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Board members

  • Allan Mustard (Chairing)
  • Amanda McCan
  • Eugene Alvin Villar
  • Guillaume Rischard
  • Jean-Marc Liotier (joined ~30' after start)
  • Mikel Maron
  • Tobias Knerr

Officers and board

Not Present


Open to all OSMF members.

You are welcome to ask questions or to comment (via voice or on the chat) at the end of the meeting.

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Previous minutes

Circular Resolutions

2021/Res23 To appoint Andy Allan and Michael Collinson to special committee on takeover protection

This vote is to form a Special Committee* on Takeover Protection and to appoint Andy Allan and Michael Collinson to said special committee with a remit of recruiting additional members and investigating, then recommending to the Board, possible remedies to any potential threat of a hostile takeover of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The remit includes but is not limited to specific attention to paid voting as mandated by the Foundation membership at the last annual general meeting.

Accepted on 2021-07-28 with 5 votes in favour: Amanda McCann, Jean-Marc Liotier, Eugene Alvin Villar, Tobias Knerr, Allan Mustard.
2 not voted: Guillaume Rischard, Mikel Maron.

Circular by Allan Mustard.

* Mentions of special committee on the board rules of order.

6. Special committees are formed to deal with backlog and future Board action items in an expeditious manner, by studying and recommending actions on issues, or to handle a time delimited set of topics. They are not standing Committees, but deal with a delimited set of tasks.
7. A special committee is proposed and approved or rejected by the Board. A proposal includes a list of the specific tasks the special committee will undertake, and when it will report back to the Board.
8. The work of a special committee is initiated by a board member. Other board members, members of the Foundation and community may be invited to the special committee if deemed helpful and appropriate. The chair may be anyone sitting on the special committee.

2021/Res24 Approve the OpenSnowMap trademark grandfathering application and direct secretary to sign it

OpenSnowMap trademark grandfathering application (*.odt, 36 KB).

Accepted on 2021-07-27 with 6 votes in favour: Mikel Maron, Tobias Knerr, Eugene Alvin Villar, Allan Mustard, Jean-Marc Liotier (ticks all the boxes), Amanda McCann.
1 not voted: Guillaume Rischard.

Circular by Amanda McCann.

Action item updates

See Board/Action_Items.

Treasurer's report

New Bank of Ireland account

  • Michelle Heydon (accountant) activated her account with Bank of Ireland.
  • Guillaume's account not activated yet.


We have requested to transfer the remaining funds there (such as USD there) to the new Bank of Ireland account.

Question on whether we will be pursuing a case against TransferWise - by Eugene Alvin Villar

  • Unsure what we'll get from them.
  • We don't want the account there.

Suggestion: letter of complaint to ombudsman.

Question on how much time the Treasurer has worked under the contract the board granted to him to resolve the current blockage of PayPal and TransferWise accounts - by Mikel Maron

  • Not done yet.
  • More than 24 hours of work.

Adopt draft strategic plan outline

Suggestion: Re-circulation to community after adoption about final feedback.

Feedback so far: Handful of reactions, uniformly positive. No substantial changes made to the document.

On plan for next years

  • Annual revisit of the plan is not needed. The outline is good for a few years if done right. Minor tweaks possible.
  • Fully-fleshed strategic plan needed to be created with community participation, as this is just a plan outline.

Question on what is meant in the document by "avoiding opportunity costs" under "Buffer role for temporary gaps" - by Guillaume Rischard.

- Having a financial buffer reserve to cover contingent costs.
- Community members such as Jean Marc Liotier have advocated for a reserve policy.

Vote to adopt the strategic plan outline

Motion to adopt the strategic plan outline.

Accepted on 2021-07-30 with 6 votes in favour: Allan Mustard, Amanda McCann, Eugene Alvin Villar, Guillaume Rischard, Mikel Maron, Tobias Knerr.
1 not voted: Jean-Marc Liotier (not present).

Motion by Mikel Maron.

Engineering Working Group restart

Consultation of OSMF members* on proposed Engineering Working Group charter

* Become an OSMF member for free if you are an active contributor or with GBP 15 per year. All emails on the OSMF members' mailing list ("osmf-talk") are available for reading here.

Feedback: A lot of engagement in consultation.

Some of topics mentioned during feedback:

  • Transparent operation of Engineering Working Group (EWG).
  • Importance of communication.
  • Goals for the group and how they should be thought, formulated and measurement, if at all.
  • People involved beyond the core group.
  • Role of EWG regarding specific software projects and helping them to develop a vibrant contributor community vs explicitly setting directions.
  • Role of metrics, if appropriate.

Points mentioned by Mikel

  • Typical goal setting is not a natural fit for OSMF.
  • The working group should think about what they want to accomplish and how to get there and metrics are hard to fit it.
  • Current charter is in good shape - implementation.


  • Board to encourage Engineering Working Group (EWG) to develop specific plans.
  • Board to encourage participation in EWG.
  • Board to provide budget to EWG - Previous incarnations of EWG had no budget.

Concern: Easy to write policy documents - assess implementation.

On whether approval by the board is needed

  • Unclear case of whether the Engineering Working Group was still in existence.
  • Worst case scenario, the Engineering Working Group will be approved multiple times.

Board rules of order:
9.2 "Working groups are proposed by members of the Foundation. A proposal includes its purpose, scope and remit; membership criteria and governance structure; logistics of meetings, and internal and external communications; a first-year work plan and budget."
9.3 "The board considers working group proposals, and approves, rejects, or requests changes and re-submission of proposals."

Vote to approve the proposed Engineering Working Group charter

Motion to approve the proposed Engineering Working Group charter.

Accepted on 2021-07-30 with 6 votes in favour: Allan Mustard, Amanda McCann, Eugene Alvin Villar, Guillaume Rischard, Mikel Maron, Tobias Knerr.
1 not voted: Jean-Marc Liotier (not present).

Motion by Tobias Knerr.

On maintenance of OSM website

by Mikel Maron.

Suggestion: We should think resourcing, outside of the Engineering Working Group (EWG) conversation but together with the EWG.

Action item: Mikel to put something specific in writing and the topic will be discussed either during the August mid-month chat (not open to observers) or the August public board meeting.

Preparations for the 2021 board election

Jean-Marc joined ~ 30' after the start of the meeting.

Question by Marc Prioleau (guest) about how many/which board seats are open.

- 4 board seats will be open: those of Allan Mustard, Amanda McCann, Guillaume Rischard and Mikel Maron.

Vote to set the date of the 2021 board election and have future board elections on the second Saturday of December

Motion to set the date of the 2021 board election and Annual General Meeting for the 11 December 2021, with the proviso that in future years board elections will be held on the second Saturday of December.

Jean-Marc joined ~ 30' after the start of the meeting and was present during this vote.

Unanimously accepted on 2021-07-30 with 7 votes in favour: Allan Mustard, Amanda McCann, Eugene Alvin Villar, Guillaume Rischard, Jean-Marc Liotier, Mikel Maron, Tobias Knerr.

Motion by Guillaume Rischard.

On moderation of osmf-talk during election season

by Guillaume Rischard.

Reiterate on the OSMF members' mailing list (osmf-talk1) that the Membership Working Group (MWG) is in charge of its moderation until further notice through any means they find necessary. Reason: it doesn't look like the moderators group that will be assembled by the Local Chapters and Communities Working Group Moderation Subcommittee for the two mailing lists (osmf-talk and talk2) will be ready by the season for the next board election.

1 Become an OSMF member for free if you are an active contributor or with GBP 15 per year. All emails on "osmf-talk" are available for reading here.
2 Anyone can subscribe and post to the "talk" mailing list. All emails on "talk" are available for reading here.

Points mentioned during discussion

  • This might not be relevant, as we might have something in place regarding moderation by then.
  • Premature - we should let the Local Chapters and Communities Working Group Moderation Subcommittee proceed and revisit the issue in September, closer to the board election season, when we can assess the work of the subcommittee.
  • Any changes in practice will be adding to confusion.
  • Surprised by the timing of the suggestion due to the ongoing community consultation for moderation process.
  • The osmf-talk mailing list is currently moderated by the Membership Working Group (MWG) until things change.
    • Comment: Not seen moderation by the MWG.
  • The closer we get to the board election season, the less peaceful it will be.

Vote to remind the osmf-talk mailing list that the Membership Working Group is in charge of moderating the list until further notice

Remind the osmf-talk1 mailing list that the Membership Working Group (MWG) is in charge of moderating the mailing list until further notice.

Not accepted on 2021-07-30 with 3 votes against: Allan Mustard, Eugene Alvin Villar, Mikel Maron.
3 votes in favour: Amanda McCann, Guillaume Rischard, Jean-Marc Liotier.
1 abstained: Tobias Knerr.

Motion by Guillaume Rischard.

1 Become an OSMF member for free if you are an active contributor or with GBP 15 per year. All emails on "osmf-talk" are available for reading here.

Local Chapters - what's next?

  • OSMF has currently no applications to process by regional community organisations that want to become OSMF Local Chapters.
  • For some countries it is more difficult to form a legal body - maybe OSMF can help.

Invitation for applications: Becoming a Local Chapter.

Points mentioned during discussion

Suggestion: Board to reiterate to LCCWG that we are interested.

Question to Eugene Alvin Villar on whether the Philippines community is thinking of applying to become a Local Chapter soon - by Guillaume Rischard.

- No. There is bureaucracy and red tape to get legal recognition.
- Besides initial funds, the community has to think about sustaining the initiative.

Microgrants Committee update/status

A final report is going to be published by the Microgrants committee in the next 2-3 weeks with recommendations for the board and the final reports of the funded proposals.

Local Chapters and Communities Working Group Moderation Subcommittee - status update presentation

Presentation by Maggie Cawley (Local Chapters and Communities Working Group moderation subcommittee)

On moderation process draft

On etiquette guidelines revision

  • Revision draft sent to review group.
  • Plan to update draft with initial feedback by August 6, and then have a 2-3 week commenting period on the OSM wiki.

On timing

  • Duration of process depends on amount of feedback received.
  • The committee wants to make sure that it responds to every comment and take into account all feedback.
  • Two meetings last week - people stepping up.

Next step

  • Recruiting moderators - please spread the word to find people interested.

Comments and questions by board members

  • The board would like to see this process go faster but there is progress.
  • Thanks to the committee. There was an early perception that it is going to be a small group of people, which was addressed by opening the process to participation.

Question on whether it is likely to have a team of moderators for osmf-talk (OSMF members' mailing list) by Christmas - by Guillaume Rischard.

- There were some people who indicated interest for moderation on the initial call.
- Goal to have that group meet a few times before moderation starts.
- If the documents are ready by September, it is possible.

Question on providing clarity on the moderation process - by Tobias Knerr.

  • Moderators team to be formed by the moderation subcommittee - not approved by board, just like the working groups.
  • The word "convene" in the document's phrase "The Moderation Team is convened by the OSMF board" means that the moderators team has the board's blessing but not that the board is necessarily choosing the moderators.
  • Ongoing support by the board is important.

Comment that there are remaining questions about the selection of the moderators who will respect the people using the lists.

  • There are internal LCCWG moderation subcommittee guidance documents about handling conflicts of interest, disagreements and internal governance (stepping down etc).

On appeals: Appeals will come to board for discussion.

Advisory Board - monthly update

  • OSMF board and Advisory Board meeting on 10 August 2021.
  • Board enquiry about copying Advisory Board communications to Local Chapter boards (e.g. board@[local chapter]), and not only to the Local Chapter representatives (each Local Chapter has a representative on the Advisory Board).
  • Board enquiry about publishing future emails of the Advisory Board mailing list.

Mikel Maron had to disconnect ~ 60' after start of the meeting.

Monthly presentation - Sarah Hoffmann

Presentation by Sarah Hoffmann on Nominatim
- OSM wiki profile: Lonvia
- Github profile: lonvia
- Github 2020 Skyline: lonvia


  • Need to make sense of both OSM data and what users want when they type queries.
  • Not a lot of geocoding software (Nominatim, Photon, Pelias, Geoapify).

On Nominatim

  • Over 10 years involvement.
  • Took over server administration of Nominatim server used on - doing still.
  • Maintainer of Nominatim and Photon geocoder.
  • Nominatim is maintained by 2 people: Sarah and mtmail (OpenCage data) who does a lot of first-level support.
  • Using OSM servers as testing ground for development - feedback by OSM users appreciated.

On funding

  • Nominatim is used by a lot of business users - easier to find funding.
  • Feature development is easier to fund than maintenance.
  • Currently Sarah is funded by EU project NLnet.
    • they're happy to fund OSM and would like to do much more.

On difficulties

  • Developer growth: only 2 persons and finding new people is very time consuming.
    • Main developer does management instead of writing code if project grows to the point of having many developers.
  • Data growth: cannot be handled on a personal machine as a hobby developer.

On Google Summer of Code Nominatim-related projects
Google Summer of Code is a program that matches student developers with open source projects and OpenStreetMap participates with various projects.

  • Students are always outside of the OSM community, so one has to explain the intrinsics to them.
  • Students usually do not stay in the project afterwards.

Suggestion: the OSMF board could help to get people at beginner level attracted to the project.

Questions by board members

Question on whether Sarah sees a potential demand for project management and clerical work for open projects by OSMF so that people can stick to coding - by Guillaume Rischard.

- Fear that the coding goes away.
- If the main maintainers have to find and train people, then they have no time for coding and the project is dead.
- Head start in project management would help.
-- page is helpful for providing first-level support that can be done by other people.

Question on whether there was a final report regarding the funding Sarah received last year by OSMF for development work on Nominatim - by Eugene Alvin Villar.

- Final report sent to Guillaume.
- Sarah's State of the Map 2021 presentation is the result of OSMF-funded work.

Comment by Amanda McCann that it is nice to see more development.

Question on whether Sarah sees freelancing of maintainers as a scalable strategy for fuding projects for the OSM ecosystem - by Tobias Knerr.

- Advantage that Sarah can still sell features.
- Some people are willing to pay for maintenance.

Any other business


Guest comments or questions

Comment by Attila Kun (guest) that it was their first attendance and they found the meeting interesting.

Next meeting

Open board meetings take place online once a month, usually on the last Friday of the month at 14:00 UTC.

See the Monthly Board meetings page to find out where board meetings are announced and for a subscription link to have future board meetings automatically added to your calendar.

Closed session: Update on iD maintainer hiring process

The administrative assistant was asked to not be present during this session.

Secretary: "During the closed session, the board passed this resolution: “To authorize Guillaume Rischard continue talking to [CANDIDATE], and to start negotiating about price”. The motion was passed unanimously by all* board members present."

* Mikel Maron had to disconnect before the start of the closed session.