From the post:
OpenStreetMap (OSM) has come a long way. After starting almost 10 years ago in London, OSM is now an entrenched part of the geo/location-based service toolchain and one of the leading examples of crowdsourcing at a massive scale.
Since 2004, over 1.5 million volunteers have signed up to contribute terabytes of geo-data to the project often referred to as the “Wikipedia of mapping”. What began as one guy wandering around London with his GPS has now turned into a global movement and spawned countless spinoff projects (see: WheelMap, OpenCycleMap and OpenRailwayMap).
Ed details the amazing progress that OpenStreetMap has made in ten years but also mentions diversity, governance and licensing issues that continue to hold OSM back from greater adoption.
Another concern is breadth of coverage:
A recent study found that just five countries make up 58% of OpenStreetMap’s data coverage. It needs to be asked what dynamics are preventing local communities from forming around the world. Is OSM just a ‘rich world’ phenomenon?
A difference in perspective. I would be thrilled to have the level of participation for topic maps that OSM has, even if it were mostly limited to five countries.
My question would be what is it about mapping physical terrain or the interfaces for mapping it, that makes it more attractive than mapping subjects and how they are identified?
Is there a lesson here for topic maps?
On the licensing issue, I hopeful OSM will adopt an Apache license. The rosters of Apache projects with their corporate sponsored participants and commercial products based on those projects are the best evidence for Apache licensing on a project.
That is, assuming being successful is more important to you than some private notion of purity. I recommend successful.