Author Archives: Dorothea

About Dorothea

Posting mostly in a Communication Working Group capacity (and often with text written collaboratively among CWG and others).

Community survey on 2020 OSM Foundation board decisions and current topics

Would you like to provide feedback on decisions that the OSM Foundation board made in 2020 and on current topics? The board has prepared a survey and is asking for your input in order to set priorities.

You can see a copy of the questions in English here.

The survey is available in 18 languages so far. Image by D. Kazazi, CC-BY-SA 3.0. Official OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply.

Languages

Thanks to volunteer translators, the survey is available in eighteen languages so far:

Helping with translations

If you would like to provide a translation to a language not on the list, or to suggest a correction in one of the translations, please email allan@mustard.net

If you would like to help with translations of non-English answers to English, future surveys or blogposts, please send an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [language].

Practical

  • You need to provide an email address (to receive a token) and solve an equation in order to access the survey.
  • There are 18 questions, most are multiple-choice and mandatory.
  • There is an optional section with demographic questions.
  • There are several sections. You cannot go back to the previous section but you can resume later.
  • Please note that pages with background information linked from the survey are in English.
    • If the pages are on the OSM wiki, you are welcome to translate them.
    • If they are on the OSMF website and you would like to provide translations, please email the Communication Working Group at communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Translating OSMF pages in [language].

Feedback

There is discussion about the survey on the “talk” mailing list, where you are welcome to provide feedback. You can register to the talk mailing list here. All past messages of the list are available here.

Privacy

  • Read the LimeSurvey privacy policy.
  • The answers can be accessed by current board members and the administrative assistant and will be processed by the board.
  • The email addresses and names (if provided) of participants won’t be published after the survey ends.

Results

The general results will be published after the survey ends. Past surveys are listed here.

Deadline for participation: 14 February 2021.

Even if you don’t participate, it would be appreciated if you spread the word about the survey.

Thank you in advance 🙂

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.

Active OSM contributor? You can now easily join the OpenStreetMap Foundation

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Map data by OpenStreetMap Contributors. Official OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply. Image by D.Kazazi CC BY-SA 2.0

If you contribute significantly to the OpenStreetMap project you should have a voice in the OpenStreetMap Foundation, which is supporting the project, and be able to vote for the board members of your choice. There is now an easier and costless way to become an OpenStreetMap Foundation member:

The volunteers of the OSMF Membership Working Group have just implemented the active contributor membership program, where you can easily apply to become an Associate member of the Foundation and there is no need to pay the membership fee.

What can I do as an OSMF Associate member?

  • You can vote for the board candidates of your choice at the board elections.
  • You can vote on some issues during General Meetings (but not all).
  • You can participate in the discussions between members on the OSMF members mailing list (if you are already an OSMF member register here – see the archive available to all).
    • Subscription to the mailing list is optional.
    • You have the option to receive a single daily digest, containing all the emails of the day.
    • Feel free to email in your language 🙂
  • You can proudly say that you are an OSMF member 🙂

How does it work?

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

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. If you do not map at all or less than the 42 days, then we expect you to write a paragraph or two about what you do for OpenStreetMap. The Board will then vote on your application.

How can I find out how many mapping days I have?

  • You can get an estimate from tools like Pascal Neis How did you contribute, which should be accurate enough for most purposes.
  • If you are technically versed and wish to verify your mapping days yourself, use the changesets API of OSM to query your changesets. Then you can collect all unique dates in the created_at attributes of the changesets, and count how many unique days you have in the last 365 days.

I would like to become a member via the active contributor program!

● If you qualify based on mapping activity (at least 42 mapping days in the last 365 days) please fill out this form to get your active contributor membership

● If you qualify for other contributions to OpenStreetMap please fill out this form and describe your activities to get your active contributor membership.
General link:
https://join.osmfoundation.org/active-contributor-membership/

Frequently asked questions

What do I need to supply?

  • Your name.
  • Your OSM username.
  • Your country of residence.
  • Your email address (where ballots for voting will be sent and will be the email address associated with participation in the OSMF members mailing list, if you choose to subscribe)

How long is this membership valid?

Just like paid membership, membership under the membership fee waiver programme must be renewed annually. You will get a reminder, and you then can request the renewal, similar to the initial application. The check for mapping at least 42 calendar days in the last year will be carried out at the time you request the renewal, or alternatively you submit again a paragraph or two about what you do for OpenStreetMap.

What else do I need to know?

By law, every member of the OSMF can inspect the membership register (we ask for the purpose before handing it out and generally distribution by the recipient is not allowed). Who joined under which program is not revealed. The name, country, email and one of the OSM account names will be shown.

Why does this active contributor membership program exist?

By inviting more active community members to join the OSMF, we become more resilient against take-over attempts through massive signups. We believe that even mappers for whom £15 is not a lot of money would be more willing to join, if they are invited to a free membership due to their good work. Also, active contribution to the project is easier to assess than financial hardship and does not require the applicant to disclose personal information. The potential loss of individual membership fee income is not a threat to our financial stability. In fact, there are quite a few members who like to donate more than just £15. Those donations need not be tied to any membership.

Why 42 mapping 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.

42

How are my changes divided into days for measuring 42 mapping days

For measuring the mapping days, the created at time stamp of each changeset is used. Typically, all changes in a change set have the same time stamp. A day is defined in UTC from midnight to midnight.

Does paid mapping count?

The “active contributor program” is there to measure your engagement towards the project. In the first place, we think this is shown by volunteer activities for the project. If you do organizing or mapping for OSM as a part of your paid job, that is not necessarily a show of engagement with the project. By default, we would not include these activities as qualifying for this type of membership. But feel free to explain your contributions, and the Board will have a vote.

Can’t this be cheated?

We also discussed abuse. When we receive an application, we contact the mentioned OpenStreetMap account(s) through the OSM messaging system to confirm they are owned by the applicant. 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 the OSMF Membership Working Group finds out that the contributions are not meaningful.


What happens to the old fee waiver program?

The Active contributor membership program is replacing the old “fee waiver” program (active from 2018 January onward) where the membership fee was waived in cases of financial hardship or lack of suitable money transfer ability. The change was made possible by a vote during the 2019 Annual General Meeting. The “financial hardship” and “Lack of suitable money transfer” rule will be dropped entirely because even today, we expect someone joining under those rules to demonstrate some sort of contribution, so they would likely be eligible under the new rule as well. 

What other options do I have to become a member?

As previously, you can still become a Normal member or Associate member of the Foundation by paying the annual £15 membership fee.

The main differences between Normal and Associate members are that:

  • Normal members have to supply their full residential address.
  • Normal members can vote on all issues during the General Meetings, while Associate members only on some issues.
  • Normal members can be board candidates and hence become board members.

You can switch your membership type. Please contact the Membership Working Group (email below) for more information.

OpenStreetMap logo with magnifying glass, showing stick figures.
Membership Working Group logo based on the official OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply. Figures by Pascal Neis, reproduced with permission.

I would like to help the volunteers of the OSMF Membership Working Group!

Thank you 🙂 We need your help and you can make a difference by joining the Working Group. Send us an email at membership@osmfoundation.org

As a MWG member you can help us to:

  • Administer the membership register.
  • Answer routine questions like what kind of membership does someone have (normal or associate) or when will they need to renew.
  • Help with the manual work for matching bank transfers with memberships for new sign ups and renewals.
  • Sort out other problems regarding sign up or renewal.If you join, you can be as involved as you like.

I have another question!

Feel free to contact us at membership@osmfoundation.org

Cute half-blobs with eyes, holding sticks with maps.
Image by Tintao CC BY-SA 2.0, modified.

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Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in another language..? Please send an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [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.

Continue reading

Celebrate the 16th OSM anniversary!

The 16th OpenStreetMap anniversary will be celebrated on the 8th of August, 2020! Image: Fictional map data rendered with the standard style of osm.org (osm-carto). CC-BY-SA 3.0, trademarks apply.

On Saturday, 8th of August 2020,
we will celebrate 16 years of OpenStreetMap!

Planning an online party or mapathon?

You can use the BigBlueButton video server of the OpenStreetMap Foundation! To get a free account and your own video room, please signup.

  • You can use your video room even after the birthday, for any OSM-related event.
  • Community members in low-bandwidth environments may benefit from using BigBlueButton’s low-bandwidth settings.
  • Please add your event to the OSM wiki! If wiki editing isn’t your thing, email communication@osmfoundation.org with your event details and we’ll add it 🙂

Other ideas

  • Post why you love OpenStreetMap. We will publish a collection of messages later 🙂
  • Post a photo of yourself holding a written message 🙂 
  • Use the hashtag #OpenStreetMap16 on social media
  • Make/order a birthday cake. See previous examples of OSM cakes for inspiration. Don’t forget the attribution!
  • If your photos are accompanied with the text “CC-BY-SA 2.0” (or another open license), we can add them to the OSM wiki (or feel free to add them yourself! ~ register here).
  • Do you have more ideas? Share them in the comments 🙂

Join us!

Observance of the anniversary of the creation of OpenStreetMap is held on or about the 9th of August, which is the anniversary of the registration of the OpenStreetMap.org domain name. The concept of OpenStreetMap predates the domain name registration, but that seems a suitable anniversary date 🙂

Get notified about new blogposts: Subscribe to the RSS feed!

Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in another language..? Please send an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [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.

Join us for the first ever virtual State of the Map!

4-5 July 2020

https://2020.stateofthemap.org/

State of the Map is the annual, international conference of OpenStreetMap.

  • No registration is required for SotM 2020.
  • Watch the talks as they are streamed. Missed something? Watch already streamed talks here.
  • Submit questions to the speakers, to be answered at the end of their talk. Questions are collected as the talk is streamed. Look for the “session pad” link, on every talk page and type your question there.
  • Attend or start a self-organized session.
  • Discuss with other participants, either at a self organising session, on the IRC channel #osm-sotm-ct on the OFTC IRC server (join via this link or with a dedicated IRC client) or on other communication channels (e.g. Telegram).
  • Follow @SotM@en.osm.town on Mastodon or @sotm on Twitter. Use the hashtag #sotm2020.
  • Check out the posters.
  • Participate in the quiz session!
  • Provide general feedback about the conference.

State of the Map 2020 is organised by the volunteers of the SotM Working Group and is streamed by the Chaos Computer Club Video Operation Center.

Enjoy State of the Map 2020 🙂

The State of the Map Organising Committee is one of the volunteer Working Groups of 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 and you can support it by becoming a member.

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.

OpenStreetMap and International Women’s Day

OSM logo surrounded by sketches of women's heads in different colours. Magnifying glass of logo has superimposed the sketch of two women high-fiving each other.
Sketches of women created at “Redefining women” iconathon, public domain, modified by D.Kazazi. OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply.


Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, and while it would be nice to have no need for this day, we would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of women OSMers.


Thank you for any contribution to the project – be it map data, code, organising mapathons, advocacy or other.

We do not know exactly how many women globally contribute to the OpenStreetMap project via mapping or other ways, however, it is known that the percentage of women in the OSM community – as in many tech adjacent communities – is low. The reason we do not know is because we do not ask for personal information such as name, gender or age when signing for an account on OpenStreetMap.org. Mappers can freely choose, and change, their username, and it is not mandatory that they respond to surveys, or map in a certain way. 

All this doesn’t make the collection of demographic data easy, and figures mentioning percentages should be taken with a big grain of salt. Collecting data on why people aren’t joining us is even more difficult as absent people can’t answer questions. While it has been impossible, so far, to get a clear picture on why some people contribute more or less than others, hypotheses have been formulated throughout the years – the lower percentage might reflect aspects of societies such as that many women have less free time than men. We should also note that the percentage of women OSM contributors varies geographically. The majority of attendees at Albanian community events, for example are women. We also seem to see more women participating when there is a clear goal – for example in humanitarian mapping campaigns we often have an almost equal gender balance.

The under-representation of women has been often highlighted on community channels, as well as by initiatives like Geochicas. They raise an important message, and we are also thankful for the work of local groups that are raising awareness.

We -do- know that the reasons that bring people of any gender, origin or age to our project seem to be similar among contributors: it’s fun to make the map data a bit better and it’s rewarding when someone finds your work useful. 

Renaming Belgium’s biggest tunnel
Initiatives of individuals have effect, both in the representation of women as well as on OpenStreetMap. So, we would like to take this opportunity to share some news from the Belgian community: the longest tunnel in the country, which currently carries the name of Leopold II, will be renamed after a woman, who has not been chosen yet. What does that have to do with OSM you may ask (other that the change will be reflected on our map data as soon as one of eager and active contributors can update it). The name change came about after officials became aware of equalstreetnames – a project by the Belgian OSM community and the Feminist Collective Names Maybe Maybe, which colours streets differently on an OSM-based map, depending on whether the streets are named after a man or a woman. You can read more about the tunnel renaming here.

OSMF board’s answer to recent press enquiry 
The OSM Foundation board and the OSM Communication Working Group have recently been contacted by a Reuters reporter, enquiring about why the number of women in OSM is low and what is OSM doing to address the gender imbalance and encourage more women to contribute. You can read the full answer here. Excerpts follow:

“We would like to highlight that anyone can contribute to OpenStreetMap, irrespective of their gender/nationality/religion and other factors (which we do not ask). Having said that, yes – there are actions both from the OpenStreetMap Foundation, as well as from community members, to increase the participation of women, and all underrepresented groups. Note that the OpenStreetMap Foundation has a relatively minor role in the OpenStreetMap project. Core infrastructure is run by volunteers, but even our map style and our website are built by independent volunteers. Most things that happen in the OpenStreetMap environment are run by the community.”

“The OpenStreetMap Foundation is interested in increasing the diversity in general and to attract marginalized groups of people and people outside the gender binary, not just women.”

OpenStreetMap Foundation and community efforts
Efforts by the OpenStreetMap Foundation and the OSM community mentioned in the press answer include:

Increasing diversity

  • The OSM Foundation has recently adopted a Diversity Statement which affirms support for expanding our diversity (in all its forms) in OSM.
  • The OpenStreetMap Foundation has also recently initiated a Diversity and Inclusion Special Committee. Its first task is to assist the Foundation (and hopefully the wider OpenStreetMap project & community) to identify imbalances in the community. To do so, it will gather and assess existing research, and collect any additional necessary data. It will then look at the causes, both internal and external, of imbalances, recommend actions to address them, and in due time evaluate their impact.

Mapping in support of women and girls

  • The community has created and maintains a page dedicated to mapping in support of women and girls. You can find it at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tagging_in_Support_of_Women_and_Girls and it lists some points of interest that are related to women’s health, safety or life that can be mapped. Lit roads, gynaecologists, toilets for females and vending machines that dispense feminine hygiene products are a few examples of things that can be mapped.

We would like to emphasize that OpenStreetMap is based on mapping freedom and anyone can map almost any object with geographical qualities that is verifiable. So, if someone is interested in a feature that has not been mapped yet, they are free to create their own tags and add it to the database (it might be a good idea to discuss the created tags on the tagging mailing list to get feedback for potentially better tag options).

Specific communication channels

  • OSM is large, and made up of many smaller (sub-)communities. Many groups have been formed for people interested in this topic, which helps encourage members of that marginalized group participate in OSM. Geochicas is one example of this. Other examples are the communities formed around the Telegram channels RainbOSM and Geoladies (there is some overlap of participants).

Ensuring safe and welcome participation at OSM events

  • The OSM Foundation organises the annual, international State of the Map (SotM) conference, which has rules ensuring that a wide range of participants feels safe and welcome.
  • There are local OpenStreetMap events run by community members with rules having the same aim.

Granting scholarships to the annual conference

  • The OSM Foundation has a scholarship program providing support to community members who cannot afford to travel to the international State of the Map conference. Gender is a core consideration in the selection process.

Electing women to the OSM Foundation board

  • Before December 2019, both the chairperson and the secretary of our Foundation were women. Board members are voted by the OSM Foundation membership.

Please note that OSM Foundation members constitute a small part of the community – you don’t need to be an OSMF member in order to participate in the OpenStreetMap project, you just need to create an account at www.openstreetmap.org. Having said that, we would like to see the OSMF membership becoming more diverse so please consider joining the Foundation. We are also trying to make it easier to join.

Raising awareness

  • Participation of women in OSM, and diversity in general, is a subject frequently discussed in community channels, has been highlighted in talks by community members in State of the Map conferences and has led to actions by the OSM Foundation.

Reach out and support

  • Various local groups reach out to women and engage them in introductory OSM workshop, offering support afterwards.

Recognising the contribution of specific women OSMers

  • For the past several years, the OSM community has nominated and selected individuals, groups and projects which have helped the project. One of the OpenStreetMap Awards is for “Expanding the Community”, which recognises growing and diversifying the OSM community.
  • Nominations for the 2020 OSM Awards are currently open. If you know of anyone whose contributions you want recognised, please nominate them!

Please note that the list above is incomplete, as there are many efforts by local communities. We invite you to share the contributions of your local group in the comments.

New article about female participation in OSM 
You can read Reuters’ article, which focuses on female participation in OSM and is based on conversations with OSMers such as Geochicas and the OSM Foundation Board at “Visible women’: Feminist mappers bridge data gap in urban design”.

We would like again to thank anyone who identifies as a woman for their contributions and would like to highlight that mappers don’t require permission, moderation, approval or votes by the existing majority in order to add new things, or to start mapping new features. Even small minorities can map what’s important to them. This openness, and flexibility, allows OSM to be welcoming to new, and unforeseen, types of contributions.


Are you an OSMer who identifies as a woman? Share with us in the comments what you are passionate about. If you would like to answer anonymously, feel free to send your answer to communication@osmfoundation.org and we will post it without your (user)name.

International Men’s day is on 19th of November.
International Nonbinary Day is on 14th of July.

Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in your language..? Please send us an email to communication@osmfoundation.org 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.

Congratulations to weeklyOSM for publishing its 500th newsletter!

WeeklyOSM is sharing OpenStreetMap news every week in several languages. Weekly OSM logo CC-BY-SA 3.0. Image by OSM Communication Working GroupCC-BY-SA 3.0

Congratulations to weeklyOSM for publishing its 500th online newsletter! WeeklyOSM is a community project which publishes news from the OpenStreetMap world every week. It is independent from the OpenStreetMap Foundation [1]. With the help of awesome volunteers across the globe, it is on its tenth year and is available in multiple languages, including:

You can subscribe to weeklyOSM’s newsletter via email or via language-specific RSS/Atom feeds (CZ, DE, EN, ES, FR, JA, TR). You can also follow them on Mastodon/Fediverse at @weeklyosm@en.osm.town or on Twitter @weeklyosm.

The content is released under the liberal Creative Commons licence CC-BY-SA 3.0.

You can be part of the weeklyOSM project as well!

Minimal time required
Propose interesting news to be featured in the next newsletter. Find out how: https://weeklyosm.eu/this-news-should-be-in-weeklyosm

Medium time commitment
Help in translations of one of the already featured languages. Or help by proofreading articles and read the news before anyone else does 😉 Contact weeklyOSM.

Regular time commitment
Are you and your friends interested in translating each weekly newsletter in your own language? Contact weeklyOSM. Translating is of course a big part, but proofreading is also very important. Please note that each language team is free to add their language specific news as well.

Congratulations and many thanks to the weeklyOSM contributors. 🙂

OSM Communication Working Group


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

[1] 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.

Making it easier to join the OpenStreetMap Foundation

Joining the OpenStreetMap Foundation used to always require a membership fee (£15 per year, which you can pay by PayPal or bank transfer). However, if you are involved in the OpenStreetMap project, and cannot pay this membership fee, it can be waived. Some OSMers live in a country under economic sanction/embargo (and thus without PayPal). Others are in nations where the bank transfer costs themselves exceed the cost of membership. Others live under circumstances where this fee alone would constitute a substantial personal financial hardship. One of the main reasons for the Membership Fee Waiver program, is a wish to be more representative of mappers from around the world.

To address this, the Fee Waiver Program was created, which, for those who qualify, will grant an Associate Membership in the Foundation at no cost, subject to annual renewal.

Some reasons to join the OSMF

As a member of the Foundation you can influence the future direction of the project by

  • participating in the discussions between members and by
  • voting in the annual OSM Foundation elections for the board that steers the project.

Without being a member you can still edit OpenStreetMap, by creating a free account at https://www.openstreetmap.org and help the Foundation by joining one of the Working Groups.

Eligibility

Currently you are eligible to apply for a fee waiver if:

  • You are an active mapper, and are from a country which lacks suitable money transfer.
  • You are an active mapper, and paying the membership fee would present an unreasonable burden to you because of financial hardship

Please note that there might be changes after the 2019 Annual General Meeting.

Languages

You can apply in a language other than English.

Where to find more information

Please read the Fee Waiver manual on the OSM wiki, to find out how to fill the forms, the procedure and the links to the forms.

How to help

If you are interested in helping more people from your community become members of the Foundation, please:

Thank you.

Membership Working Group

The fee-waiver program has been developed under the Board’s direction by the volunteers of the Membership Working Group, with particular thanks to Joost Schouppe, Michael Spreng and Steve Friedl who have kept up the regular work with the Registrar.


Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in your language..? Please send an email to communication@osmfoundation.org 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.

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.

OpenStreetMap wins Free Software Foundation award for projects of social benefit

Kate Chapman, holding the Free Software Foundation 2018 award for projects of social benefit, together with FSF founder and president Richard Stallman, who presented the award during LibrePlanet 2019.
Copyright © 2019 Madi Muhlberg, CC-BY 4.0. Image modified.


OpenStreetMap was selected as the winner of the Free Software Foundation 2018 Award for Projects of Social Benefit. FSF founder and president Richard Stallman – who presented the award during the LibrePlanet 2019 conference in Cambridge, MA – mentioned that:

“it has been clear for decades that map data are important. Therefore we need a free collection of map data. The name OpenStreetMap doesn’t say so explicitly, but its map data is free. It is the free replacement that the Free World needs.”

The award was a custom-made piece of art: a golden-looking record that had on its label the four reasons why OpenStreetMap was nominated. It was accepted on behalf of the OpenStreetMap community by Kate Chapman, who went on to thank the Free Software Foundation and the large community of OpenStreetMap contributors. Kate is the chairperson of the OpenStreetMap Foundation – which supports the OpenStreetMap project – and she presented some key milestones of the project during her Sunday talk

“The FSF’s Award for Projects of Social Benefit honors projects that have taken the ideals of the free software movement and applied them to intentionally and significantly benefit society in other aspects of life. OpenStreetMap’s use of free software, freely shared data, and international grassroots collaboration has massively benefited not only the daily lives of individuals around the world but also saved lives through humanitarian uses like improved disaster response. We all owe OpenStreetMap contributors a debt of gratitude, and the FSF is happy to show our appreciation through this award”, said FSF executive director John Sullivan.

Nominations for the award were collected from the public, and then a committee made up primarily of previous winners voted between them. OpenStreetMap is in good company, with previous winners including Tor, Public Lab, SecureDrop, Library Freedom Project, Wikipedia, GNU Health, Creative Commons, the Internet Archive and others. More background information about the award is at https://www.fsf.org/awards/sb-award.

Thanks to all those who contribute to the OpenStreetMap project –
the award belongs to you!



2019-03-30 The post was updated to reflect that the award had on its label the four reasons why OpenStreetMap was nominated, and not the Free Software’s Four Freedoms, as initially mentioned.

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.

What is the Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promoting computer users’ right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software — particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants — and free documentation for free software.

What is LibrePlanet
LibrePlanet is an annual conference hosted by the Free Software Foundation for free software enthusiasts and anyone who cares about the intersection of technology and social justice. LibrePlanet brings together software developers, law and policy experts,activists, students, and computer users to learn skills, celebrate free software accomplishments, and face challenges to software freedom.