From OpenStreetMap Foundation
< Board‎ | Minutes

Location: Mumble, Tuesday 2017-03-21, 20:00 London time


Board members

  • Kate Chapman
  • Martijn van Exel
  • Mikel Maron
  • Paul Norman
  • Frederik Ramm
  • Ilya Zverev


Open to all members

Not Present

  • Peter Barth


Previous minutes

Circular Resolutions

2017/1: Give green light to server purchase

2017/1: Give green light to server purchase
We have informal confirmation that we will ‘100%’ get the previously discussed grant. Given the need for a quick decision ahead of expected rising component costs, do we feel confident to give OWG the go-ahead to make the purchase?
Accepted 2017-03-09 with ultimately 7 votes in favour

Note: The grant is for operations, that is, for new hardware and was discussed in the closed portions of previous board meetings (2017-01-17, 2016-12-16). More will be disclosed when the paperwork is finished.

2017/2: Accept current budget for 2017

2017/2: Accept current budget for 2017
Suggestion is to accept and publish the budget as prepared and sent round in the 2017-03-03 (OSMF board) email.
Accepted 2017-03-14 with ultimately 5 votes in favour

Previous action items

2016-05-28: Martijn to find someone to work with to distill action items and next steps for diversity objectives
2016-05-28: Martijn/Kate to draft diversity policy
2016-05-28: Ilya to compile a draft of an OSMF monthly newsletter from WG & board minutes
2016-08-19: Mikel to review his notes for an agenda/list of topics for the last F2F
2016-08-19: Mikel to put LC discussion notes on the board wiki
2016-05-28: Frederik/Paul to prepare transparency doc from transparency session
2016-08-19: Mikel to send round bullet points on diversity policy proposal
2016-08-19: Ilya to look at implementing means for members to view the membership register
2016-09-25: Martijn to talk to Grant about doing recurrent donations during membership sign-up and/or renewal
2016-09-25: Martijn to notify board when US has done policy on smaller grants
2016-09-25: Mikel to find diversity text
2016-10-28: Peter to create a page on the wiki, listing software products which are used by OSMF and aren't open-source
2016-12-16: Frederik to incorporate discussion points about Advisory Board and continue the discussion on the board mailing list (done)
2017-02-21: Paul to separate the SotM net profit discussion items and start the follow-up discussions
2017-02-21: Frederik will start a circular about the 2017 budget (done)

Minutes' topics: F2F | AB | WG reports | LWG remit | SotM | Niantic | Email via API

Face-to-Face Meeting

The board will have a face-to-face meeting in May. Discussion about arrangements.
Lead: Mikel

Date: May 20-21, 2017
Place: Amsterdam, at the same venue as in 2016
Logistics: Everyone will arrange their own flights/accommodation and there are two available bedrooms in the venue that can be used from Friday to Monday.

Last year's F2F was good but there was a bit of struggle with the follow-up, so some of the challenges are practical. Facilitation might or might not be needed.

Possible facilitation from host

Host is experienced, leading a lot of NGOs. He proposed:

  • Script agenda out in detail in terms to what the board wants out of the meeting and which topics could lead to deadlock.
  • Offered to act as a facilitator - doesn't mean that he'd be there all the time.
  • Start with talking to everyone individually, to see where everyone stands.

Suggestion: Involve him with agenda preparation and then answer if we need on-site facilitation.
Action item: Paul and Mikel to join next call of Martijn with the host.

Possible participation or meeting other people

Participation of other people (i.e. from WGs or local community) was suggested.
Decision: Organising a meeting with more people at next SotM will be discussed over the board e-mail.
Action item: Martijn to arrange event with the local community.

Possible participation of Admin. Assistant

It was noted that in previous F2Fs it was difficult to simultaneously take notes and to fully participate at the meeting.
Suggestion: The board is positive on Admin. Assistant helping at the F2F, if available.

Minutes' topics: F2F | AB | WG reports | LWG remit | SotM | Niantic | Email via API

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is an entity separate from the OSMF board of directors, composed of individuals - either nominated by corporate members of the OSMF or invited directly by the OSMF board of directors. Notes from previous discussions: Feb 2017, Jan 2017 and Dec 2016.
Lead: Martijn


Next steps:

  • Reach out to eligible organisations and Local Chapters to ask for representatives (participation is not required).
  • Devise process for possibly nominating people that are not part of an eligible organisation.

Suggestion: The discussion about the last point could start offline.

Action items:

  • Paul to reach to LCs about sending representatives to the Advisory Board.
  • Martijn and Paul to draft and finalise message to eligible organisations and LCs about AB representatives.
  • Martijn and Dorothea to send messages to Corporate Members.
Minutes' topics: F2F | AB | WG reports | LWG remit | SotM | Niantic | Email via API

Working Group reporting / transparency

Continuation of the discussion that took place during the previous board meeting.
Lead: Mikel

Hackpad has been created with:

  • Some issues identified
  • Potential actions about public reporting
  • Communication between board and WGs
  • WG membership requirements

Action item: Mikel to send hackpad link to the board

WG definition and formation

Theoretical scenario: If the board sets up policies that we expect WGs to follow and a group comes together for a specific aim, from which point onwards will they have to follow policies (i.e. about reporting)?

  • There is no existing group where this is ambiguous.
  • Historically, the Operations team pre-dated the concept of WGs and was renamed after.
  • We have a formal process (on paper) for WG formation, where the group proposes an initial scope which gets approved. This process originated from the time of the Management team.

Action item: Mikel to find process for WG formation from Management team minutes.

WG Reporting

The reporting issue was highlighted and discussed in the previous board meeting: for many WGs (and for the board) most stuff gets dealt with asynchronously ouotside of meetings and is not covered by minutes.

Suggestion: Write monthly reports, like the Operations WG does.

Minutes' topics: F2F | AB | WG reports | LWG remit | SotM | Niantic | Email via API

LWG remit and activities documents

The Licensing Working Group has contacted the board about approval or suggestion of changes to updated remit and activities documents. The difference to the old 2013 document, that is still on the website, is mainly that the LWG has split the single documents into a long term stable part and an annual planned activities document that matches what the LWG proposed as a budget.
Lead: Peter (absent)

Action item: Martijn to create a circular about LWG remit and activities documents.

Minutes' topics: F2F | AB | WG reports | LWG remit | SotM | Niantic | Email via API

SotM Sponsorship challenges

Rob Nickerson (State of the Map coordinator) notified the board that sponsorship is more challenging this year as there is less time, fewer people, frequent waiting periods as companies make decisions and other SotM and OSM donation drives.
Lead: Kate

The board could help in SotM sponsorship to show how important SotM is for the Foundation and that it has responsibility in part for the financial aspects. In addition, e-mails from board members might have a little more cachet.

Suggestion of sponsors from the Japanese team

In the past SotM in Tokyo, the Japanese team has come up with some high-level sponsors which the board members didn't even know existed. The current Japanese team might have some suggestions.
Post-meeting addition: The Japanese SotM2017 team has indeed made suggestions for local sponsors.

Other points

  • The SotM2017 team members in Japan are not able to join the WG calls for time reasons.
  • Local sponsors will be in remit of the local group.
  • Communication with the Japanese team is informal and might need more structure. In addition there is also the language barrier.
  • Rob is looking to document the processes for SotM, as he will probably step-down next year but will be around to help.
  • Need for more well defined roles and responsibilities.
  • Kate offered to talk to people from OSM-Japan.

Suggestion: Discussion at F2F meeting about medium term plan to make sure SotM has the leadership it needs.

Decision: Every board member will e-mail 2-3 potential sponsors.

Action items:

  • Kate to reply to Rob.
  • Mikel to get list of potential sponsors in order, together with Rob.
Minutes' topics: F2F | AB | WG reports | LWG remit | SotM | Niantic | Email via API

Niantic contact

There has been a flurry of new map editing activity from “Pokemon Go” players. The board is taking steps to ensure that there are official communication channels open between Pokemon Go and the OpenStreetMap community.
Lead: Peter (absent)

It's looking difficult to get connected to Niantic and it hasn't been possible to reach anyone yet. The board will keep trying.

Minutes' topics: F2F | AB | WG reports | LWG remit | SotM | Niantic | Email via API

E-mail address through API

There has been a proposal for our API to include a user's e-mail address in its /user/details response (Pull request and discussion). The LWG, when contacted to verify that implementation is ok with regard to privacy, recommended that this issue needs a board decision, as such a major change in policy and in risk levels, is neither a legal, nor a technical/operational question.
Lead: Ilya
  • Currently, OSM users can sign-up/sign-in to the OSM website via third party authentication, using their Google/Facebook/WindowsLive/Github/Wikipedia profiles. These services would then provide an e-mail via their profiles, which can be used on OSM.
  • The suggested change will have the OSM user check a box saying s/he is ok to provide the e-mail address that s/he has given to OSM, to 3rd party applications.
  • The pull request was made from current board member Ilya Zverev, who is affiliated with

Question about conflict of interest

Asked about whether there could be a conflict of interest, Ilya answered that:

  • The task is indirectly related to his work.
  • The pull request was made as a possible improvement, as he had encountered a number of OSM-related websites that use OSM notifications but ask for e-mail address because they don't have it.
  • The pull request was not made for but at a considerable time before he came to know that the company was making Passport.

Legal aspects

  • According to the LWG, the bigger question is the policy, not the legal aspect.
  • As the suggested change requires explicit consent from the user for giving her/his e-mail addresses, the LWG has said that the issue is not in their remit.
  • If this pull request was going to be implemented, then the LWG might need to do a number of restrictions and probably review contacts with companies such as Google and Facebook about sharing.

Concerns about providing handling of users

  • It was mentioned that many people in public discussions have expressed concerns and that this is not an issue about providing e-mail addresses, but about whether we are willing to give away the handling of the OSM users.
  • There is fear that implementation of the suggested change might provide to companies/organisations/people who write mobile editors a way to shield the users to a large degree, by funnelling them through a quick and easy sign-up to OSM, without them knowing they are with OSM: The users will give their e-mail addresses to whoever signed them up with OSM and then the company/organisation could write messages such as "welcome to our community of users". OSM messages could be sent but they could be easily drained.
  • It was noted that this issue is something that is present even today, with users that believe they are a part of the community and not of OSM.
  • Some people support the view that the issue is not so important as long as people contribute good data.

OSM website as a communication platform

  • There has been some discussion about an API to send messages through the OSM website (Pull request discussion). If available, and authorised by the user, then the need to get email addresses would be alleviated, as could be done through API.
  • Various ideas about communicating with the users - current work on sending welcome messages.
  • The above points might belong to a related and separate discussion.

Other point
There should be a way that apps that connect through OSM can communicate with users.

Suggestion: If there is concern about spam or abuse, a policy could be defined for use of this permission, where someone that requests this permission is asked to document on the wiki so that there's good visibility.

Points by Ilya

  • Adding an e-mail field in user details API won't make users forget that they registered to OSM, as you have to be registered to provide access to e-mail address.
  • The issue concerns to a small degree but a lot of other map services could use the e-mail address.
  • Personal belief that this is a privacy policy issue and privacy policy could be adjusted to explain that 3rd parties can get users' e-mail addresses.

Decision: The discussion will continue over e-mail (board@).

Minutes' topics: F2F | AB | WG reports | LWG remit | SotM | Niantic | Email via API

Closed portion of meeting

The OSMF board will have a closed session portion of the meeting.

Admin. Assistant's contract

The OSMF board had a discussion about the Admin. Assistant's contract, which has recently ended.
Lead: Kate

Next meeting

Tuesday, 2017-04-18 at 20:00 London time

Meetings are recurring on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, at 20:00 London time, unless rescheduled.

Meeting End