OpenStreetMap Welcomes Diversity

In January, the OpenStreetMap Foundation adopted this Diversity Statement:

The OpenStreetMap Foundation and the global OpenStreetMap community welcome and encourage participation by everyone. Our community is based on mutual respect, tolerance, and encouragement, and we are working to help each other live up to these principles. We want our community to be more diverse: whoever you are, and whatever your background, we welcome you.

The Board then appointed the Diversity and Inclusion Special Committee to compile research and undertake new research on our diversity, identify root causes that contribute to any shortfalls, and make recommendations to help resolve issues and improve.

If you’re interested to take part, join one of the two upcoming starting meetings of the committee;

We’ll discuss the scope of work laid out by the Board, sketch initial work plans, and figure out logistics and timing and structure of future meetings.

You might also be interested to join the OpenStreetMap diversity mailing list.

Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in your language..? Please send an email to with subject: Helping with translations in [your language]

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. It 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 of the Foundation.

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.

6 thoughts on “OpenStreetMap Welcomes Diversity

  1. chris

    Independent of the questionable nature of the diversity statement both in content and in the claim to speak for the whole OSM community the title of this blog post is quite an insult to many in the OSM community coming from the OSMF as an organization evidently much less diverse than OpenStreetMap as a whole.

    By releasing an English language only statement which in the part not quoted in this blog post explicitly codifies English language dominance in the OSMF you essential state that the remarkable diversity in particular in languages and cultures that exists within OSM that has developed organically from the very idea of cooperative mapping does not mean anything to you (you don’t mention it with a single word in your post) and a top down engineered diversity imposed by an English language dominated organization is the only form of diversity that matters.

  2. David

    @Chris Please join the working group and help to make OSM a place that maximizes its ability to improve diversity. Statement like “you essential state that the remarkable diversity … does not mean anything to you” Is inflamatory and unhelpful. The ways to demonstrate to that diversity are not important are to 1. Not try to improve diversity, and 2. Try to stop people who try to increase diversity. This blog post is proof that increasing diversity is in fact considered important. Things may not be perfect, or even good, now, but good faith efforts can improve that. Let’s give people room to make mistakes so we can improve and move forward.

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