#1 2016-01-08 22:43:35

Registered: 2016-01-08
Posts: 5

A good idea. Dead or reborn?


sorry - you guys do not yet have a user area, so I was unsure where to post.

I am not a programmer, just a hobbyist, who self-learned C, Perl, Python and bash scripting. I can program a microcontroller, make a rough GUI application with GTK and Anjuta, fix a switch driver in OpenWRT - but that's not good enough for a big project.
I am not an electrical engineer, just a hobbyist who can design a circuit and solder it together (and most of the time it even works. ;) Hm, not good enough either.

Thus, since I plan to spend several month on a boat this year, I thought collecting depth data would be easy enough for me to do.
So I wanted to contribute depth data to OSeaM
- and then found out there is a fork.

Now you got me all confused.

There is Insight Genesis, TeamSurv, OSM, and ONC all fishing for users.
Where should I contribute?

Insight Genesis is not an option, TeamSurv does not appear to be free either. Well, maybe "free" as in "free beer", but there is no mention of a license, access is restricted and can be changed at will.
So it is OSM and ONC. I guess it should not matter, where I put in my data, because both are open and free, and you can pull from each other, but...

Do you sync the data?
Which team has more resources to actually deal with incoming data?
Is there some sort of collaboration between OSM and ONC?
Division of labour? Like the one focuses more on the software side and the other more on data collection?
Or... is it all on its way down the drain?

I guess I did my best to provoke an answer ;)
No offense meant!



#2 2016-01-10 14:29:01

Registered: 2015-12-21
Posts: 10

Re: A good idea. Dead or reborn?

Hi Oliver,

Please contribute your depth data to the OpenSeaMap Depth site: http://depth.openseamap.org

As far as I know it is not possible and planed to upload depth data at OpenNauticalChart.

Best regards,



#3 2016-01-11 13:37:31

Registered: 2016-01-08
Posts: 5

Re: A good idea. Dead or reborn?

Hi Martin,

Thanks for the explanation. So any data I should contribute to OSeaM.

What exactly is OpenNauticalCharts doing then?

I have not found anything about this in the wiki.
OK, I can see that you just started, so maybe you just have not gotten around to it yet.

Is there a cooperation between ONC and OSeaM?
Are you guys focussing on mapping software? Or the generation of maps?
And OSeaM collects the data?

How would I go about pulling up-to-date map data for my xyz plotter or my FOSS chartplotter software?
Would I get it from OSeaM or from ONC?

Thanks for shedding some light on this!



#4 2016-01-12 12:21:56

From: Ruhrgebiet
Registered: 2015-12-06
Posts: 52

Re: A good idea. Dead or reborn?

Hi Oliver,

please browse through http://sourceforge.net/p/openseamap/mai … p-develop/ to get an idea, why we started this fork.

Have a nice day, Dirk


#5 2016-01-13 17:11:47

Registered: 2016-01-08
Posts: 5

Re: A good idea. Dead or reborn?

Hi Dirk,

Thank you for the link. Some of these threads are really enlightening.
To all my questions they give the worst possible answer.

OK, I am neither the referee nor the Supreme Court of OpenSeaMap or OpenNauticalChart.
Bu since all this appears to be centered around "transparency" (and "openness", and probably also freedom of information, honesty, etc.) you might allow me to very openly give you the point of view of an "outsider".

If you don't like what I have to say, just let me know and I will walk away from this. No harm done, I will just be one more in the crowd of about 7 billion non-contributors, so no loss to the project.

1. The Problem
2. The Risks
3. The Solution
(this is getting long...)

1. The Problem

In those threads I find a lot of good reasons on both sides.
I have been unable to find the unsurmountable obstacle that makes a solution impossible, though. What's the problem?

A. Personal Issues
What I do find, however, are personal reasons and personal conflicts. Without even knowing the players, these personal issues are very obvious: hurt pride, ambition, aversions.

I do not want to point fingers.
Maybe someone is suffering from an inflated Ego here. Maybe it is Markus. But experience shows that if it was a single person, then the others would just shrug their shoulders or roll their eyes and continue with what they were doing. It would only become a problem, if there were at least one or two others suffering from the same disease.

B. Lack of Structure
Yes, there is an obvious lack of structure and organization. Decision-making, presenting the project to the public, cooperation with other projects, software QA, etc. ...
All this can be taken care of. It is not that hard.
It would also help to attract more users and contributors and ease the pressure on project members. I have been visiting the OpenSeaMap page every once in a while to find out whether the project has finally organized itself, and I am certainly not the only one.


#6 2016-01-13 17:18:22

Registered: 2016-01-08
Posts: 5

Re: A good idea. Dead or reborn?

2. The Risks

As I see the project, it consists of:

- Open Hardware (to allow collection of data)
- Open Data (raw data)
- Open Source Software
- Open Data (processed maps)
- Interfaces to 3rd party software & plotters (FOSS and proprietary)

So far all of these are incomplete and all to be supported by an infrastructure of
- documentation
- presentation and public relations
- servers, tools and services

This is a whole lot of work for a mere handful of part-time enthusiasts.

So my concern would be that you are just splitting forces and spreading yourselves too thin for no other reason than A. personal issues and B. lack of structure.
I find it hard to believe that
- working the same tasks with half the workforce
- while leaving the same issues open
will lead to a quantum leap forward.

Just focusing on one part leads to a dead-end. Like just focusing on the software side may lead to a beautiful and sophisticated masterpiece that can display a map of any part of the world. Unfortunately without contributors the map will be empty, but the good thing is: without users it will be all yours.
Thus, if you cannot cover the entire workflow, you will have to cooperate with others, so that in a combined effort you cover it all, e.g. together with OpenSeaMap. But if you have to talk to them anyway, why fork? Why not talk now and resolve the issues? You cannot run an open source project without a minimum of social skills...

And I would hate to see this good idea go down the drain just for reasons A and B.

3. The Solution

Some people think that "Open Source" is just another word for anarchy and "to do what you want".
To me FOSS means democracy and self-organization.
It means you share a common goal and do what is necessary to achieve it. Voluntarily. Your own grandeur is your only payment.

Democracy means there is not a "King" in FOSS. The originators may be met with respect, but they are no royalty.
This is not a caste system either, where the caste of developers presides over mere doc writers or admins, and users become the untouchables.
But as with any democracy since the "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" of the French revolution, you are all free, but you have to define who you are equal with and who is your brother who has the same voting rights. There will be an inner circle. The criteria for it should better be defined.
But even if they are defined: Can you force your way into it? - Nope.
If you so desperately have to, you may be in this for the wrong reasons.
Looking for fame and power? - Not in FOSS.
Seeking shoulder marks? - You better join the services.
Oh, and of course democracy does not mean "the majority's dictate over the minority". You will still have to remember your Kant, if you want to be a decent person.

Self-organization means the opposite of "lack of structure". It means there are rules and responsibilities, also accountability, and yes, not everything can be open and fully transparent.
In the case of Open Data charts I can imagine you will have to talk to government officials, commercial players... You can pre-define the rules and procedures for such talks, and you may be able to publish anonymized excerpts. No full transparency. And server passwords won't be public either. You need to plan for continuity, though, so that the project does not break down if someone runs into a bus.

What can you do when you don't feel at home in a project?
1. Talk about it.
2. Leave. There is an 'F' in 'FOSS'.
3. Fork? Well, reasons A and B above make for a poor excuse for a fork, but if you have to fork...
you will be responsible for what you do. You better put in an extra effort to make sure the fork becomes more successful than the origin. Otherwise you would have killed two projects at the same time. Quite a questionable accomplishment...

Essence of this rant: From a user perspective I would like to see people demonstrate their social skills, talk to each other, work it out and add some structure to this project.


P.S.: Nobody will like me after this, so I guess I don't need to offer my assistance ;-)


#7 2016-01-14 09:18:09

OpenNauticalChart Developer
From: Hull, GB
Registered: 2015-12-07
Posts: 37

Re: A good idea. Dead or reborn?

OpenSeaMap is ruled by a "King", who will not engage with developers. That's why we (not half but most) left. We wanted both the "F" and the "O"!


#8 2016-01-15 12:02:40

Registered: 2016-01-08
Posts: 5

Re: A good idea. Dead or reborn?

Hi Malcolm,

Thank you for proving my point.

I wrote that I cannot find a real reason or unsurmountable obstacle but just personal issues.
You answer with an allegation ("ruled by a King") that has it all: the hurt pride, the "now it's my turn" feeling...
Then the developer caste... so it is not just half but the majority? Oh, that sets things right, then.
Apparently you have not understood my remark about Kant. But you know who that was, don't you?

You see, I wanted to talk about a solution here, about cooperation, talking to each other, about adding structure and organization to the project, but there is nothing about this in your reply. Just a blame game.

Now where is the new transparency and openness? I have looked at the dev mailing group again and at both web sites, wikis, and I have got a really bad suspicion.
So I am wondering how you guys will explain to me what I found:

1. More than one month has gone since the fork. The fork does not seem to have addressed a single issue you guys complained about. I cannot see any structure, decision-making processes, or transparency in this fork. Do you have just traded one king against the other?

2. Malcolm, you say that "the king" (I guess that's Markus) does not engage with "developers"? So how many developers have tried to talk to him and have been brushed off?
When I look at the mailing list, I find complaints mainly coming from one person.  I see Dirk complaining about his questions not being answered for one year - but then there is some talk about a meeting in spring, which apparently did not go quite without words. So one guy complains - and everyone just follows? Nobody tried to talk, to mediate and argue with reason?

3. And I got a real kick out of this one: So he (Dirk) joined the admin mailing list in search for the "hidden secrets" - only to find out there were none and get kicked?
On his quest for the Holy Grail he joined the Illuminati and tried to uncover their mysteries. Poor lad. :-D
Now if this is not paranoia, then what is?

4. I looked up OpenSeaMap's page on facebook. Oh, wow! Dirk advertizes his fork on the page of his former project! He does not just say in a forum or mailing list, that he will leave, but he uses a prime spot on the website of the project itself to ask for followers!
Wow, this is low.
Hm, posted on Dec 24, and still there. So I guess he was the only one who had an account, and he did not care to give it back to OpenSeaMap when he left.
LOL. OpenSeaMap is probably desperately trying to regain control of their own website since then. Hilarious!

5. So who is this guy with the remarkable code of conduct? I looked up his page on the wiki.
Oh - he is not even a developer! Malcolm, it was you to whom it was so important that the leadership must be developers. Now if you want to wear your "developer" badge with pride, you need some stripes and stars on it. Like: three stars is when you can write at least Java, C++, Ruby and Python. With just stylesheets and presets you can only become a sergeant-developer.

6. But he hosts his own maps... Why? If there is information on those maps that OpenSeaMap does not have, then: Why did he not contribute this information to OpenSeaMap?
- Because he was not able to and needed OpenSeaMap's developer capacity?
- Or because he did not want to?

7. Hm... and his maps are hosted on a commercial .de address, held by himself for his own company.
Oh, I get it.

Well, Malcolm, I am sorry to have to say this, but it seems you have not really made a move to the 'F' and the 'O'.




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