We’d like to welcome the Swiss OpenStreetMap Association (sosm.ch) as our latest official OpenStreetMap Foundation Local Chapter.
With this formal agreement SOSM and the OSM Foundation have declared that we “shall seek to mutually support the activities of the other”. It doesn’t entail any drastic changes, but from a practical standpoint, it does mean SOSM have “official” status which may help them in any dealings with government and political/advocacy groups. It also means they are formally permitted to use the OpenStreetMap trademarks.
Of course we hope to see other countries formalising their foundation status in this way. Switzerland may also serve as an inspirational example in the way this group has been established in support of the local community. As described on their about page “SOSM was created to further the goals of the OpenStreetMap movement, to strengthen the contacts with authorities and industry, to facilitate the activities of OSM community members in Switzerland and to represent the Swiss OSM community in other organisations … providing some structure when needed and remaining as lightweight and as unobstrusive as possible”, which seems like an excellent way to orientate a local OpenStreetMap organisation.
You can also read more about the Swiss OpenStreetMap community on this OpenCaged data interview with Simon Poole about OSM in Switzerland, and you can follow SwissOSM on twitter.
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