oaktown wrote:CC's Foundry is largely independent of the management of the site. This is a both a strength and a weakness. You guys run the show and control the output, but you also suffer from a lack of support. It remains a really good model for the user who wants to work on their graphic skills in a supportive environment and see their work published, and for most users it works. But after a time you want it to be more.
Yep, pretty much. However:
oaktown wrote:So in answer to Rj's question: if everybody stopped making maps there would just be a new crop of mapmakers with weaker skills and lower standards that would appear in a few months, completely oblivious to the fact that the veteran mapmakers left. They'd gradually improve their skills and become Foundry mods. It's the natural Foundry cycle.
I can see what you're referencing here... this worked once before, because back then, not all
of the old mapmakers left, some who had at least learned somewhat how mapmaking worked stayed to instruct the new mapmakers.
But what if all
of the current mapmakers & foundry staff left at once, so there would be no one to instruct the new mapmakers? Would the new crew be able to construct a new foundry, completely from scratch? I'm not sure... maybe with time they could. There's plenty of tutorials on graphics design, and they could benefit from the mapmaking tutorials already on this site, as well. But as to how to run the day-to-day business of the foundry, how to keep the gears rolling and how to keep everything working smoothly... I don't know. Depends on the people I guess.
On the other hand, we who are currently in the foundry don't have the same options as the "old guard" - we can't just up and start another CC-like website, as to my knowledge there isn't anyone among the current mapmakers with the know-how or resources to do that. So if the foundry dies, the future for the current CC mapmakers looks grim, from a mapmaking perspective - there aren't any good alternatives where the current mapmakers could migrate. I expect most would just find some other purpose, other kinds of projects to work their skills on. There are plenty of stuff out there that welcome contributions from even moderately skilled graphic artists, there just isn't anything quite similar to CC mapmaking.