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Draft minutes.

Please note that mid-month board chats are not open to observers and that these minutes do not go through a formal approval process.

Location: Video room at
using BigBlueButton.

Date and time: Thursday, 13 October 2022 - Countdown


Board members

  • Amanda McCann
  • Eugene Alvin Villar
  • Guillaume Rischard (Chairing)
  • Jean-Marc Liotier
  • Mikel Maron (had to disconnect 90' after start)
  • Roland Olbricht (had to disconnect 72' after start)
  • Tobias Knerr

Officers and board

Minutes by Dorothea Kazazi.

Not Present


Not open to observers.

Membership prerequisites survey

  • Membership feedback: The board has asked the membership for feedback on the draft of the survey.
  • Timing: Better to send the survey soon, so that it is not close to the election season.
  • Intended recipients: OSMF members.
  • Duration of survey: 1 week.
  • Three-question draft survey added to LimeSurvey by Tobias.

On results

  • Communicate clearly that the results will be shared with the community but that they are not binding - they will inform the board's decision.
  • Give freedom to the next board on making decisions based on the survey result.


  • Wording: Correct "16 days" to "15 days". (post meeting addition: the wording with 16 days is correct)
  • Preamble: Draft a preamble to the survey, to provide the context that the survey was arranged this way so that the board can revert the decision without overriding an Annual General Meeting (AGM) decision.

Threshold of contributions for voting

  • What is not captured by the survey is asking about a minimum threshold of contribution days to be eligible to vote.
    • Including this to the survey might be problematic.


  • Requirement of at least 15 days of contributions to become an OSMF member: It is legally enforced but the Membership Working Group (MWG) has not made changes to the online form for membership sign-ups yet.
  • We know a CiviCRM consultant who worked for the Membership Working Group and could help to configure the CiviCRM check during online registration of new members.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • We might need an Annual General Meeting if we are to implement a threshold for voting.
  • We probably won't get a majority for some of the questions, since they have many options.

Grant request by the Center for Urban Justice (ZUG) in Luxembourg

Conflict of interest

Guillaume Rischard self-declared having a Conflict of Interest (OSMF board's policy on Conflict of Interest), as:

  • Good friends, helps out with their legal work.
  • He suggested that ZUG should ask for help from different non-profits, including OSMF, and offered to put the crossings (see the background section above) to OSM, if they provide the data to him.

Guillaume was asked to take part in the discussion.

Information provided on ZUG

  • Profile: Passionate, care about freedom of information, opening up data and the effect on the society.
  • Track-record: new non-profit, but quite effective to pressuring the city to get things done.
  • Suing the City of Luxembourg, which claims that it doesn't have to publish its geo-databases, while the law says otherwise.

On the case providing precedent for releasing open data in Luxembourg or other EU countries

This case might help by providing legal precedent for releasing open data in Luxembourg or other EU countries.


  • Obligation for authorities to publish the data.
  • No case of open data and databases, where the database constitutes a document and freedom of information law.
  • The Luxembourg department of transportation and other administrations also have geo-data which they are not publishing.


  • Several conflicts, where local authorities were asked to publish data.
  • When local governments do not want to publish, they publish data in bad formats in dead portals.
  • There was a case where it was decided that tax authority had to publish the source code of its tax calculator software (Related 2016 article).

On licence of data, if released

Question whether the data, if released, would be published under an open licence, compatible to OSM, as the group is mostly focused on government transparency and not necessarily open licensing..

> The licence would be OSM compatible. Legal requirement to not put restrictions on usage. Usually published under CC0.

On precedent of involvement of OSM/OSMF with such cases

  • OSM France (OSMF's Local Chapter in France) never got directly involved with similar cases.
  • OSMF: No precedent for OSMF providing financial support to release open data.

On OSMF providing money to organisations

Other than the microgrants, the OSMF has not really provided grants of this nature to other organisations.

On financial requests

  • Might lead to other organisations asking money from OSMF for similar things.
    • This might be good.
  • Some community members in Poland wanted money for hosting a tile server and were advised to contact OSMF, but they didn't believe they would get the money so they did not contact the board.
  • OSM UK (OSMF's Local Chapter in UK) has asked for financial support in the past.
  • The board recently received another request for financial support for a drone.
    • Could be a microgrant application.

Other points during discussion

  • Noble cause and they have our moral support.
  • Not within OSMF's mandate.
    • Article 3.1 of the Articles of Association (AoA): "The Foundation is established for the purposes listed below: (1) encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data".


  • Support by filing an amicus brief, saying that OSMF supports ZUG's action.
    • Amicus briefs are usually in the US court system - not applicable to this case.
  • Support via communication, e.g. amplifying the appeal for donations.
  • Provide financial support at the requested or at lower level.

Action item: The Secretary to start a circular for a lower amount of money than the requested one (EUR 1000 instead of EUR 3000). (Post-meeting addition: Circular approved on 2022-10-20)

Suggested change to election rules to require outgoing board members to announce candidacy earlier

(Suggested by Amanda McCann)

Wording proposed via email for change to the OSMF board Rules of Order: "Board members that intend to nominate themselves for re-election in the election in which their term elapses, will indicate this to the board and the membership latest one week before the nomination period commences."

This topic was discussed together with the topic below.

Board elections

It is good form for retiring board members that could be election candidates, to inform the community about their election plans, so that potential candidates can decide if they want to run. The announcement ideally should be well in advance, and before the board candidacy period opens.

  • It is easier to convince people to run, if they know there is a realistic chance to get on the board (board candidates who stand for re-election, are usually re-elected).
  • One of the board members has explicitly reached out to a few women in OSM community and offered mentorship/internship. Also talking with a friend involved with gender equality for suggestions.
  • Not fair to outgoing board members to have to make an announcement 2 days before the self-nomination period for board candidacy opens.


  • Mandate the pre-announcement of board members' plans with a change via an Annual General Meeting (AGM) vote. Announcement before the nomination period starts.
    • Change could be done by change to the board rules of order.
    • If voted, it should be made applicable from next year onward.
  • Board members eligible to be board candidates again, should not be able to rerun if they have not announced their board candidacy plans by a certain date before the self-nomination period for members opens.
    • Preventing a member to run needs an Annual General Meeting vote by the OSMF membership.

On board members' announced candidacy plans being binding or not

  • Wording should be binding, but there should be an escape clause (e.g. if the rest of the board members allow the change of plans).
  • Wording should not be binding, as many factors can change in the last minute and it would be adding unnecessary pressure. We expect candidates to be responsible persons and not try to game the system.
    • Being non-binding would make it easier to announce candidacy plans early.
    • There was a board candidacy in the past, who self-nominated themselves literally at the last minute.
  • The project has fared extremely well with having as few binding rules as possible. Profited in tagging/keeping the foundation small/etc.


Tobias Knerr and Jean-Marc Liotier do not plan to stand for reelection.

Other points mentioned during discussion

Logan McGovern from the US has indicated that he will be a board candidate.

State of the Map 2023

The board knows the decision of the State of the Map organising committee (SotM WG) about the next State of the Map (SotM) conference.

One of the board members talked with SotM-WG members during the September Karlsruhe hackweekend and had some feedback about their communications with the working group.

On current status

  • Unfortunate situation, but sometimes you need to say no.
  • Preparing a SotM bid requires a lot of work - it might be good for the volunteers of the organising team to take a break.
  • The announcement of the SotM-WG will be published soon. The bidding teams have already been informed.

On bid from Cameroon

We were lucky to have a viably operational bid from Cameroon - it requires a lot of work.

On bid from Kosovo

Strong community that has a lot of support.

Related to SotM safety policy

State of the Map safety policy - Background and adoption here.

  • People who put the Cameroon bid in, were also involved in the discussion about the SotM safety policy drafted by the board.
  • It's good that the board made a decision last year (after drafting and voting on the SotM safety policy), when such a case was just a theoretical scenario, rather than this year.

On SotM Africa in Cameroon

  • Given that the Cameroon team plans to hold SotM Africa 2023 in Cameroon, the discussion implies that we wouldn't grant them a license to use the SotM trademark (See: SotM quick licence)
  • The trademark license for a regional conference has a different condition than the global conference.
  • The SotM safety policy allows SotM Africa in Cameroon - there is a different standard than the international SotM. They need to provide a safety assessment.

Wording from the SotM safety policy was cited: "Local and regional State of the Map conferences should do everything reasonably possible, in their local context, to ensure the safety of all segments of the population. It is recognized that in some regions and locations safety cannot be guaranteed for all vulnerable groups, and that this should not prevent a local or regional SotM from being held. Applications for trademark licenses should include a safety assessment.

On diversity

  • Diversity means different things, depending on who you talk with.
  • Two approaches:
    • Sum the pros and cons. In tech, the trade-off approach is usually taken.
    • Set a minimum standard - good that the SotM safety policy follows this.


  • The board needs to reflect how to work with Working Groups (WGs) and allow them the space to make decisions and have responsibility. This is a continuous issue.
  • Have the international SotM conference every two years, as it will reduce the stress and can support regional SotM conferences.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • Mikel was mostly involved with SotM sponsorships, has not been regularly attended the planning meetings, sees the emails but does not participate.
  • There are other countries in Africa, where it is easier to have the conference.
  • Unclear how much energy the team might be bringing next year.

Update on fundraising workshop

  • Full report with learnings and resources to be shared with the board and the Finance Committee.
  • Guillaume Rischard, Mikel Maron and Roland Olbricht had 8-9 of 11 hourly sessions with AspirationTech.

Topics covered during the fundraising sessions

  • Power dynamics in fundraising
  • Emotional dynamics of requesting funds
  • Building donor pipeline
  • Communication during a campaign and intentionality around it
  • Tactics

Other points mentioned

  • Some scenarios will not be encountered by us - more likely with organisations like Mozilla.
  • Targets: not solid targets yet. One to a few million per year.

Roland intents to write a wish-list of items for prospective donors and discuss it with the community.

Advisory Board meeting with corporate members regarding attribution guidelines

On 2022-08 the Secretary was asked to organise a meeting with Corporate Members of the Advisory Board (AB) regarding attribution guidelines.

  • It is not worth spending time organising it, as most Gold Corporate Member representatives do not participate in Advisory Board meetings, and when they do they are mostly silent.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • One of the board members wants to be part of one-on-one meetings with Gold Corporate Member representatives (maybe with other board members present), as he no longer has a conflict of interest due to job change.
  • One of the board members had a one-on-one meeting with a Gold Corporate Member representative.


  • Another board member could organise such a meeting.
  • Have one-on-one meetings (or with more people) with Gold Corporate Member representatives, but there should be place for a larger meeting after those.
    • Collaboratively create agenda for one-on-one meetings with corporate representatives.
    • One of the Gold Corporate Members had suggested and agrees on one-on-one meetings.

On Advisory Board meetings

  • Part of the issues with Advisory Board meetings is how they have been organised in the past.
  • On agenda: The way the agenda is built is not right - there should be direct interaction on the side of the meeting and ask the people directly about topics they want to talk about.
  • Meetings should not be public.
  • Suggestion: have separate meetings with Local Chapter (LCs) and Corporate Members, as in the past.

Short exchange about offer to organise the meetings and ability to accept feedback.

On attribution

Attribution and Corporate Members

  • We have to see what levels we have and what solutions we can pursue.
  • We cannot force anyone, would be self-inflicting wound and counter-productive to what the attribution is about.
  • One of the Gold Corporate Member representatives said that legal precedent would change things.

On attribution in general

  • Attribution is good motivation for contributors and for getting new contributors and we don't do anything good with either.
  • Attribution points to the copyright page, which is the second most visited and a terrible first experience.
  • While we cannot sue big companies, we could sue smaller ones.


Improve the copyright page (which is linked from attribution).

Roland had to disconnect 72' after start.

Data model paper

  • The next step is for the Engineering Working Group (EWG) to finish the discussions and present a suggestion to the board.
  • The board had some internal discussions in the board chat channel, which gave the impression to a board member that the board may not be willing to provide the necessary funding to move forward.

On the data model paper

  • It gets into details about paying the servers etc, without addressing the questions of
    • whether we should do this,
    • alternative ways to solve the issues described.
  • A lot of vagueness, e.g. regarding next steps and who will do them.
  • Calls for follow-up studies, while we don't have material to decide anything.
  • It doesn't touch the API. Just a line about "consensus on keeping the API small and focused on its main job".
  • Assumes we want to keep the API such as it is.

Mikel had to disconnect 90' after start.



  • Have low, medium and high funding options, like the Operations Working Group's (OWG) budget.
  • Break down the project to separate parts, to make it more manageable and understandable.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • If the developer of Overpass is in favour, that is enough support.
  • We should trust the Engineering Working Group and its processes.
  • Investment of at least 1 million GBP.
  • There is a good reason for moving things that are done elsewhere to the data model.
  • Getting rid of node IDs is a big change and cannot be done in smaller steps.
    • Maybe it can.

Chat ended 100' after start.

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