(Reminder to myself, this was originally drafted in April and to use this more often to share small snippets of information..)
I second guess myself if I don’t do enough to remove our president (if it’s not clear, generally, I do NOT support his policies). I try to let my actions speak for myself but I wonder whether its enough; I know that those who are privildged (and also often have power (financial, influence)) to not have to deal with the ramifactions are generally quickly turned off and that the effect of my sharing it on social media is probably minimal. I keep that in mind by trying to act locally.
While in college 10-15 years ago (damn, it has been that long) I realized that the fate of our country for most of its residents wasn’t going to be as good as it once was; and unfortunately that’s been the case. Financially, my partner and I are a little bit better off than my parents were thanks to education, priviledge, and a bit of luck (especially with our health); but there’s more precarity in our future than in the past due to our current administration and with the increasing costs of health care.
I’ve been more intentional in backing up my photos, documents, and videos on a using a combination of rclone and backblaze b2.
There’s a really sharp learning curve (knowing the basics of bash, cron, unix are a requirement for these tools) but the value is really good (per GB); the customization and automation are great.
While looking at past photos, I realized that I haven’t taken that many photos of myself or friends actually.
I’ve pared down even more of what I’ve shared on social media.
I was cognisant of this before (this isn’t the result of anything in particular and I don’t think there’s anything out there that I’d deeply regret) but more so of even less trust that my information may be used against me (denial of health care coverage)
I’ve been contributing to OpenStreetmap for nearly 9 years. It’s how I fell in love with maps; gave me multiple career options, opportunities to work in Haiti and Sengal, forge friendships and acquatinences across the world that continue today, I’ve given a couple dozen presentations or some aspect of it. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. It has changed my routine; encourages me to be much more observant of how the environment is built, notice the little businesses with signage that would otherwise be forgotten and fade in the landscape.
It’s my biggest hobby (and relatively affordable too ;)), probably 3-4 hours a week.
I’ve lost a little luster for it over the past year or so. I still edit nearly every day, but the quantity of edits and my overall involvement has decreased.
I second guess more often while I’m editing: how often is this data in a way that’s positive for the world? Will there be more usage of it besides just routing for private ride-sharing companies or real estate analysis?
The local transit authority began to use OSM on their route maps; so that’s actually a great positive.
There’s less focus on how users can extract or use its data to make simple maps without having to know HTML or geojson or perform some basic spatial queries (e.g. where are coffee shops or child care facilities that are within 1 mile of me?) without having to know the basics of openstreetmap tags.
After spending about 8 years across different continents and areas; you see some of the weaknesses of the tagging system; (to be fair, I think any crowd-sourced system would have probably had these issues).
Looking back, I’m a bit surprised that editing hasn’t taken off like it has for wikipedia; the killer app for openstreetmap (to drive individuals or companies) to contribute for use never came and I think that window of opportunity - for OSM to become the defacto standard in America has passed.
There was a period, I think in the late 00s and perhaps early 2010s when OpenStreetMap and its crowdsource model - manaully drawing features through drawing of aerial imagery and gps traces was the most efficient; and google maps didn’t quite have its strong market share.
Since then, open data sets from municipalities have become more plentiful, machine learning for drawing features have greatly improved. Google uses the crowdsourced data from all of the captchas we fill out to identify addresses and features that they’ve collected from their Street View vehicles.
For a bit, I thought MapBox may have been that company whose products would incentivize people to contribute to OSM and increase its usage of OSM to unforeseen levels of use but it looks like they’ve focused a bit more gathering data through sensors and focusing on automobile navigation.
I sometimes wonder if another entity in a few years will usurp OpenStreetMap as a widely-used defacto source of crowdsourced, global geographic data. OSM largely hasn’t tackled the representation of 3D features; still represents more features as lines instead of areas (no doubt, representing everything as an area would be a lot of work for mappers at this point).
There’s a lot more to share; I also need to make this process of updating this and then uploading it to the website a little easier.
I’m also over markdown, the language that this is written; I’d rather go to just pure html and css again.