Request for feedback on proposal for OSMF membership based on sizeable contribution to the project

MWG logo based on the official OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply. Figures by Pascal Neis, reproduced with permission.

Last December at the Annual General Meeting of the OpenStreetMap Foundation a proposal for membership in the foundation based solely on sizeable contribution was accepted with a very good result (91%):

The membership fee for associate membership, which normally is tied to the regular membership fee, may be waived if the person applying for membership can demonstrate that they have consistently made sizeable contributions to OpenStreetMap, for example by mapping.

The OSMF Membership Working Group will, together with the Board of Directors, define what counts as “sizeable contributions”.

Just like paid membership, membership under the membership fee waiver programme must be renewed annually.

Please read the rationale here.

In January, the Membership Working Group (MWG) discussed the implementation. Sorry for the long silence since; the MWG would now like to open the discussion and ask for your feedback and comments on the implementation of the new active contributor membership.

As described in the rationale for the vote, this is no charity. We want active contributors to be members of the OSMF and be able to vote for the benefit of the project. The membership fee should not be a barrier.

Our proposal is to automatically grant memberships to mappers who request it and who have contributed at least 42 calendar days in the last year (365 days).

Mapping days is not perfect, but we need a benchmark that is objective, easy to verify, and simple for us to measure and implement.

Why 42 days? If we measure contributions in mapping days by OSMF members who map (83%), roughly half of them map more than 42 days per year. We would expect a “slightly exceptional” contribution in terms of mapping days.

We also discussed abuse. You could of course make tiny contributions like wiggling a single node on 60 days, and maybe go undetected and get your membership. But that would be fraud, and the membership could be revoked if MWG finds out that the contributions are not meaningful.

On non-mapping contributions to the project

Not everyone contributes by mapping, and some of the most familiar names in our members list barely map. Some are very involved, for example, in organizing conferences. Those other forms of contribution should be recognised as well, and the board would take circular decisions on these applications.

Please share your thoughts

We would like to hear your thoughts on the proposal. You can:

Comments can be in any language you are comfortable with. We will make the best effort to have them translated.

Please share your thoughts before the 30th of April 2020.

Thank you.

Michael Spreng
Membership Working Group

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

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed 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.

This post is also available in: Spanish Polish

9 thoughts on “Request for feedback on proposal for OSMF membership based on sizeable contribution to the project

  1. Chris Hills

    I like the idea, but I think it should be measure in terms of actual data contributed, because I could just add 1 node every day for 42 days to qualify as a member. Instead, I propose something like 10,000 nodes or 1,000 areas contributed in the last 180 days.

  2. James Bamkin

    Presumably, the 42 days is likely to change over time, the actual measure being ‘in the top 50% of members who map.’

  3. Bentogen

    Generally I like the idea. But maybe a combination of days of mapping and other criteria would make sense.

  4. ben

    Hello Contributors,

    How about giving a choice between becoming a member or receiving some sort of a “badge with year” recognition, next to nickname, for having contributed for some time or reaching whatever requirement there will be in chages made. Let’s say someone attained to “3rd level” (there could be 3, 5 or 7 levels), that could be called: “enthusiasm” and receive: “E-20” next to nickname (E for “enthusiasm” and 20 for 2020). There could be legend somewhere to keep it clean and explain what is all about.
    And make every year some symbolic recognition for work contributed to osm with little badge next to nickname. Well, it’s just a thought. My opinion. Thank for reading and working on osm.

  5. Pingback: weeklyOSM 507 | weekly – semanario – hebdo – 週刊 – týdeník – Wochennotiz – 주간

  6. Pingback: [Перевод] Новости из мира OpenStreetMap № 507 (31.03.2020-06.04.2020) | INFOS.BY

  7. Pingback: [Перевод] Новости из мира OpenStreetMap № 507 (31.03.2020-06.04.2020) | INFOS.BY

  8. Pingback: News from the world OpenStreetMap No. 507 (03/31/2020-06.04.2020) / geek magazine – Developers

Comments are closed.