Monthly Archives: May 2019

OSMF Board face to face meeting 2019

The OSMF Board. From left to right: Frederik Ramm, Kate Chapman, Paul Norman, Heather Leson, Mikel Maron, Tobias Knerr and Joost Schouppe. Photograph by Allen Gunn, CC-BY-SA 4.0.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation Board is a special thing. Elected by the Foundation members, we come from very different backgrounds and parts of the world. Several of us had never met in person before. Most of our communication is asynchronous. We have only a single one hour phone meeting every month, usually in public. Now imagine this group of people trying to tackle complicated problems together.

Thus the tradition to have a yearly face to face meeting. Though the meeting was later than we hoped, the timing turned out right. We had already tackled some of the biggest issues that needed attention, and were finally in a good place to look at the bigger picture.

The face to face meeting means more time to work together than over the rest of the year combined. To make things even more productive, we had professional assistance from Allen Gunn, Aspiration. This helped greatly to make sure it wasn’t just the most outspoken who talked, that the important stuff got some attention, and that we didn’t get into each others’ hair. Too much at least. Just kidding: put people who believe in OpenStreetMap together in one room, and it turns out we can have a productive conversation without much issue.

On to actual business

So what did we talk about? (apart from that it’s hard to leave baby goats behind, that you need to be a vegetarian to drive a Land Rover, and sacrilegious stuff like that BrewDog has the best beer in Belgium).

If we learned one thing from the last election season, it’s that it wouldn’t be technically illegal and not hard at all for a “bad actor” to game the election. We spent several hours analyzing what we could do to mitigate such risks. And then a few more to identify the solutions we can actually implement before the next election.

Working on things like this, we have noticed that our working relationship with the various Working Groups is not without its issues. We took a long hard look in the mirror and came up with a list of questions we would like to ask the Working Groups, to better understand how we can do better as a board. We’ll be sharing what we worked on with Working Groups soon. The results of that will be a starting point to see where we can help Working Groups to succeed in their goals.

We started off from our own priorities, but on the second day we took the recent survey into account. We got 161 full responses. There were some requests we could not handle, such as smashing the capitalist world system. But even the answers that are not really in Board scope were very informative and sometimes even came as a surprise.

There were many requests to deal with tags, editor presets, improvements to the website and core technology. On the top of the list were two threats: a hostile takeover scenario, and our own divisions as a community (community health). Having these items outlined by that community did help us to see that it’s not just peculiar board members who care about this, but something that really lives in the community. We want to get deeper insights into these issues and plan to do more detailed surveys in the future. We’ll be sharing more details on the survey and surveying in general soon.

Any other business

The meeting is a good time to revive some important but “dormant” issues. We’ve made good progress on Board term limits and Microgrants. But we also know that efficiency gains are not enough: we need more help to realise our goals. Since we’re all very happy with Dorothea’s work for us, we are planning to extend her hours. We will always be a volunteer organisation, and we are looking at ways to make sure that she does as little as possible that could have been done by a volunteer.

Personal lessons learned

While it is a costly affair, having a full board meeting for two-and-a-half days seems definitely good value for money. Especially for me, as a new member it feels like things have finally started. If we have a more international club in the future, it will be even more useful to bridge the cultural, gender, and power gaps.
Personally, I would like to see the face to face happen sooner after the election. There is an advantage to having been on the board for a couple of months already: it gives you a better of idea of what is realistic. While I was a bit frustrated with the relatively limited amount of stuff that made it to the action item list, it would still already be a huge success if we can get most of that list done.

Joost Schouppe


The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. The OpenStreetMap Foundation has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member and read about our fee-waiver program.

SotM 2019 Ticket Sales Opened

Modified image, based on Little Bee-eater photo by ThomHasi. Initially modified by Bob Comix and then by the OSM CWG. SotM 2019 logo by Michael Auer. Licence CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Tickets are now on sale for the State of the Map conference 2019 in Heidelberg, Germany. The conference runs from the 21st-23rd September. As always, if you are eager to start, we offer an Early Bird discount, but hurry, as these special prices are only available for a limited time.
We have had a large number of talks submitted to both the regular and academic tracks, so this year promises to have some really interesting topics. Come and be a part of what should be the biggest SotM to date!

Early bird ticket prices

There are many different tickets on offer, so make sure you select the correct one when ordering.

Regular – €180 (early bird)
Regular tickets for €180 are available for individuals.

Community – €75 (early bird)
If you are a member of the volunteer OSM community, you can get your SotM ticket for a special discounted price of €75.

Supporter – €700 (early bird)
For those businesses who want to help support the SotM but cannot sponsor, we offer the supporter ticket costing €700.

Included in your ticket

  • entrance for one person to the social dinner and
  • use of local public transport in Heidelberg (VRN), so you don’t have to worry about paying for public transport each time you use it.

Additional offers

Alongside the regular tickets, we have some extras to offer.

Additional persons to social dinner – €50 per person
If you are bringing more people with you to Heidelberg who are not attending the conference, you can still buy extra tickets for the social dinner. Each one is €50.

Heidelberg Altstadt guided tour – €15
Heidelberg has a very historic city center, and we are pleased to offer a guided tour which will take place in the afternoon of 20th September, costs €15 per person and will last approximately 3 hours.

We will be happy to see you in Heidelberg.

Get your ticket

SotM Organising Committee

Sign up for event updates and follow us @sotm!

The State of the Map conference is the annual, international conference of OpenStreetMap, organised by the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project. The State of the Map Organising Committee is one of our volunteer Working Groups.

What is OpenStreetMap
OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

OSMF Board face-to face meeting: Suggest the topics and issues that matter to you

CC-BY-SA 4.0 OSM CWG

The OSMF Board is going to have a face-to-face meeting in Brussels later in May for strategy and planning. We very much want to prioritize and focus on topics and issues that matter most to the OpenStreetMap community, so we are requesting your input to help us understand what matters to you personally. 

We have created the following survey, with 3 questions:
https://osmf.limequery.org/489698?lang=en

Thank you for your participation.

What is the OpenStreetMap Foundation
The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is now an Open Source Initiative affiliate

Image by the Open Source Initiative. License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is actively involved in Open Source community-building, education, and public advocacy to promote awareness and the importance of non-proprietary software. They have approached us last year, asking if we would consider throwing our weight behind that cause by becoming an affiliate.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation board had a vote and decided in favour. The application has now been accepted and OSMF joins the Initiative alongside other affiliates like Creative Commons, DemocracyLab, The Document Foundation and others.

As an OSI affiliate, the board has a delegate who:
– is the main liaison to OSI.
– can participate in OSI Working Groups.
– may nominate and vote for the five Affiliate Member seats on the OSI Board of Directors.
The current delegate is Kate Chapman.

The OSI’s mission is: “The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation with global scope formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community. Open source enables a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is higher quality, better reliability, greater flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in. One of our most important activities is as a standards body, maintaining the Open Source Definition for the good of the community. The Open Source Initiative Approved License trademark and program creates a nexus of trust around which developers, users, corporations and governments can organize open source cooperation.”

What is OpenStreetMap
OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated, such as ambulance services, fire brigades and humanitarian crises response.

What is the OpenStreetMap Foundation
The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project.