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OSMF Board Meeting

Location: In person, Skobbler offices, Berlin, 16 January 2015

The agenda has been partially re-ordered from the order items were discussed in
Not all writing was legible in the photographs taken, so some words are unknown


Board members

  • Kate Chapman (chair)
  • Kathleen Danielson
  • Henk Hoff
  • Dermot McNally
  • Paul Norman (minutes)
  • Frederik Ramm
  • Oliver Kühn (day two only)


  • Allen Gunn (some notes)

Not Present

  • Oliver Kühn (day one)


Administrative matters were read on day two.

Previous minutes

Discussion on if we had decided at the last meeting to require Icelandic template contract to be reviewed by the board after information had been filled out in it before it was signed. Conclusion was we had agreed that, but the decision last meeting was not unanimous.

Minutes accepted without dissent.

Circular Resolutions

Circular Resolution 2015/02

Accepted on 14 February with ultimately 4 votes in favour, 0 votes against, and 1 abstention.

Board agrees that SotM-WG can and should announce ASAP that there is no SotM-2015, and commence work on the bid process for SotM 2016

Reminder on the importance of voting or abstaining, rather than not responding. The latter makes circulars "hang around" rather than being accepted or rejected.

Voting Mechanics

Discussion on voting mechanics.

The minutes record a tally of votes but does not record who voted how, unless a board member feels how they voted needs to be on record, then how they voted is recorded. This has not been done in the current board term.

Board members cannot reveal how particular members voted except for votes recorded to a name, where it is minuted.

Concern was expressed that by board members putting their vote on the record it would reveal how other members had voted.

The majority of board members would support removing the ability to place their vote on the record as being by them. This was not a vote to change how votes are recorded.

Previous action items

Action items not read or discussed

Day 1

Spectrogram: interactive debate

See for an example of what a spectrogram is.

The OSM project is successfully implementing its mission

The OSMF is successfully implementing its mission

The OSMF board is clear on its role

I am serving effectively in my role as an OSMF board member

  • Board members with roles which have clearly defined tasks (treasurer, secretary) agree more with the statement because they can look at specific tasks they need to do (e.g. budgeting, accounting, minutes) and complete them.
  • General disagreement with the statement outside of defined roles

Techniques for keeping F2F discussion directed without getting stalled

Gunner going over techniques for not getting stalled and working productively during the F2F.

Most topics involved splitting the board into two groups (three and three on day one, three and four on day two) and having each group work on a topic, switching, one person explaining to two from the other group, then regrouping to summarize new points.

What is/is not working

This involved identifying what was not working and we wanted to discuss at the F2F. We then voted on what we thought was both something we wanted to discuss at the F2F and would be an effective use of our time. Votes are indicated with *. ^ indicates an issue someone had with the wording on the sticky note. This set the agenda for subsequent items.

The presence of an item indicates that a board member thought it was an issue, not that it is the position of the board. The goal was an exhaustive list which was narrowed down with voting.

Some notes were not fully legible in the photos, particularly those towards one side.

Is working

Not captured in photos

Don't agree

  • Untitled group 1
    • People can and do start projects to scratch their own "itch"
    • New contributors have a hard time getting started
  • Untitled group 2
    • Companies are willing to donate (relatively) large amounts of money
    • Organizations don't trust the money they donte to the OSMF will be well spent **
    • The image of the OSMF within the project is bad *^

Not working

  • Relevance/Mainstreaming
    • Too many users of data use old data sets
    • OSM using applications rarely provide a data back channel to improve the map *
  • Purpose
    • Too much mapping occurs without heeding a use case
    • We sell ourselves short by failing to demonstrate what our data can do
    • We hear "that's not what OSM is for" too often
    • "Big initiatives are difficult to make work
  • Developers!!!
    • We don't create a welcoming/supportive environment for developers
  • Scaling
    • "Completely" mapped areas are often not maintained (even if it is community-mapped) *
    • There's no cohesive, sustained effort to help new mappers get plugged into the community (problems w/ mapper retention)
    • We need at least maintenance to be feasible by unskilled mappers
    • We have not demo????ized the editing of the map
  • Participation
    • The OSMF is missing an opportunity to stimulate the project
    • We may have exhausted the supply of sophisticated mappers
    • The % of active mappers is declining *^
  • Diversity
    • The OSM community is not very culturally or geographically diverse
    • There is a lack of diversity (gender, geographic, etc) and not enough concern about that *
    • The OSMF membership is very sma,ll and euro-centric
  • Internal foundation perception
    • Developers, system admin, WG members view OSMF board as a drag *
    • Mappers do not unreservedly view OSMF as being on their side **
    • People are disinterested in OSMF work which weakens the democratic process
  • Operations (note, not operations in the sense of the OWG, but a broader sense)
    • We are not prepared to offer legal guidance to ???ive data users
    • When official support is needed there is not a process to obtain it
    • Distribution of services ?? multiple data centres is not sufficient
  • Infrastructure scaling
    • We don't have enough capability in our infrastructure to facilitate a ?? ?? growth
  • WGs
    • LWG, EWG inactive
    • Management team is mostly dead ***
    • Next stickies were grouped to each other
      • Communications working group is dead
      • OSMF is not communicating well (CWG ??? ???)
      • Getting publicity out to general media
    • State of the Map conference is in disarray **^
    • Recruitment for WGs sucks *
    • Too few people are doing too many things ***
    • There is a perception you need board or OSMF endorsement to start something
  • £/$/€
    • The OSMF does not have a sustainable fundraising model **
    • Financial stability is not ??? going forward *
  • Conduct
    • Mappers do not get the amount of support they want
  • Everyone in ??? community is not ?? with ??? *
  • Negativity/agression
    • The mailing can be toxic
  • There is an e?ss? attitude by a (minor) group within the community which ??? ???
  • Vision
    • The OSMF board is unsure of its ???/???
    • There is not a clear vision for the future of the project **
  • No vision/mission
    • OSMF's role in the face of ??? **
    • THe OSMF ??
  • Corporate
    • Next stickies were grouped to each other
      • Corporate membership is ???
      • [something about corporate membership] ***
    • Next stickies were grouped to each other
      • ???
      • ???
  • Anti Business
    • ???
    • ???
    • OSM? ?? anti-business

Roles/responsibilities for OSMF

The OSMF is/does

  • Answer press inquiries
  • Lead the charge on communicating OSM's work to the world
  • Support a diverse community
  • Deflect legal challenges to project and its people
  • Make sure OSMF membership represents project as good as possible
  • Responsible for filling in gaps left by volunteer driven community (comms, legal, new user support) - diversity
  • responsible for raising funds
  • acquire donations
  • ensuring financial sustainability of the OSM project
  • Help community to resolve conflicts
  • responsible for handing problematic community members (once escalated)
  • Providing access to OSM data

  • responsible for providing or maintaining infrastructure (legal, devops)
  • make sure core technical infrastructure is running
  • provides financial support for the maintenance of core servers
  • affirm tagging conventions, mediate tagging conflicts
  • approving local chapters and signing agreements with them
  • responsible for allocating $$ to diverse worthwhile software projects

(grants, microgrants)

  • responsible for maintaining the license of the data
  • ensure that data users comply with the license
  • protects the osm related trademarks from misuse

The OSMF is/does not

  • telling people what to map
  • decide on what gets mapped and how
  • actively bootstrap community where none exists yet
  • commit the project as a whole to agreements with corporations or governments
  • creating tools for using OSM data beyond data dumps
  • manage software projects

Roles/responsibilities for OSMF board

In parallel with Roles/responsibilities for OSMF

The OSMF board is

  • Orderliness
    • Operate AGMs, elections and the other structures required by law and our own rules
    • Ensures compliance with company and other law
  • Operational
    • Vote or abstain on circulars and other votes
    • Participate in board discussions
    • Attend meetings
    • Ensure the OSM is promoted and shown off at full potential
  • Participation
    • Defining procedures to promote participation in the OSMF
    • Responsible for a friendly environment for people to participate in OSM
    • Set core values for OSM (via consultation)
  • Arbitration
    • Appeals of Working Group decisions
  • Strategy
    • Takes active steps to safeguard project relevance, future and success
    • Defining strategic vision
    • Maintains a set of clear project goals (may be a subset of all possible goals)
    • Responsible for having a durable infrastructure
  • Delegation
    • Ensure Working Groups are meeting their responsibility
  • Finances
    • Review budget
    • Responsible for budget
  • Transparency
    • Defining procedures for transparency
    • Answer board and OSMF questions from membership

The OSMF board is/does not

  • Drive mapping in a particular direction
  • Mandate the mapping of particular things or how mapping should be done (no role in setting tags etc)
  • Provide external parties legal / technical guidance
  • Undermine the Working Groups by taking on tasks that could be advanced by them
  • Doing day-to-day business
  • Responsible for day-to-day uptime of infrastructure welfare

Disagreement on

Agreement was not reached on if these items were within the board's scope

  • Drive software development in a particular direction

2015 goals/milestones

A target was set of 3-4 items for the work plan to set a reasonable target.

Improve corporate membership program***

  1. Make sure corporate members are visible
  2. Ensure signup process is smooth (personal contact?)
  3. Write document that advertises/advocates corporate membership
  4. Distribute document/ask resellers etc. to disseminate
  5. Define potential further benefits. Continue advertising

Create fundraising plan**

  • Outline what we want to fund-raise for
  • Estimate costs of goals
  • Define how we will/will not fund-raise
  • Outline fundraising plan
  • Ask for community input
  • Board approves plan

Getting more/new people involved with OSMF work (WG)***

  • List who are active in OSMF. who were active in OSMF
  • Survey people who were active for why they quit (and why they initially became active)
  • Survey/sign up page where people can express their interest in becoming active
  • Appoint a resource “manager”
  • Have a page with the latest info & place on forum or mailing list (channels)
  • Have a buddy system

Establish an effective, fair, timely, and transparent way to reach board decisions**

  • Define expectation of good process. What is needed to make decision?
  • Set parameters of process. What is a proper proposal? (while being effective)
  • Choose method of process. (Tech)
  • Test process
  • Iterate on process

Other items not on work plan

These items were considered for the work plan, but not considered the priority of others

  • Define the future of SotM/Develop plan for SotM going forward *
  • Develop plan of increasing OSMF membership
  • Getting quarterly reports out *
  • Run a successful donation drive with OWG
  • Create po? / method for worthwhile projects to receive financial support
  • Develop path going forward to replace mission/tasks of Management Team

Core values

In parallel with 2015 goals/milestones

Day 2


Agreement to put the past behind and move forwards, so long as it does not repeat.

Reaffirmation that board decisions are not consensus

? (check other notes)

Brainstorm on board issues

Brainstorm of what is not working well or negatively impacting board effectiveness. Prioritization of topics.

State of the Map

Corporate members

Administrative staffing

Core values

  • Best Map: We want to make the best map data set of the world.
  • Free to all: OSM Data is available under a Free and Open licence to everybody.
  • Importance of Community: OSM is powered by its Community. Engage positively with the Community, be a good and respectful neighbour and assume good intent.
  • Anybody can edit: OSM works because of the power of the crowd and our goal is to enable everybody in the world to contribute. Everybody is free to edit the map and applications are encouraged to help their users improve the map.
  • Widely used: We want OSM data to be used as widely as possible.
  • Ground Truth: OSM favours objective “Ground Truth” over all other sources.
  • Extensibility: OSM wants you to map the things you care about and will ensure that you have the freedom to do so. This safeguards the accessibility of our map to diverse users with differing needs.

Where from here?

Action items

Action items were generated on both days, but are collected here in no particular order


  • Publish Day 1 F2F report
  • Draft modified corporate membership program


  • Write day 2 report


  • Let the SOTM-WG know we're defining the vision of SOTM for the OSMF
  • Report back our SOTM discussion in a way that captures the nuance of what was covered and allows for continued conversation


  • Document the 2015 goals and find board members to pursue them


  • Accept board feedback on the provisional board manual
  • Introduce our draft values to the community in a way appropriate for comment and sharing
  • Be an editor for the first cut of our core values document


  • Write up a hired (admin) help job description


  • Minutes
  • Post photos to drive
  • Draft new corp. membership list display
  • Post doodle for next meeting (Early march)