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< Board‎ | Minutes

Location: Channel "OSMF Board of Directors (Public)" on Mumble.
Date and time: Thursday, 22 August, 20:00 London time - Countdown.


Board members

  • Kate Chapman
  • Tobias Knerr
  • Heather Leson
  • Mikel Maron
  • Paul Norman
  • Frederik Ramm
  • Joost Schouppe



  • 4 guests

Open to all OSMF members.

Guests are welcome to speak at the end of the meeting on the topics that have been discussed. Please note that text messages sent on Mumble chat may not be seen by people who join using mobile apps.

Not Present


Previous minutes

Circular Resolutions


2019/Res16 Allow SotM Africa to use OSMF CiviCRM for their ticket sales, with conditions

SotM Africa requested use of OSMF CiviCRM, to make it easier to manage ticket sales for the conference. Christine (SotM WG Lead) has volunteered to help with OSMF workload for this (configure CiviCRM, debug problems, generate coupon codes, manual sign ups).

We would do this if the following conditions are met by SotM Africa

  • SotM Africa comply with trademark policy and submit signed SotM quick license.
  • Anyone from SotM Africa is granted read access to CiviCRM needs to sign an Non Disclosure Agreement.
  • We’d make clear and they’d accept responsibility for VAT issues.
  • They would need to provide an invoice to OSMF prior to bank transfers.

Accepted 2019-07-30 with 6 votes in favour: Tobias Knerr, Paul Norman, Kate Chapman, Joost Schouppe, Heather Leson, Mikel Maron
1 not voted: Frederik Ramm

Previous board discussions: 2019 June, July

2019/Res17 Approve financial hardship fee waiver 2019072910000077

The Board currently decides on membership applications for a fee waiver due to financial need on a case-by-case basis.

Accepted 2019-08-14 with 7 votes in favour: Kate Chapman, Paul Norman, Mikel Maron, Joost Schouppe, Tobias Knerr, Heather Leson, Frederik Ramm

Previous action items

The list is sortable and collapsible and contains items that did not arise from board meetings. Incomplete.

Name Date Action item and status Source Related to
Not assigned 2019-07-17 to contact Telenav about transfer of openstreetcam domain.
# Potentially also contact other parties, depending on the feedback from the LWG.
meeting LWG
Board 2019-07 to decide about the NextGIS donation. email Donation
Board 2019-07 to decide on next steps regarding an email service for OSMF. email FOSS policy
Board 2019-07 to decide on whether the team that plans a SotM in Africa can get the sponsorship amount from Facebook through OSMF. Unknown amount and whether this will be needed for more sponsors.
# Pre-requisites: Sign the SotM quick licence agreement and agree to provide invoices to OSMF prior to the money transfers.
email Regional SotMs
Board 2019-07 to provide feedback on Heather's draft email to OSM US, related to their interest in applying for LC status. email LC appl.
Board 2019-06 to decide on next steps regarding the request from a contributor to notify Facebook and remove their rights under ODbL if the violation is not fixed after 30 days of notice, as written on ODbL.
# Related talk@ discussion
email LWG
Frederik/Heather 2019-05-18 to complete and share job description for someone to prepare a pull request for acceptance against the current “openstreetmap-website” code that will implement these changes (related blogpost).
# Possibly completed.
F2F 2019 GDPR
Frederik 2019-08 to pay Gunner for 2019 Face-to-Face board meeting facilitation. F2F 2019 F2F
Frederik 2019-02-20 to create a circular about accepting the proposed budget. Once accepted, the budget will be put up on the OSMF website. meeting Budget
Frederik 2018-09-20 to update Roland Olbricht, maintainer of the Overpass API (downstream data controller). meeting GDPR
Joost/Mikel 2019-05-18 to meet to finalise plan about Microgrants.
F2F 2019 Microgrants
Joost/Mikel 2019-08 to write up a draft of the public documentation on the microgrants process, along with remaining questions and present at the August Board meeting. F2F 2019 Microgrants
Joost 2019-07 to gather the responses from the WG survey. F2F 2019 WGs
Heather 2018-12-20 to draft email to start off discussion on the osmf-talk mailing list about developing guidance for our involvement in politics/activism.
# Was Peter's. Assigned to Heather on 2018-12-20.
meeting Activism
Heather 2018-09 to draft post on OSM validation practices. email Vandalism
Heather 2018-08 to consult the Irish OSM community and the membership regarding the OpenStreetMap Ireland Local Chapter application. email LC appl.
Kate 2019-05-18 to write Administrative Assistant's job description.
# Possibly completed.
F2F 2019 Admin. Assistant
Kate 2019-05-18 Board terms/Roles/Announcement: Write announcement and communication plan. F2F 2019 Board terms
Kate 2018-12-20 to write to the Data Working Group to see if there's anything further the board can do to support them. meeting DWG
Kate 2018-09 to draft rapid response plan for when bad things happen. email Vandalism
Kate 2018-02-15 to follow up with Grant about the technical workaround of having conference announcement banners on linked to landing pages on the website. meeting OWG
Kate 2018-01-18 to update the etiquette and add a reporting plan. meeting Communication
Mikel/Paul 2019-06-19 to document the process on evaluating a (SotM) Trademark request. meeting LWG
Mikel/Paul 2018-03-15 to look at the ten most active mailing lists and see if people listed as admins are active in the moderator role, what is in place, and how they manage the lists.
# 2018-05-24 Mikel drafted email and both agreed on some modifications.
meeting Communication
Mikel 2019-07-16 Pre-SotM survey: Provide feedback on the questions and text. meeting Survey
Mikel/Joost 2019-05-18 to document working group practices, draft WG “rules of order". F2F 2019 WGs
Paul 2019-06-19 to switch limesurvey plan to annual & expert, transfer (limesurvey) ownership to OWG, billing to OSMF and give access to Mikel, Joost and Dorothea.
# The plan won't be changed for the time being.
meeting Surveys
Paul 2019-05-18 Pre-F2F2019 survey: Take feedback from to developers that is about software.
# Might have been completed.
F2F 2019 Survey
Paul 2018-04-19 to document the evaluation process of software and services used by the OSMF. meeting FOSS policy
Paul 2016-10-28 to create a page on the wiki, listing software products which are used by OSMF and are closed-source and/or are externally hosted.
# Was Peter's
meeting FOSS policy
Topics: FOSSGIS PoA request | AoA changes | Board seats | LC criteria | Microgrants | AB | Members: PoA request | LC support

Power of Attorney request from FOSSGIS

A long-term German contributor noticed signs with maps clearly based on OSM and without attribution. In the correspondence between the company that erected the signs, the company that produced the maps and the contributor in Germany, the situation escalated, with the map company threatening the OSM contributor with legal action for libel. At that point FOSSGIS (our Local Chapter in Germany) became involved.

FOSSGIS have subsequently asked for power of attorney (PoA) to be granted and have sent a document to be signed by the board. The scope of the document was then narrowed down, after a recommendation from the Licensing Working Group (updated document). It has been relayed to the board that FOSSGIS will pay any costs related to the specific case.

Related LWG discussion: 2019-08-08
Related talk-de discussion.

Lead: Frederik
  • Issued legal threats against local volunteer.
  • They admit using OSM data and insist that they don't need to attribute us.

More information

  • Tourist associations who have bundled together to put up boards with hiking routes and also provide printed maps.
  • Local area.
  • The legal action has to be against the tourist associations who put up the boards, not at the contractor who created the maps.


  • the FOSSGIS board has written them a letter.
  • would like to send them a legal notice (cease and desist) if they don't reconsider.
  • will cover the costs.
  • need ok from OSMF.

Communication avenues tried so far

  • Contact of OSMer with both involved associations, who deflected to contracted cartographer.
  • Contact of OSMer with contracted cartographer.
  • Contact of FOSSGIS board with involved associations.

Estimation of cost involved

  • Step 1 < EUR 500 - Cease and desist letter from lawyer (no court involvement). If no solution:
  • Step 2 ~ EUR 2-3,000 - Court (while no noticeable court fees, lawyer time involved as they have to build a case).


  • After letter from lawyer, have a check-in step step with FOSSGIS prior to further escalation.


Motion to give FOSSGIS Power of Attorney to send letter regarding the attribution.

Accepted with 7 votes in favour: Kate Chapman, Paul Norman, Mikel Maron, Joost Schouppe, Tobias Knerr, Heather Leson, Frederik Ramm

Action Item: Frederik to follow up with FOSSGIS.

# Written comments by OSMF members:

  • Stereo commented that there's a similar German non-profit project called that focuses on software that has received power of attorney from some developers.
  • Simon Poole commented that the tourist organisations getting their lawyers involved would be helpful.
Topics: FOSSGIS PoA request | AoA changes | Board seats | LC criteria | Microgrants | AB | Members: PoA request | LC support

Articles of Association changes for the 2019 Annual General Meeting

Threats and take-over scenarios were discussed during the 2019 Face-to-Face (F2F) meeting and the board had started working on some suggested changes in the Articles of Association (AoA), to be put to vote on the 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AoA changes aim to (amongst others):
  • Give the Membership Working Group (MWG) and the board more time to investigate any unusual signup patterns.
  • Make it less attractive for people to join just because a particular issue is on the AGM agenda.
  • Make it more difficult for an organisation to control the OSMF by having their own representatives elected to board positions.
  • Increase the membership base.
  • Streamline the board terms and term limits.

The board had notified the MWG after the F2F about what they had started working on, while nothing had been finalised at that time. The plan is to allow members to vote on these changes individually, i.e. they can reject one and accept the other if they wish.

In this meeting there will be discussion about the content. After agreement, the suggested changes will be forwarded to MWG for feedback.

Lead: Frederik

Decision: get feedback from MWG on the current draft in the next 2 weeks.

Topics: FOSSGIS PoA request | AoA changes | Board seats | LC criteria | Microgrants | AB | Members: PoA request | LC support

Board seats at the next election

The board has drafted an announcement about the seats that will be available at the next election, so that members can start thinking about nominations. The announcement might get published before the meeting.
Lead: Kate

Action item: Kate to send the announcement after the meeting.

Topics: FOSSGIS PoA request | AoA changes | Board seats | LC criteria | Microgrants | AB | Members: PoA request | LC support

Criteria to become a Local Chapter

The current minimum criteria for becoming a Local Chapter are outlined here.

In 2018 it was decided to initiate discussion on the osmf-talk mailing list about refining the criteria.

Points of discussion could be:

  • how established must a local organization be to be eligible to become a Local Chapter
  • how can we measure this as objectively as possible, and
  • how to handle applications from organizations that have a broader scope than just OSM.

A summary of the recent osmf-talk discussion will be provided.

Lead: Joost

On a tangent: creating local groups

  • Responses around allowance of using "OpenStreetMap" as part of the organisation's name without permission.

Suggestion: approach new groups offering help from OSMF and ask to agree to use registered trademarks in a proper way.

# Please see the comment by Simon Poole.

On criteria

  • LC should represent a wide variety of mappers.
  • Concern about formality of organisations.
  • Concern about organisations being a part of larger orgs. Cases like that should be an exception.
  • In Nicaragua associations have to be approved by the parliament.

LCs with geographical overlap

  • LCs don't have to be geographically exclusive, especially in countries with different ethnic groups, languages, etc.
  • If people don't feel represented by an existing LC and want to start another one, we can offer to mediate.
  • LC agreement requires consultation of the community but does not require agreement of an existing LC, if forming in the same area.
  • Requiring territorial exclusivity would require changing LC agreement and existing ones.

Irish LC application

  • The question of Ireland came up when OSM UK applied to become a LC, so community was consulted then.
  • OSM UK support the LC application of OSM Ireland (post meeting additioon).
  • Theoretically, if OSM UK disagreed, we could still go ahead and accept the OSM IE LC application.

SotM 2019

LC meeting planned.

Suggestion: share thoughts about supporting "proto"-chapters, ask for consultation and have discussion at SotM.

Microgrants update

Providing microgrants was a topic discussed extensively during the 2018 Face-to-Face board meeting, where a plan was developed. You might know similar programs from e.g. OSM-US, HOT or FOSSGIS. As a start and as a first trial we want to make a time-bound program where you can apply for microgrants until a specific date. A consultation document was shared in 2018 with the membership and the Advisory Board members, which contained an outline and top questions. There were also two microgrant-related sessions at the State of the Map 2018 conference (read some discussion points and questions).

Work on Microgrants was paused in 2018 and restarted after the 2019 F2F meeting. Currently two of the board members are working on them. The plan is to merge all the documents in a public wiki page and identify points that need to be voted on by the board. The current working document has notes on:

  • The mission statement.
  • The options for committee creation.
  • The eligibility criteria for the applications and examples of applications that would or would not pass.
  • The amount available for the first run.

The document has not been finalised yet and the board has not been asked to provide feedback or vote on parts of it.

Related board discussions: 2018 Sep, Aug, Jul, Jun, Apr, 2017 Aug, Jul, May.
Related osmf-talk discussions: 2019 Aug, 2018 Oct (asking for input)
Related board working sessions: 2019 Aug, 2018 Sep, Jul.
Related SotM 2018 session: there was a lightning talk, for community feedback

Lead: Joost

The board members need some time to provide feedback on the document.

On selection committee

Options in the draft:

  • The OSMF board (for now).
  • People can nominate themself, and the board decides who is selected to the panel.
  • The board defines “slots” and finds people to fill them: by region and/or by background (local chapters, members, expertise, board).
  • Vote by membership on representatives.

Committee positions will be for specific funding round and not permanent.


  • Committee of people who self nominate, judge applications and make recommendations to the board, which will have the final say.
  • Membership ability to voice opinions: Secretary forwarding to community forum or the applications published to the community at the same time as submitted.

# Written comment by imagico that -for reference- fossgis grants are decided by board after public consultation.

Topics: FOSSGIS PoA request | AoA changes | Board seats | LC criteria | Microgrants | AB | Members: PoA request | LC support

Advisory Board - monthly update

The Advisory Board members are separate from the OSMF board of directors - individuals are either nominated by Corporate Members of the OSMF or invited directly by the OSMF board of directors. The OSMF Board of Directors will publicly minute, in the board meeting minutes, any communication sent to, or received from, the AB members. This monthly section is reserved for this purpose. Overview.

AB related updates and board discussions:
2019 Jan, Mar, Jun, Jul

2018 Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Dec
2017 Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May (F2F), Oct

Lead: Heather
  • Notification about possibility for Local Chapters to have a table in the foyer at SotM.
  • OSM UK have received an offer from getmapping and would need support to cover this.
Topics: FOSSGIS PoA request | AoA changes | Board seats | LC criteria | Microgrants | AB | Members: PoA request | LC support

Any other business


Guest comments or questions

Comments about the FOSSGIS PoA request

Simon Poole mentioned that in German legal environment that course of action is not legally aggressive. Additionaly, that sending the letter will hopefully prompt them to get lawyers involved.

Comments about support to local groups

Simon Poole mentioned that:

  • We do offer to cover the cost and host domain names for local groups (not necessarily LCs).
  • We could expand it to include hosting for webpages.
  • It shouldn't be possible to register openstreetmap.xx domains any more before getting a notice that they need to contact OSMF.
Topics: FOSSGIS PoA request | AoA changes | Board seats | LC criteria | Microgrants | AB | Members: PoA request | LC support

Meeting end

56'29 after start of recording.

Next meeting

Meetings take place on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, at 19:00 London time, unless rescheduled.
The next monthly board meeting will be rescheduled due to SotM 2019.