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< Board‎ | Minutes

Location: Mumble, Tuesday 2017-04-18, 20:00 London time


Board members

  • Peter Barth
  • Kate Chapman
  • Martijn van Exel
  • Paul Norman
  • Frederik Ramm


Open to all members

Not Present

  • Mikel Maron
  • Ilya Zverev


Previous minutes

Circular Resolutions

2017/3: LWG remit / activities

2017/3: LWG remit / activities
As discussed in the 2017/03 board meeting, please indicate your (dis)approval of the new LWG remit / activities docs.
Accepted 2017-04-13 with 6 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 Working Group (WG) & board minutes
2016-08-19: Mikel to review his notes for an agenda/list of topics for the last Face-2-Face (F2F)
2016-08-19: Mikel to put Local Chapters' (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 (done)
2016-09-25: Martijn to notify board when US has done policy on smaller grants
2016-09-25: Mikel to find diversity text (removed by request)
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 State of the Map (SotM) net profit discussion items and start the follow-up discussions
2017-03-21: Paul and Mikel to join next call of Martijn with the F2F host
2017-03-21: Martijn to arrange event during F2F with the local community at Amsterdam (done)
2017-03-21: Paul to reach to LCs about sending representatives to the Advisory Board
2017-03-21: Martijn and Paul to draft and finalise message to eligible organisations and LCs about AB representatives (done)
2017-03-21: Martijn and Dorothea to send messages about AB representatives to Gold Corporate Members (done)
2017-03-21: Mikel to send link of hackpad about WG transparency to the board (done)
2017-03-21: Mikel to find process for WG formation from Management team minutes
2017-03-21: Martijn to create a circular about LWG remit and activities documents (done)
2017-03-21: Kate to reply to Rob's e-mail about SotM Sponsorship challenges (done)
2017-03-21: Mikel to get list of SotM potential sponsors in order, together with Rob

Minutes' topics: Email | Contract | F2F | AB | Term limits | AOB | CMP policy | Closed

Please note that the initial discussion related to the section "Corporate Map Editing", is under the section Corporate map editing policy.

Email hosting

Discussion about moving e-mail hosting back to OSMF/OWG. This was proposed by Peter to the board mailing list, for reasons such as privacy, avoiding "lock-in" and practical issues, as in cases where e-mails from external persons get rejected by Google.
Lead: Peter

E-mails to are currently hosted by Google.

Reasons for moving away from Google

  • Privacy. Private e-mails to DWG and the board can be read by Google.
  • Lock-in issue.
  • Missing some e-mails lately at DWG and CWG.

Required features

G. offers several features beyond simple e-mail. There was agreement to move away from G., if we could find replication and maintenance of the following features:

  • Group management. Currently people can set-up groups and become group administrators without having to be sys-admins.
  • Spam protection - which is sometimes problematic with G.
  • Web interface - otherwise people will forward e-mails to their personal G. account, defeating the privacy point.
  • Additionally, e-mails in account history must be retained.

Self-hosting related

  • We already have mail on with mailing lists, albeit without things like group admins.
  • Maintenance should be considered, which sounds like a lot of work.

Option besides self-hosting

  • There is also the option to use another provider that fits with our values and ethos (Fastmail was mentioned in the discussion).

People affected by a potential move

The particular topic affects, in addition to the board, Working Groups and future persons that might join and not have a well working e-mail arrangement.

Action item: Peter to make a list of requirements for self-hosting and discuss them with the OWG. If it's too much work for OWG to set-up and maintain, then Peter to enquire for other providers.

Minutes' topics: Email | Contract | F2F | AB | Term limits | AOB | CMP policy | Closed

Administrative Assistant's contract

This section was proposed by Peter to the board mailing list and concerns transparency to the membership.
Lead: Martijn

Contract duration

The new contract (not signed yet) discussed during the previous meeting, was made for one year instead of six months.

Voting related

A circular was created for voting on the new contract. Currently, voting on circulars via Loomio is visible to the Administrative assistant, so it was suggested holding the vote towards the end of the closed part of this meeting, when the Administrative Assistant would leave.

Transparency to the membership

There was consensus that Peter's concerns about transparency were valid, as it has not yet been explained to the membership what the work of the Administrative Assistant is and in the ways in which it is beneficial to the board.

In light of that, it was suggested to reduce the duration of the contract to half a year, in order for the board to set the goal of making things transparent to the membership - something that might be neglected if the contract is prolonged for one year.

It was also commented that the contract and the transparency are two different issues. In addition, that in the previous meeting there was agreement between six of the board members about the course of action (please note that no voting had taken place) and that the contract has already been offered with the new terms.

Decision: The board will hold a vote at the closed section of this meeting on accepting the contract with the one year duration.

Question from Simon Poole

Has time been allocated for Dorothea to assist Working Groups (minutes for example)?

Answer: Currently no, but it might change in the future and it's worth discussing. Some time will be allocated for the SotM WG, that will be paid from the SotM WG budget. If a WG wants some of the time allocated to them, they can send a request saying what they want the time for and for how many hours per week that would be - because the answer might be different if the WG wants just one hour per week, compared to ten hours per week to do something more substantial.

Minutes' topics: Email | Contract | F2F | AB | Term limits | AOB | CMP policy | Closed

Face-to-Face Meeting (Update)

Arrangements for the upcoming F2F board meeting (May 20-21, Amsterdam). Notes from previous discussions: Mar 2017, Jan 2017.
Lead: Martijn
  • Practical arrangements: almost completed.
  • Agenda creation: To be done as last year, where, as a starting point, every board member is inquired individually about potential topics for discussion.
  • Follow-up improvement: Focus should be on improving the quality of the follow-up. Last year there was significant progress on some points, while some were left without actionable follow-up.

Action Item: Martijn to follow-up with Paul regarding joining call with F2F host.

Minutes' topics: Email | Contract | F2F | AB | Term limits | AOB | CMP policy | Closed

Advisory Board (Update)

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: Mar 2017, Feb 2017, Jan 2017 and Dec 2016.
Lead: Martijn
  • A mailing list has been set-up, though currently on
  • E-mails have been sent to eligible Gold Corporate Members about proposing representatives to sit on the Advisory Board on their behalf.
  • The text that will be sent to Local Chapters regarding AB representatives has been written.
Minutes' topics: Email | Contract | F2F | AB | Term limits | AOB | CMP policy | Closed

Term limits for board members

Discussion about defining term limits and total term lengths for board members. This was proposed by Frederik to the board mailing list, as currently, when members elect someone, it is not clear for how long the person is elected (our rules say that each election, the two longest-serving members must step down).
Lead: Frederik

Many members seem to want to implement some term limits, but when the issue was previously put to vote, the majority of the membership was not enough to change the Articles of Association.

Points in favour

  • You don't want people who basically make themselves indispensable -because they've been at the board for ages and they know how everything works while new members don't- so that they get elected time and time again.
  • Danger of board fossilisation.

Points against

  • A lot of boards work very well and benefit from members that are there for a long time, they are there because they get a mandate from the membership.
  • You don't want to kick people out while they are useful.


Maybe consider a system with fixed terms.

Points on fixed terms

Beneficial for board members to know for how long they have been voted.

Technical points

  • Switching all the board at once might be problematic and there should be a way to always switch only parts of the board. It is a hard time getting started and it helps to have someone experienced on the board already - any change should reflect this.
  • Doubts were expressed if there is a practical way to implement term limits while preventing situations where all of the seats are coming up in one year and have a full board of people that resign early.

Action item: Frederik to send e-mail to osmf-talk@ and ask opinions on board term limits (this has been done).

Minutes' topics: Email | Contract | F2F | AB | Term limits | AOB | CMP policy | Closed

Any other business

Announcement of board meetings on OSM wiki calendar

  • There were no objections on adding board meetings to the OSM wiki calendar.
  • It should be clear that meetings are open to OSMF members and perhaps include instructions of how to join with Mumble.

Action item: Peter to create page on OSM wiki regarding board meetings that can be linked from the calendar.

Minutes' topics: Email | Contract | F2F | AB | Term limits | AOB | CMP policy | Closed

Corporate map editing policy

This is related to the topic "Corporate Map Editing" which was initially set on the agenda to be discussed in the closed section, and prompted some clarification requests on the osmf-talk mailing list. Discussion at the beginning of the meeting led to the decision to briefly discuss Corporate map editing policy in the open section.
Lead: Frederik

Discussion at the beginning of the meeting
It was noted that Frederik had requested for the topic to be discussed in the open part, but there were some doubts whether the board would be able to discuss the general elements of corporate map editing in the open section, without referring to the particular elements of the case at hand. It was mentioned that the topic was initially set to be in the closed section, with the plan of minuting anything noticeable that would come out of that. Paul asked for the topic to be discussed in the open section, as the particulars of the case at hand are in the scope of the Data Working Group and the board shouldn't spend time on those. Finally, it was decided to also have a discussion in the open section about Corporate map editing policy and -as the board had a plan to intervene and send a message to the company behind the organised map editing- to discuss the details about communication in the closed section.

Notes about policy making

  • Policy making has been delegated.
  • Need to support the ability of DWG to start consulting such a policy, as previously there was the feeling that there was lack of support for the DWG doing that part of its mandate.

Decision: Board asks DWG to work on a policy, in a manner that it has sufficient community input, and before anything is decided to come back to the board.

Minutes' topics: Email | Contract | F2F | AB | Term limits | AOB | CMP policy | Closed

Closed portion of meeting

Corporate map editing - Communication with the company behind the coastline fixing project

This discussion is related to the organised (1, 2) map editing behind the coastline fixing project (discovered by Imagico), that resulted in degradation of data quality. The board has been contacted by the company that employs people who do these edits, but the board cannot (at least now) disclose its name. The DWG has been informed, and its up to them what to do with these people and their edits. The topic "Corporate Map Editing" was initially set on the agenda to be discussed in the closed section without this description, which prompted some clarification requests on the osmf-talk mailing list. The board has a plan to intervene and send a message to the company behind the organised map editing, and in the closed section it will discuss the communication details.
Lead: Frederik

Voting on Administrative Assistant's contract

The board decided to hold a vote at the closed section of this meeting on accepting the Administrative Assistant's contract with the one year duration that was discussed previously.
Accepted with the majority of the votes.
Minutes' topics: Email | Contract | F2F | AB | Term limits | AOB | CMP policy | Closed

Next meeting

Rescheduled. New date and time: Tuesday, 9th of May, 2017 at 20:00 London time. There will also be an announcement on osmf-talk.

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

Meeting end