From OpenStreetMap Foundation
< Board‎ | Minutes

Decisions/action items and draft minutes for some of the topics. Might be enriched.

Location: Video room
using BigBlueButton.

Please note that this video chat is not open to observers.

Date and time: Friday 13 August 2021, 14:00 UTC - Countdown


Board members

  • Allan Mustard (Chairing)
  • Amanda McCann
  • Jean-Marc Liotier
  • Mikel Maron
  • Tobias Knerr

Officers and board

Not Present

  • Eugene Alvin Villar
  • Guillaume Rischard


Not open to observers.

Request by Operations Working Group to cost share QGIS tile usage

Usual approach to extensive OSM tile usage

  • Tile usage at the QGIS level would normally result in a polite request to stop and if not followed, then enforcement.


  • QGIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).
  • Use of OSM tiles is a feature of the software.
  • Vibrant open-source community.

Does OSMF allow with explicit permission non-profits in the ecosystem to use our tiles, while other parties that go beyond certain threshold are asked to set-up their own tile servers..?

On OSMF providing services

  • Seems like a policy question by the OWG.
  • We are not considering providing services in general - more of providing a service as a favour to QGIS.

Reasons for supporting QGIS

  • QGIS usage has beneficial effect to OSM ecosystem.
  • QGIS is not a for-profit company and is a member of the open mapping ecosystem. We wouldn't do this for e.g. a government or a big non-governmental organisation.

On having a service-level agreement with QGIS

  • Charging people for use of tiles implies providing a service and drafting an implicit or explicit service-level agreement.
  • OSMF has no agreements so far for providing services.
  • We can state on the agreement what they will get regarding support.
  • OSMF will be supporting because the value of service at a level where it doesn't cost OSMF more than covering the cost of hosting, etc (~ 7500 USD/year). Cannot guarantee a service level or provide additional support.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • We can't approach QGIS as a corporation, as:
    • consumers of service are people using QGIS (individuals, non-profits, for-profit)
    • the QGIS individual developers are not responsible for the usage of the software.
  • Red line: for-profit companies using/abusing tiles.
  • Can the Operations Working Group (OWG) support the current QGIS tile usage without the requested amount..?

Next step

  • Send questions to OWG and suggest the approach that the board recommends.
  • See who to approach.

Action items

  • Mikel to draft an outline of what we would ask for, questions for OWG and suggest the approach that the board recommends.
  • Dorothea to provide notes from the meeting to Mikel.

Resourcing options for openstreetmap-website maintenance and development

Deferred to August public board meeting.

Brexit / research into EU member states as possible venues for reincorporation of OSMF

Minutes to be added.

Consider updates to Board Rules of Order regarding circulars

  • History: Circulars were first implemented because the board then was not even be able to meet to have a quorum. They were a mechanism to have urgent decisions, even without physical meetings.

Current typical use of circulars

  • Routine tasks such as the active contributor applications. For applications where discussion is needed, usually a board member comments on the board chat channel.
  • Minor updates - Getting precise the wording of the vote.
  • Time-sensitive tasks.
  • Issues that are not urgent and put to a vote without prior thorough discussion.
    • These should be discussed at board meetings. No reason to rush them.

Points mentioned during discussion

  • Concern if instead of proposing a circular discussing the issue during a board meeting will increase the board meeting time. (Amanda)
  • Having a more asynchronous workflow (voting of circulars is usually open for 1 week) might be good for diversity and people who are not always available for meetings. (Amanda)
  • We have a mix of channels. Unsure if there is a need to formalise instead of having the elasticity to find the right balance. (Jean-Marc)
  • Good to update the board rules of order to reflect what we are currently doing and agreement with proposed wording. Topics not discussed are better to be added on agenda of board meetings - also good for transparency. (Tobias)
  • Point of contention is whether the issues have been discussed and debated before being voted. (Allan)
    • Hard to determine.


  • Tobias to suggest wording change.
  • To change the board rules of order to be able to withdraw a resolution.

Wording suggestions
Remove "non-urgent " from "Circular resolutions are not used for non-urgent topics that have not been thoroughly deliberated by the Board", as not applicable to Active Contributor Membership applications, as neither urgent nor they have been deliberated in most cases.

Other points mentioned

  • One of the recent circulars was created after repeated questions from a community member. Expected/hoped to fail - now the decision is on the record.
    • Caution to be exercised before proposing circulars - do not propose circulars that you hope that will fail (Brexit mentioned).

On withdrawing circulars

  • The current board rules of order do not say anything regarding withdrawal of circulars.
  • Parliamentary procedure: motions can be withdrawn if there is at least another person that agrees with the person that proposed the motion and wants to withdraw it. Could also be done for circulars too andthe board could add that explicitly in the rules of order.

Action: Tobias to draft proposed changes to board rules of order regarding circulars.

Discussion of Mastodon support

Minutes to be added.

Decision: Discussion of Mastodon support to be added to August public board meeting.

Current status of hiring of Senior Site Reliability Engineer

Guillaume was absent.

HOT trademark grant

Has the current status been communicated to HOT?

  • Mikel chatted with Felix who is on the HOT board and wondering what is going-on.
  • The HOT board composition will change next month - might have new people to speak to, as Ben will not be rerunning.

Action: Amanda to contact the HOT board and say that the OSMF has not forgotten about the issue.

OSMF policy for “State of the Map” trademark grants for places which are LGBTQ-unsafe

Amanda is wondering what the other board members think. She also has contacted the State of the Map working group a few days ago - not received a reply yet.


  • Anything we do has to be done in an objective way - have to develop criteria about what a safe country is, there is the risk of going far.
  • Would support excluding countries where the legal environment is such that there is a risk to the health, freedom and even lives of the targeted individuals.
  • Some countries are socially/culturally hostile to such personal choices and we cannot do anything about the opinion of people.
  • Will be controversial and we have to be careful about the wording - safety issue rather than cultural opinion.
  • Turning it into guidelines and case-by-case evaluation diffuses the issue of what rules we are going to apply and softens the introduction of criteria - but at the cost of unclear rules.
  • In Cameroon people go to prison for being gay, but you can be gay in Cameroon, as long you do not make enemies/etc. Dangerous situation.


  • State of the Map (SotM) should be a safe space.
  • Hard to come with criteria - even legality is problematic:
    • Kenya: while there are laws and is not socially acceptable - the enforcement varies.
  • Suggestions
    • There should guidance in selection of location that includes criteria that the working group looks at and that proposals address on how to keep people safe in general. Should be emphasised that it is a factor in the decision of the location.
    • Evaluation of local community applications in hosting the international SotM on case-per-case basis.
    • Not suggesting to operate in objective criteria - would not work.
  • Regional and national level SotMs - we would still want safety be a top priority, we wouldn't want to disallow a local community to have events, as it will be a detriment.
  • Local context and scale matter. In many places it is illegal to map. India was such a place until recently.


  • On implementation: Putting it in the trademark requirements would work but take into account that local chapters are not required to sign that form.


  • Objective criteria should be useful.
  • The board votes on granting trademarks to regional events that want to use the marks.
  • You always have to exclude somebody, either local community or the queer people that live far away.
  • Raised the issue to start the conversation.


  • There doesn't seem to be a consensus.
  • Discussion is about guidelines, criteria, beyond protection of only LGBTQ rights, women's safety.
  • Suggestion: Board members to think about what is the appropriate course of action and discuss it on the chat. Approach needs serious thought.

OSM website Terms of Use

Minutes to be added.

Action: Amanda to email the Licensing Working Group (LWG) if they need the board to decide something.

Membership Prerequisites

The board has asked the Membership Working Group (MWG) to come up with a proposal that will be put forward to the next AGM.

Action: Tobias to remind the Membership Working Group about the pending proposal regarding membership prerequisites and set a deadline.

St John's Innovation centre request for documents

Action: The board to email the requested documents to Dorothea.

FOSS policy special committee

Action: Tobias to talk with the FOSS policy special committee and ask them what they want to happen in the future.

15th Annual General Meeting - pending tasks

Translations of binding legal texts

Suggested by Guillaume Rischard after the August Licensing Working Group meeting.

The issue was probably raised because there are translations of terms of use, some are marked as unofficial, some are not.

Decision: Deferred for August public board meeting.

Next meeting

Public board meeting on Friday 27 August 2021, 14:00 UTC: Time in your timezone -- Countdown - Video room