Advisory Board/Minutes/2022-04-26

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Draft minutes. Please note that these minutes do not go through a formal approval process.

The OSMF Board of Directors had a meeting at this BigBlueButton videoroom with members of the Advisory Board on 2022-04-26 at 13:00 UTC.

Participants and stats

["talk" time*] Affiliation - Name (role, notes)

* Please note that some participated also by sending text messages.

Open to all OSMF members.

Not Present

Attribution guidelines messaging and enforcement

Amanda McCann stated that she has a conflict of interest (board Conflict of Interest policy), so she is not allowed to participate in the conversation.

The attribution guidelines were approved on 2021-06-25.

Current status

  • Attribution guidelines not enforced much yet. The Licensing Working Group (LWG) sent some letters to companies with missing attribution.
    • One letter sent to Germany two weeks ago - no reply yet.
    • One letter to Navionics (Garmin subsidiary) - attribution fixed.
    • One letter to Luxemburgh - didn't reply.
  • Some of the biggest Corporate Members ignore the guidelines.

- What is your experience with the attribution guidelines?
- What works/doesn't when asking people to attribute correctly?

Current status in Germany

Feedback by Thomas Showron, OpenStreetMap Deutschland / FOSSGIS

  • Decentralised effort in reaching out to people missing or having problematic attribution. People organise in the forum or elsewhere.
  • Sometimes initial contact with people missing or having problematic attribution in Germany might come up as a little harsh - usually it's a honest mistake.

Suggestion of creating a template letter for cases of attribution violations

Suggestion (Thomas Skowron, OpenStreetMap Deutschland / FOSSGIS): Creation of a non-confrontational template letter by an OSMF Working Group, that could be suggested to the community to send in cases of missing attribution.

  • The Belgian OSM community has drafted letters to people who were not attributing OSM. The letters - drafted in a particularly nice and polite tone and called "love letters" by members of the Belgian OSM community - were prompting people to add attribution to OSM. Most cases had a successful result.
  • The Licensing Working Group (LWG) has agreed to
    • create English email templates for use by OSM community members to send to companies that do not follow the attribution guidelines and to
    • directly approach bigger companies.

Current status in Iceland

Feedback by Jóhannes Birgir Jensson, OpenStreetMap á Íslandi

  • Success in getting OSM attribution fixed by sending letters - but it's a small society.

Tool for welcoming new users


Feedback by Peter Vojtek, Freemap Slovakia

  • New OSM users are welcomed with this script which is detecting first changesets of new users. The script is also checking if the user is missing the source from the changeset and asks them to add it. '
  • The messages.


Information by Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)

On moderation

  • Mention that the Etiquette guidelines will be considered to be the default on but that any local community there can come up with local rules.
  • Expectation that many local communities won't bother with creating their local rules.

Changing the Corporate Membership fee structure

Changing the Corporate Membership fee structure was decided during the February OSMF board screen-to-screen meeting.

Corporate Memberships - current fee structure

Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board) has talked to some of the people who were involved with the initial drawing of the Corporate membership fee structure. His impression was that people thought that they have to offer something to companies to become Corporate Members, while the biggest thing that is offered is that the project runs reliably.

  • Platinum membership: Includes optional visit by a board member - no one has ever asked for it.

Are we too cheap?

Mentioned during the fundraising discussion:
The initial design of the Corporate Membership tier system was a bit hesitatnt, as OSMF was not good at channeling money, while it had offers for substantial amounts of money. Now OSMF can list things that need dedicated time and attention, and say how they will benefit the platform. (Mikel Maron - OSMF board)

Local chapter applications and commercial activities of local chapters

OSM Austria local chapter application

Other open local chapter applications

Question by Dani Waltersdorfer (OSMUS) if there are any other countries also applying at the moment.

All open local chapter applications are listed here.

Commercial activities of local chapters

Points mentioned by board members

  • OSMF has not yet clarified what is seen as acceptable commercial activities of local chapters. E.g. that you cannot be a consulting company distributing profits to its members.
  • There is a draft proposal written by Jean-Marc Liotier about acceptable commercial activities.
  • The local chapters will be consulted on the proposal.

Are there any commercial activities beyond the occasional State of the Map conference?


Feedback by Thomas Showron, OpenStreetMap Deutschland / FOSSGIS

  • FOSSGIS is a type of an organisation (like 501c3) which does not really allow commercial activities.


Feedback by Peter Vojtek, Freemap Slovakia

  • Currently "running an economic-social-behavioral experiment". If you don't pay or contribute, you get advertisements displayed on the local webportal.
  • Link shared:
  • Money is used - together with membership fees and sponsorship - to run the servers and portal (cost: several thousands per year).
  • Currently thinking of using the money also for further development of of the local webportal, which is currently done for free.


Feedback by Besfort Guri, Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova

  • FLOSSK gets grants sometimes, but not only for OSM events.

Background stated regarding commercial activities of local chapters

  • There was a local chapter application from a local company, commercially active, collecting proprietary data for clients, which liked OSM.
  • The application was declined.

Comment by Dani Waltersdorfer (OSMUS) that for certain countries it may not be as easy as black or white. They may need the money and since they're not a local chapter yet, are not able to get funds from the OSMF.

Joint fundraising and promotion with local chapters

Amanda McCann stated that she had a conflict of interest on the topic, as she is employed by Geofabrik, so she is not allowed to participate in the discussion.

On OSMF relocation

  • OSMF still in the UK but working on moving.
  • Accountant's feedback: it would be convenient to have something in Europe before the State of the Map in Italy (August 2022).

On OSMF funds and fundraising

  • Fundraising in 2020: 300.000 USD raised for the iD developer and Site Reliability Engineer positions (starting on 1st of May - blog post scheduled for the same day).
  • Current funds: in good shape but not forever.
  • Ongoing cost: 3 positions (1 employee, 2 contractors).
  • Plan: Non-annual, recurring fundraising.

Coordinate with local chapters, as organisations go to the same entities to ask for funds. Show awareness of the fundraising activities across different OSM communities, to allow companies to plan ahead and get internal approval.

Meetings of the fundraising committee

  • The first meeting to take place in the next couple of weeks.
  • Invitation to any of the local chapters that are interested in the topics, to reach to Mikel Maron ( or Dorothea ( for the scheduling of the meeting.

Feedback from local chapter representatives

  • Complicated finances: Finances from foreign sources can be complicated in some countries.
  • Package needed: You do need to have a package to offer potential donors, especially if you're asking for thousands of dollars. (Dani Waltersdorfer - OSMUS, in response to Mikel's comment about the matter).
  • Different strategies: The strategies for local chapters may be different than for the OSMF. For instance, asking for donors for a local State of the Map is different than asking for the global State of the Map. Why should X Entity give money to the global one? Why should X entity care more for the global one than X Country? (Dani Waltersdorfer - OSMUS)
  • Regulatory and legal difficulties. (Jóhannes Birgir Jensson - OSM á Íslandi)

On what is the benefit for companies

  • In companies' interest to have a stable, reliable platform.

On fundraising approach

  • Fundraising was easiest when it was about the platform.
  • Resources: Corporate people interested in OSM need arguments and material they can use to convince people internally.
  • Adjustment: The approach and wording used during fundraising has to be adjusted to the intended audience. (Dani Waltersdorfer - OSMUS)
  • Diversification: Important to also have small donations by the community, and should look into grants or maybe even the public sector.

Other points mentioned

  • The OSMF wants to avoid reducing the good will that local chapters get from donors.
  • When corporate membership tiers were designed, OSMF did not have a good way to channel money.
  • A company can use OSM data without providing any support to the project.

Suggestion on joint promotion of OSM

Providing templates for advertising material which can be translated and localised.

Meeting adjourned ~ 50' after start.