00 PM) rweait1: the only other action items are listed as belonging to harry-wood. Anything to report there?
(2:10:10 PM) harry-wood: a little
(2:10:19 PM) Oliver: Hello everybody!
(2:10:31 PM) RichardF: hello
(2:10:36 PM) harry-wood: I emailed steve about facebook and he says he's admin for one of the 'pages' on facebook
(2:11:11 PM) harry-wood: and this list is updated a little now :
(2:11:32 PM) harry-wood: So we have Matt Williams as admin of the more popular page
(2:11:52 PM) harry-wood: not sure what to do about that now
(2:12:07 PM) JonathanB: As of about five minutes ago, Harry and I are admins of Matt Williams' page.
(2:12:18 PM) harry-wood: ooh :)
(2:12:20 PM) rweait1: I asked Grant about @openstreetmap and it is currently only used through the default twitter interface, so password sharing would be required. I'll follow up and see if Grant has a preference for a twitter collaboration platform.
(2:13:43 PM) harry-wood: I expect he'd appreciate it if we sort it out ourselves though
(2:14:06 PM) harry-wood: unless there's a need to install something on a proper server
(2:14:27 PM) rweait1: Also, I see that RichardF and jonathanB are now on the communication@ list, so we can knock that off our to-do list. yay!
(2:15:07 PM) rweait1: I've used for twitter sharing, but can't compare it to others. I guess it works. Anybody have a comparison to offer?
(2:15:48 PM) harry-wood: is hootsuite the one whichy does owly urls
(2:15:50 PM) harry-wood: ?
(2:15:59 PM) rweait1: yup.
(2:17:20 PM) rweait1: I'll continue to follow up with Grant and be sure that we aren't stepping on his toes.
(2:17:20 PM) RichardF: would be great to have more of us tweeting.
(2:17:53 PM) rweait1: harry-wood any feedback from the Management Meeting, and getting other WGs to communicate more often?
(2:18:11 PM) harry-wood: negative. the management meeting failed
(2:18:17 PM) harry-wood: re-attempting this week
(2:18:37 PM) rweait1: So we'll leave that on the list I guess. :-)
(2:18:56 PM) harry-wood: Yeah. there's been some problems with the management@ list too.
(2:19:04 PM) harry-wood: Henk is catching up after his big trip
(2:19:27 PM) rweait1: Phooey. any thoughts on the old-business "wiki facebook links"?
(2:20:41 PM) harry-wood: trying to remember what we meant by that
(2:21:18 PM) rweait1: in part, I think we want to consolidate or rationalize the different fb pages.
(2:21:42 PM) rweait1: In part we might want to promote them. So put them in places that are more prominent, I guess?
(2:21:51 PM) RichardF: +1
(2:22:24 PM) Oliver: yes, like we have pointers to all other channels
(2:22:40 PM) rweait1: I don't have a clear understanding of the differences between a pageand a fan page, or whatever the distinctions are between them. but now that we have access to them, perhaps we can make use of them effectively?
(2:22:49 PM) harry-wood: the two different pages thing seems a bit messy. But presumably there's nothing to stop somebody setting another 'OpenStreetMap' page at any moment
(2:23:04 PM) harry-wood: so I wonder what the normal solution to that is
(2:23:22 PM) JonathanB: We need to have a single Page, which is what people subscribe to when they "Like" OSM on FB, and that process started with Matt allowing us access to his page.
(2:23:25 PM) rweait1: I guess we want to make sure that ours are in good order, and that they meet some need.
(2:24:07 PM) harry-wood: maybe it makes sense to try to de-comission the older one which Steve is admin for, and direct people to the one which has accumulated more 'likes'
(2:24:09 PM) JonathanB: On harry-wood's point, there's also the URL which J. Random User has claimed
(2:24:18 PM) rweait1: At a minimum, I think that folks who find us on FB for some reason, should be able to find the wiki, blogs, etc, and know when to use each of them?
(2:24:26 PM) harry-wood: JonathanB ooh.
(2:24:31 PM) JonathanB: It may be possible to merge the two pages. I'll do some reading.
(2:24:52 PM) rweait1: I'm veryhappy to leave this in JonathanB's hands. ;-)
(2:24:56 PM) Oliver: And the facebook pages should have links back to the wiki
(2:25:06 PM) JonathanB: re: the URL. Should we approach the camper nicely, or just go straight for the IP infringement procedure on FB?
(2:25:22 PM) harry-wood: approach nicely
(2:25:26 PM) rweait1: I think might be a legit OSM user. Nice nice, I think.
(2:25:29 PM) Oliver: +1
(2:25:46 PM) harry-wood: So that's a user who has set their user page url to 'openstreetmap' ?
(2:25:48 PM) rweait1: j. random actually sounds famiiar from the lists.
(2:26:03 PM) JonathanB: He doesn't use his real name in connection with OSM if he is a mapper.
(2:27:43 PM) harry-wood: weird the way facebook URLs work
(2:27:43 PM) rweait1: You want this task as well, JonathanB?
(2:27:56 PM) JonathanB: rweait1: I'll take on the FB stuff, sure.
(2:28:02 PM) rweait1: Thank you!
(2:28:14 PM) rweait1: is that all of the old-business?
(2:28:16 PM) harry-wood: I wonder if we could arrange for (one of the) OpenStreetMap page to be at that URL instead somehow
(2:28:19 PM) rweait1: Oh, not quite!
(2:29:05 PM) JonathanB: harry-wood: Yes, we can, but it's just a case of how easy it is
(2:29:13 PM) rweait1: I move that we thank Hurricane for her service on CWG and look forward to hearing from her when her current busy schedule permits.
(2:29:21 PM) rweait1: Any seconds for that motion?
(2:29:29 PM) harry-wood: yup :-)
(2:30:16 PM) rweait1: no objections, I presume?
(2:31:03 PM) rweait1: Do we have any new business?
(2:32:06 PM) harry-wood: nothing major to blog about at the moment that I'm aware of
(2:32:47 PM) harry-wood: I've been a bit busy with non-OSM stuff lately though... boo! Did I miss anything?
(2:33:14 PM) Oliver: There will be a f2f board meeting 4th/5th November.
(2:33:20 PM) Oliver: Just for info.
(2:33:32 PM) Oliver: Not necesseraly for blogginh
(2:33:49 PM) RichardF: Oliver: would be nice to have someone tweeting from that if possible?
(2:33:51 PM) rweait1: Will there be a portion that is open to members? We should blog that part.
(2:34:03 PM) Oliver: Not yet clear.
(2:34:10 PM) Oliver: I'll let you know
(2:34:21 PM) harry-wood: Wher you going this time? charlbury?
(2:34:25 PM) rweait1: is there anything left over from the AGM to communicate?
(2:34:33 PM) RichardF: sadly not :(
(2:34:48 PM) Oliver: Seattle as Steve won't be able to travel because of Hurricane's due date.
(2:34:52 PM) rweait1: Can we post the budget or balance or something, or is that all done?
(2:35:30 PM) Oliver: 2010 (till Aug 2011) is still in closing.
(2:36:02 PM) harry-wood: did the minutes get published?
(2:36:11 PM) harry-wood: (another thing on Henk's plate I think)
(2:36:25 PM) harry-wood: should be linked from here if & when:
(2:36:50 PM) Oliver: I did not take part in the last mgmt meeting but it was intended to give
(2:36:50 PM) Oliver: the mgmt team budget
(2:37:36 PM) harry-wood: yes. that was discussed briefly
(2:37:55 PM) Oliver: I assume it will finally closed in the next meeting.
(2:38:06 PM) harry-wood: we did discuss some stuff even though it started out being a non-meeting
(2:38:15 PM) harry-wood: I think we'll discuss it again next time
(2:38:45 PM) rweait1: No other new business?
(2:39:14 PM) RichardF: there was the suggestion of CWG doing something on tileservers, but that may need to go via mgmt?
(2:39:33 PM) rweait1: regarding scrapers, or something else?
(2:39:40 PM) harry-wood: A blog post about tile layer options on the homepage?
(2:40:43 PM) JonathanB: It depends what the aim is -- presumably it's to stop scraping, in which case it may need a different approach
(2:41:02 PM) RichardF: well, OSM needs to communicate the idea that our servers are not a free resource for every 2-bit Android app author
(2:41:04 PM) rweait1: harry-wood: were you talking about something else?
(2:41:19 PM) RichardF: a blog post won't reach them, or at least more than temporarily.
(2:41:43 PM) harry-wood: I was thinking of something else yes
(2:41:43 PM) JonathanB: Exactly -- these are the kinds of people who claim not to have seen the tile usage policy.
(2:42:33 PM) rweait1: I think that we have to accept that we won't reach everybody. But we want important messages to be findable in reasonable places.
(2:42:47 PM) harry-wood: No harm in blogging about it again
(2:42:51 PM) RichardF: true
(2:42:54 PM) rweait1: I have "draft blog post re scrapers" on my list from last week.
(2:43:03 PM) rweait1: I'll not drop it this time.
(2:43:04 PM) RichardF: but I wonder if we need to reach out to geek communities
(2:43:18 PM) harry-wood: But it sounds like it's down to a purely technical challenge, how to block them in ever more sophisticated ways
(2:43:46 PM) harry-wood: or there also a "mandate" from OSMF question?
(2:43:47 PM) rweait1: harry-wood, I think that the blcking is happening and effective. Is it not?
(2:44:22 PM) harry-wood: I dare say they're still tinkering to make it more effective or more automatic
(2:44:31 PM) harry-wood: no need to communicate any of those details though
(2:44:37 PM) rweait1: agreed.
(2:44:55 PM) RichardF_Mac [] entered the room.
(2:45:09 PM) rweait1: And the blocking becoming more effective is also a method of communication for those wilfully blind to our other channels.
(2:45:38 PM) RichardF_Mac: yep, the blocking's still happening. But some of the app authors claim that they didn't know they were breaking the policy
(2:45:42 PM) rweait1: Imagine a tile with the text,"access denied; did you not read the blog post?"
(2:45:44 PM) RichardF_Mac: so there's a communication issue there
(2:46:13 PM) RichardF_Mac: the current system has the disadvantage that it shows the message to app users, when it's the app authors who cause the problem
(2:47:33 PM) RichardF_Mac: I don't think there's an easy answer. But whether it involves making developer documentation more prominent, or hardening up the wording in the Tile Usage Policy, or whatever, there are communications issues we need to consider
(2:48:01 PM) rweait1: Let's make the tile policy more explicit and restrictive.
(2:48:28 PM) rweait1: or rather, clarify it.
(2:48:50 PM) rweait1: "commercial use of our data is fine; commercial use of our servers is not fine."
(2:49:20 PM) rweait1: In addition, don't overuse our servers. We;re volunteer run and donor funded."
(2:49:23 PM) ***RichardF_Mac starts editing
(2:49:38 PM) JonathanB: "it's the difference between copying a restaurant's recipe, and stealing their ingredients"
(2:50:32 PM) Oliver: In general it should be sufficient that we do not gurantee any service
(2:50:32 PM) Oliver: levels
(2:50:39 PM) harry-wood: so more recently this page was introduced:
(2:50:45 PM) Oliver: which are normally required for commercial use
(2:50:47 PM) harry-wood: RichardF was doing some work on that
(2:50:51 PM) rweait1: JonathanB: nice analogy. I'm going to copy that recipe.
(2:51:04 PM) RichardF_Mac: yep. The Blocked Applications page is for end-users. Tile Usage Policy is for developers.
(2:51:23 PM) harry-wood: makes sense
(2:52:16 PM) rweait1: Oliver: that "no guarantee of service level" has been there but misses some (ab)users who believe that they make make demands on our servers as long as they accept the risk of poor performance. That's not the whole story.
(2:52:52 PM) harry-wood: In general I find them reasonably clear. We can say the same thing in different ways. Maybe a blog posting doing that would be good, but ultimately it's never going to attract the attention of certain developers until after their app gets blocked.
(2:53:22 PM) harry-wood: Another peice of communication we could do is to try put out positive messages about apps which are doing the right thing
(2:53:36 PM) rweait1: Right, and so if we can't get the attention of the devs, we can get the attention of their users.
(2:53:57 PM) rweait1: I'm reluctant to promote apps which do the bare minumum.
(2:54:42 PM) rweait1: Like, this, "McDonalds proudly recognizes customer rweait, for throwing his trash in the bin rather than the parking lot."
(2:54:54 PM) harry-wood: "How tos" for developers and re-useable libraries (e.g. vector rendering) for developers are all good things which will hopefully mature with time
(2:55:09 PM) RichardF_Mac: ok. I've done bits of clarification, but have made _one_ substantive change:
(2:55:20 PM) RichardF_Mac:
(2:56:11 PM) harry-wood: Heavy use (e.g. distributing an app that uses OSM tiles) is forbidden'
(2:56:13 PM) RichardF_Mac: I think it's actually a reflection of what we do already, but making it much more explicit should help.
(2:56:25 PM) rweait1: Nice.
(2:56:26 PM) RichardF_Mac: ... without prior permission from the System Administrators. See below.
(2:56:59 PM) rweait1: It covers all apps.
(2:57:09 PM) RichardF_Mac: changed to "tiles from", which is what I meant to say of course :)
(2:57:20 PM) rweait1: Have we thrown the sysadmins under the bus so that they now have to field questions from every potential app dev?
(2:58:13 PM) RichardF_Mac: we'll see how it goes. My guess is that it's better for them to deal with one or two inquiries than having to spend the whole time chasing their tails trying to shut off the latest abuser.
(2:59:13 PM) rweait1: make it the first point perhaps? (If I may bikeshed)
(2:59:24 PM) The account has disconnected and you are no longer in this chat. You will be automatically rejoined in the chat when the account reconnects.

...Harry's wifi dropped out. Did he miss anything?

(3:00:10 PM) Reconnected
(3:00:33 PM) rweait1: I see that we are at the top of the hour. Shall we set our next meeting and wrap up?
(3:01:04 PM) harry-wood1: yes
(3:01:10 PM) harry-wood1: same time next week?
(3:01:15 PM) RichardF_Mac: good with me
(3:01:18 PM) JonathanB: Yep
(3:01:27 PM) rweait1: Sounds good.
(3:01:44 PM) rweait1: any last items to wrap up? Everybody have enough tasks?
(3:02:29 PM) rweait1: Oliver, are you getting the hang of irc?
(3:02:31 PM) RichardF_Mac: I'd encourage people to review tonight's changes to .
(3:02:53 PM) RichardF_Mac: and if we think it needs further review, we can do that from next week.
(3:02:56 PM) Oliver: Yes, had some trouble at the beginning but ok now.
(3:03:31 PM) rweait1: RichardF_Mac: anything specific to review?
(3:04:05 PM) harry-wood left the room (quit: Ping timeout: 480 seconds).
(3:04:07 PM) rweait1: Do we want to grandfather apps, or offer an exemption for editors?
(3:04:46 PM) rweait1: I guess we can think that over and discuss on communication@
(3:04:58 PM) RichardF_Mac: indeed. Let's see how it goes. The sysadmins may tell us to get stuffed :)
(3:05:16 PM) rweait1: okay then. ;-) Move to adjourn?
(3:05:22 PM) JonathanB: Yes
(3:05:26 PM) RichardF_Mac: +1
(3:05:28 PM) rweait1: objections?
(3:05:31 PM) harry-wood1: see you next week
(3:05:41 PM) rweait1: take care everybody.
(3:05:48 PM) Oliver: bye
(3:05:52 PM) Oliver left the room (quit: Remote host closed the connection).
(3:05:53 PM) RichardF_Mac: rweait1: thank you for chairing