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Implementing change in OpenStreetMap

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the feel pound thanks everyone for coming there's uh so many fantastic speakers uh speaking this morning in right now so I appreciate everyone coming to this talk in particular the my name is John and I spent most of last year working on the idea that the 4 OpenStreetMap and on the design and functionality of the open to website publishing Abdullah work and then a talk a little bit it's kind of at a high level about the technical side of those efforts enough to give you an idea of what our motivations and goals are with them but mostly this talk is about the human side about community management and opens open-source stewardship and I hope for this talk is that sharing what worked for me and my collaborators will help a couple of years people 1st and open source contributors who like me you want to help the projects that are involved in tackle big technical challenges and 2nd other outside organizations could be public or private that 1 engage effectively with open source communities and finally individual community members but who want to see the projects that they're involved with become more friendly and welcoming to everyone who would like to contribute the a so I work at Mount box
and box p me to work on ID and she website so for someone answer the question of why they did that what is not box care about OpenStreetMap why would they pay someone to work on it and that the most well-known reason is that the foundation of box maps is eventually update the roads the parks of building footprints on points of interest all that comes straight from OpenStreetMap so box wins if and only if the OpenStreetMap community has tools and community leadership and community cohesion that allows them to produce a geographic data set that can rival other datasets of much bigger better funded organizations the
so it's important that's these interests interests of not box in a book that poverty maps are aligned in a certain way on deletion of community is bigger than any 1 interest group whether that be a corporation or a geographic region our group of language and a community in the united by a common language so it's very unlikely that any 1 of those groups could win by trying to dominates the community by trying to make changes unilaterally or by forking the project and I did and hoping that the majority of the contributors to move to the side on depend on who you ask in the OpenStreetMap community and that may have been attempted once a crisis in the project's history of but fortunately no those efforts
were successful the by they they did leave a mark and I saw that when I 1st started getting involved on in contribute and Technical Contributions to OpenStreetMap which is in 2012 almost exactly 2 years ago I attended my 1st OpenStreetMap conference here in Portland in this Convention Center the and it was shortly after Matlock said announced a grant from the Knight Foundation to work on OpenStreetMap core infrastructure and those before I buy start working at the box and went to the session I went a session Cummins called nite foundations investment and which treatment which was kind of a roundtable hosted by several people at my box and what I remember about this session was that the mood and was kind of tents almost hostile and there were a good number of longtime community members there were very concerned about the the amount of money that box was receiving and what they're going to do with it and how that was going to affect the project I fortunately that the session was a productive and of civil and what came out of it and many so subsequent discussions on in the months that followed was that we'd engineers and designers in that box on another community members were interested in and joining with us should focus on 2 things I think the 1st thing
that we focused on was of building a new modern editor based on Web standards implemented in JavaScript and HTML CSS the and targeting 1st and foremost the needs of new and casual to mid-level contributors to OpenStreetMap and so we built editors call ID and right now it is the default editor of this you have to sign up and on the 2nd thing
that we 1 it's work on word improvements to the website site are so we wanted to focus on the experience for 1st time visitors of people that were new to the project we wanted to consolidate some duplication of functionality and 1 is you the site of modern look and feel so it it's there was a site that had developed as a lot of open source projects due by kind of slowly creating features over time without having at the points at which someone said of stop and and give some focused attention on design information architecture so this is what the website said look like mean but in the end of the 1st half of 2013 before a redesign efforts got under way and this is what it looks like well this is pretty much what like now after the redesign work was completed so this is a
brief timeline of the work that we did this is all 2013 dates are and may we launched the version 1 . 0 of IDE the and it was made available as an option for as an editor on of instrument or but it wasn't the default at at that point In July we kicked off are design iterations on the website of starting with the consolidation of that controls for navigation and sharing and layers and nodes putting those all in 1 place in you and that we follow that up by working on a welcome landing page for new users new
users that explains the most important points about OpenStreetMap what's on the map what isn't on the map some basic terms for mapping the and the most essential
points out that shift in August and then we worked on a redesign of the map sharing firmly controls and we made changes to the idea that the earth that's all based on feedback from the 1 . 0 release the community felt there were some important additions to make before I believe could become the default editor and we made those and it became the defaults at the end of August so
how about the rest your September through November 5 September I went to stay up conference in the international moments in the UK and took advantage of being in the OK to do a bike tour afterwards I love biking in the UK if you're interested in long-distance cycling go there you have a lot of fun and after I got back
this is what I was working at so this is the github pull request except the contrast is a little hi but this is a beautiful regression which we redesigned the map pages on openstreetmap . org of the front page the history page export page and pages that display individual map features so probably have a dozen pages plus the main navigational you across the whole site and so this is 250 + commits 100 0 sorry I 33 participants 121 comments dozens of screenshots and links to other issues on get I opened support quest on the 1st of october and was merged on the 28th of November and the redesign was life of instrument of so this is what collaboration modern open source communities looks like it of and after the the redesign
landed I got an e-mail from a long time contributor to OpenStreetMap the no 1 my favorite contributors and the Allen who maintains the map style the default map style from consumer and he wrote the if you have any suggestions or experiences about the whole process a shared like to hear them making larger even medium-size changes to us and becomes an almost Herculean task and so anything we can collectively learn to make this easier in the future is important and so when I reflected on how to answer this question the 1st thing that I realized was that from the community's perspective the redesign work had been a much larger and more significant change then ID was even no to me ID was a much larger project from a technical perspective so the answer to his question it can begin to take shape so why was not the case what what were the challenges that made the design changes harder than changing added and how are we able to successfully accomplish both of those so although IDE was a larger engineering efforts than the design changes it has an advantage in the advantages was that it was compartment olazabal the and I mean by that is that we me and my colleagues at box could work on it largely on our own schedule and using our own processes and then slotted in 207 . or in in an obvious place when it was finished of course like in most of our work and box ID was developed in the open from the get go but because it was something that was brand new enjoyed relative anonymity early in its life and I
say enjoyed anonymity advisedly because software without users is the easiest suffer to change and it's more malleable than it will be at any other point in its life cycle successful suffer has users and having users is wonderful it means that you build something useful hopefully something that's a joy to use even but having an active users base also has cost primarily in terms of development agility and your ability to change the software in areas where it means to advance our practice shortcomings openstreetmap has millions of users and the website is hard to change why is that what is it exactly by having an established community that makes change difficult I think 1 1 of the big reasons is that humans especially groups of humans have an inherently conservative tendency in a certain way I we are loss averse strongly preferring to
avoid potential losses than to potentially make gains some loss version is a concept in behavioral economics that was developed in the early 19 nineties and so when the 1st experiments to to look at it involved 2 groups of participants and In the 1st group every person was given a mug and they were told this is your might you own it now and the people a 2nd group were were shown them up but they were given 1 only so they're some emerging from an offer In invited to to look at it and then each of the groups was asked to name a price at which they would sell the case of 1st group or by the case of the 2nd group that model and the group of mud owners named average selling price of 5 dollars and 78 cents and the group about buyers named average buying price of 2 dollars and 21 cents so that group who had something wanted much more to part with it than the group of potential acquirers want to pay so in another way to
look at loss aversion another angle to it is that and you can look at it as a status quo bias a preference for a preference for things as they are now we prefer to people we currently have then to risk what it seems like an often uncertain trade off the now economists and decision theorist view loss aversion and the status quo bias as examples of a rational later the rational economic behavior but I I kind of think that when it comes to software they're actually rational learned responses maybe because everyone knows of an example of software that went bad and maybe it was a a tool that accumulated so many features that it collapsed under its own way or application that underwent redesign they're aligned it with some kind of shady corporate Goals but against the interests of its users so
with examples like that in mind I try to respond to resistance to change and all of its you with empathy of the project is really lucky to have a a group of passionate community members who per se very clearly the reason that the project has succeeded and wanna make sure that those reasons are not easily abandon and that's not to say that they're always rights or that they always have good ideas about the direction to project should go I don't think that's true but the resistance I think is rooted in legitimate concerns which we can try to listen for
so I was very heavily influenced by a talk last year by as a curator I called build building compassion compassionate communities interact and this is given at no cost the company you I have a link to the the stock at the end of the I recommend watching it there's a point in in the talk where he stops and recommends a book and says if you get nothing else out of this talk I remember this book recommendation to read it and it could change a life so this is that moment in my talk about if you did nothing else is out of it go watch this 1 who are maybe it'll change your life so anyway back to the question what are things did we do that me a successful in for accomplishing change so here are some of the most important ones work in the open and this this is
the principle that so ingrained in the way that map OX operates a almost a thing to include it in the slides but is incredibly important it's kind of like the price of admission to working with 2 to working effectively in an open source community or an Open Data community if you want the trusts and expertise of the members of that community then be transparent about your goals and motivations and show you work
and do their work incrementally in small pieces of working incrementally kind of acts like an antidote to loss aversion i'm because when changes come in small pieces it's easier to see that the potential losses are correspondingly small or that there is no loss farm and often the gains a clear to with small changes but even when they are like when incremental changes have to build on each other to to really pay off it's easier to build trust via a series of small changes then by 1 big omnibus change so that the reasonable request that I showed earlier is way way way too big and and it wouldn't have stood a chance if we hadn't built up a level of trust with the community by all the smaller changes that preceded it the of it Over communicate
are clearly explain the objectives and the benefits of the change that you're proposing in multiple venues and at multiple points in time so sophomore our work on OpenStreetMap we walk about it on the map boxplot we had a a separate OSM don't blog exclusively for that work we gave for conference talks we attended multiple birds of a feather sessions and many in person conversations and private e-mails mailing list threads capable requests awesome diaries on piracy all these things so over communicating is in the same thing as being verb ups in fact simpler explanations are almost always better the reason to go over communicate is that there is an inherent asymmetry of knowledge between you who are intimately immersed in a project and a larger community and so what would you have been involved in this thing from the very inception but everyone else is hearing about it at a different place and time and so make sure your messages there for them when they do you hear about it and most people just need a little bit better a little bit of reassurance at that point that the reasons that motivate you also meaningful for them 1
over communicating helps avoid a phenomenon called why was I consulted and do this it goes back to an essay by Paul Ford called the Web as a customer service medium and 1 of things he writes necessity is this brace yourself for the initial angry waiver criticism How dare you I hate it it's ugly you're stupid the Internet runs on knee-jerk reactions people test you were against the pet theories is not free and thus has no value at LAX community features I can't believe you did you stop caps that sheets of pixel screen it is not risk written in Ross perverse my cat is displeased the ultimate question lurks beneath these curses why was not consulted thus mediating early and often less people feel consulted and some of them will give you great feedback some of them want that's OK but the point is many of them who might have felt that my my been part of an angry mob if they felt unconsulted will leave thinking I'm OK with us people I've
always be polite think people for their feedback and give genuine consideration regardless of the tone they used are if you disagree with them politely explain your reasons if the tone is really offensive and you need to ignore conversation until you can give a patient and courteous reply do that I don't feel obligated to respondents 2 obvious trolls or to people that are consistently negative I found that most the time those type of people do a very effective job at marginalizing themselves without your help the the set
bounds actively each try to define what you are trying to accomplish with particular change and what he considered to be off topic for the given conversation so I found that a lot of the discussions about that changes the new features and involved feedback that was like 50 per cent suggestions that fell outside of the bounds of what I was trying to accomplish and that's fine but I just responded with a variant of that sounds like a good idea but it's more than were trying to accomplish with this change and those also a good opportunities to over communicate to reiterate what your your goals are call for closer
and this is this is true 1 thing that's true in in OpenStreetMap true I'm sure it's true a lot of open source communities is that debates will go on forever if you let them so don't let them the it's often said that OSN is that do okresie and I think that applies just as much to finishing changes as to initiating so 1 thing that I would do is at a certain point I I think everyone for their feedback reiterate with 2 goals are and the benefits that the change introduces and remind people that perfect is the enemy of much better than what we have right now the and finally the patient
on change in open-source always takes longer than I expected but it does happen the thank you the
would like you
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Metadaten

Formale Metadaten

Titel Implementing change in OpenStreetMap
Serientitel FOSS4G 2014 Portland
Autor Firebaugh, John
Lizenz CC-Namensnennung 3.0 Deutschland:
Sie dürfen das Werk bzw. den Inhalt zu jedem legalen Zweck nutzen, verändern und in unveränderter oder veränderter Form vervielfältigen, verbreiten und öffentlich zugänglich machen, sofern Sie den Namen des Autors/Rechteinhabers in der von ihm festgelegten Weise nennen.
DOI 10.5446/31611
Herausgeber FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
Erscheinungsjahr 2014
Sprache Englisch
Produzent FOSS4G
Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
Produktionsjahr 2014
Produktionsort Portland, Oregon, United States of America

Inhaltliche Metadaten

Fachgebiet Informatik
Abstract In 2013, I was involved in two substantial technical changes to OpenStreetMap: a new default editor and a redesign of the website. Because OpenStreetMap is a collaborative project, these were as much social as technical efforts. This talk will explore the social dynamics of collaborative open source projects and the techniques that helped us successfully implement technical change in a social environment that by nature tends to be change averse.
Schlagwörter communication
community management
open-source stewardship

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