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< Board‎ | Minutes

Draft minutes.

Location: Video room at
using BigBlueButton.

Date and time: Thursday 12 January 2023 - Countdown

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



Board members

  • Craig Allan
  • Guillaume Rischard
  • Mateusz Konieczny
  • Mikel Maron
  • Roland Olbricht
  • Sarah Hoffmann

Not Present

  • Arnalie Vicario

Officers and board

Minutes by Dorothea Kazazi.


Not open to observers.

Board members' priorities for the year

The topic was added during the meeting - not on the initial agenda.

Suggestion to talk for 10' on the things that the board members want to tackle this year.

Craig Allan

  • Strategic planning, which touches on personal previous work experience.
  • Follow-up work on Jochen Topf's evolution of OSM data model (Background here).
  • Position of executive director (how, when, if).
  • Improve relationships with stakeholders.
  • Public relations plan, as it seems to be dealt on an ad-hoc basis.

Additionally: Conflict, etiquette, moderators, financial, communication and technical aspects.

Would also like to attend Working Groups meetings.

Mateusz Konieczny

  • Budget: Need to know OSMF budget, before making any financial decisions. Interested in creating a visualisation, human-readable format so that people who consider donating will know where the money is going.
  • OSM data model - data mode usable. Risk reduction - OSM data is in outdated format and the format by Overture might become the standard one.
  • Help more projects to get external funding. Based on own experience with developing Street Complete.

Roland Olbricht

Focus on fundraising

  • Create and maintain a list of projects, to get the community involved. (See #Tactical_list_of_ideas_of_the_OSMF).
  • Build up an address book and a priority list for fundraising.
    • A lot of individual donors unrelated to OSM.
    • Will coordinate with Mikel.
  • Build a strategy about what works and doesn't.
    • While strategy is important, at least three efforts to discuss strategy with the community faded relatively quickly.

On budget

  • We have reserves but income does not match with spending, as we now have an employee.

On data model change

  • Many things do not need to be dealt at board level.

Sarah Hoffmann

  • OSMF running more smoothly, so that day-to-day work does not become such a block anymore.
  • Budget needed. Suggested focus for January (post-meeting note: Before this meeting Sarah had a look at the OSMF's online accounting system and produced a financial spreadsheet, which she shared with the board).
  • Fundraising: Regular income should at least cover 60% of operational cost.
  • Delegate work (e.g. for data model) to working groups and other people, so that the board is free to focus on other things. Board members could work on things under their working group capacity.

Mikel Maron

  • Fundraising, of which the strategic plan is a key piece.
    • Need a concise story for the broad stakeholders of what OSM is about and where it is going.
  • Communication: having a professional tone.
  • Human Resources: looking after employees and contractors, make sure that OSMF is a good place to work. This is related to the discussion about an executive director. Discussion about needs and how that might work.

Guillaume Rischard

  • Budget. Having an idea of how much we're spending.
  • Diversify fundraising.
    • Had some contacts with the UN.
    • Have income from groups and organisations that are not big companies.
      • We have been careful with attribution.
  • Growth
    • We have enough work to hire a dozen people (finances, communication, contact with businesses for business development).
    • The board is better suited as a strategic organ. We enjoyed creating the strategic plan but didn't find time in the last year to flesh it out.

Arnalie Vicario

Suggestion to ask Arnalie offline about her priorities for this year.


  • Create an informal document and publish what we want to do.

Operations Working Group's budget discussion

  • Operations meeting later today - board members encouraged to join.
  • Question about whether there is a general mood to approve the Operations Working Group (OWG) budget.

On OSMF budget


  • Create an OSMF budget for 2023 (OSMF expenditure, assets and expected income) before the decision is made.
  • Add "provisional 2023 budget" to the January board meeting agenda.

Points mentioned during discussion

  • A good budget would be made of deprecation, as the server has a lifetime of more than 1 year, but we never really sold a server after a year, so deprecation exists mainly in the books.
  • There is a preliminary budget - Michelle Heydon (OSMF accountant) has it.

Action item

Roland to create a 2023 budget, after talking with Michelle Heydon (OSMF accountant) regarding the spreadsheet with the preliminary budget she has.

On OWG budget

  • OWG budget seems similar to the previous ones without any drastic changes.
  • Main decision: medium or high tier.
  • Suggestion to approve the higher tier, as it is just EUR 10K different from the medium tier.

On computer replacement

  • We have 62-64 computers, most of them idle, a lot scheduled to be retired.
  • We replaced a lot of computers last year. The bottleneck was human.
  • Servers that are idle: OWG has a plan on idle computers.
  • Grant has been asked to look at consolidating services on a machine.


  • OPS might not be asking enough for this year, as they might need 6-8 computers per year.

On insurance item

  • Insurance (GBP 3000 / year) required by the data centers.
  • We are insuring against any problem that might arise from our equipment and cause problems to others.

General suggestions

  • Reduce the number of idle computers, as they need maintenance.
  • Decide on a strategy for the technical part.

Budget-related suggestions

  • Get reassurance that the OWG approach is correct, do not want to interfere with technical details.
    • Not micromanage OWG.
    • OWG is doing a fine job.
  • Create a hardware maintenance budget for a few years.
  • Ask OWG for a budget projection for 3 years.

Craig to join the Operations meeting later today.

Tactical list of ideas of the OSMF

Suggested by Roland Olbricht

The board has learned from the fundraising workshop that feedback from donors is much more focused if we do not start from scratch, but with a set of ideas where we know their community rating and an approximate price tag.

Roland will give a talk at the 2023 FOSSGIS conference about compiling such a list, with the intent to engage the whole community. (FOSSGIS is the German OSMF Local Chapter)

Suggestions for process

  1. could be used: opening one thread per topic, encouraging people to start additional threads for additional projects, and keep a dashboard of the mood in the various threads. Alternatively,
  2. Feature one idea per week, accepting further discussion. This would feed to weeklyOSM (independent community project, featuring OSM news in several languages).

End product

The end product should be a one-pager about top priorities of the community to prepare meetings with donors.


Roland wanted to discuss with the rest of the board members whether:

  • the board as a whole should run such a process,
  • he should run the process - as an individual - and bring back the results to the board, or
  • defer the whole thing to the budget committee.

Roland provided a list of ideas that one could present to potential donors and some examples of things that are out of scope.

Time related

  • Question whether the board can get the strategic plan where we want in the first quarter of the year.
  • The strategic plan (strategic plan outline here) will be updated over multiple years, the program for this year expires on the next election.

Working on the strategy should not prevent us from working on technical aspects at the same time, as the target is moving.


  • Need to cover operational costs first, before going for extra projects.
    • Fundraising for maintenance will not work for administration (e.g. executive director), as it is not appealing. Might work for the technical stack. Funding will have overhead, which might cover maintenance.
      • Corporate membership seems to cover all administrative overhead.
  • Need someone to work on a good plan before going to the donors. Options: pay someone to do management work or have volunteer work from the board or the community.

On Vector Tiles

  • Everyone has different ideas of what problems vector tiles solve.
  • Consider whether to pay Paul Norman (Operations Working Group) to do management.
  • Consider why the board needs to fund vector tiles and what problem does the board want to solve.

On fundraising

  • We need to propose projects to donors for fundraising.
  • During the 2022 fundraising workshops, it was suggested working with the funders to finalise a proposal, instead of proposing just a list. That way funders will feel to be actors in the architecture of the project and might provide more money.
  • Balance between providing control and finalised proposals.
  • Specific ideas needed to be proposed.

On potential funders

  • EU. Mikel and Sarah had previously talked about funding opportunities from there.
    • Moving and engaging with the EU has been also talked about since Brexit.
  • Public sector.
  • Private foundations.
  • Organisations similar to those that provide funding to e.g. humanitarian organisations, as we provide an important development resource. Need to learn to talk to them.
  • Corporate Members.
  • OSM contributors.
  • People who do not technically benefit from OSM mapping.
  • High net-worth individuals.
    • Most of the funding that the Humanitarian OSM Team (HOT) got under the Audacious grant came from high-network individuals.
    • Tyler Radford has stepped down as HOT's executive director, so we could work with him in a new way to think about how to approach these groups for fundraising.

On strategic plan outline

  • Happy with it. Minor adjustments might be needed.


  • Rethink corporate membership tiers.
  • Create a collaborative document on board members' priorities and publish it to generate conversation.

On starting a conversation with the community about tactical ideas

  • The community may not have a meaningful discussion on strategy, but will be more engaged in discussion about specific proposed ideas.
  • Do it this quarter of the year.

On communication strategy

  • Suggestion for Mikel to set up a draft of the communication strategy before the next public meeting, to be amended in the next mid-month board chat.


  • Helps the development world.
  • Helps academics.
  • Helps humanitarian organisations.
  • Is a resource for people who are making the world a better place.

Other point mentioned during discussion

  • The tactical list is the end of the strategic plan.

Action item

Mikel to set up a draft with an outline of the communication strategy before the public meeting and to add important milestones over the course of the year.

Future of the Strategic Plan

Craig Allan circulated notes prior the board chat from yesterday's meeting of Allan Mustard, Sarah Hoffmann and him. The three of them have agreed to spend time in parallel working on an initiative to take the current strategic plan forward.

  • Allan to focus on the community side.
  • Sarah to focus on the technical side.
  • Craig to contact people in the developing world (Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, east Asia and South America).

On communication

  • Try to get many people involved.
  • Will make a limited call group of respondents (e.g. 30) to bounce ideas of. The list will be published.
    • Concern on the naming of the list ("OSM important people" probably best to be avoided).

On timeline

  • Aim: Have a plan by the next AGM.
  • Have a good product in 6 months.
  • Suggestion: have some milestones.

Other points mentioned

  • Proposal to first do a survey for 10 months was rejected.
  • It must be clear that the ideas come from the community and to emphasize that we are supporting the community and not controlling it. The board to set priorities on what is actionable and fundable.

Action item

Allan Mustard, Sarah Hoffmann and Craig Allan to create a formal structure report to be out on the next public meeting related to the future of the Strategic plan.

How do we approach Overture

From the discussions with Overture and other parties

  • It was suggested to have a meeting of the Overture steering committee and the OSMF board.
  • Difficulties of having very vocal and anti-corporate OSMF board members as a contact with the OSMF Advisory Board.

On options for OSMF regarding involvement with Overture
Not a good fit right now, as this is the starting point. Maybe something different or new is needed.

General suggestions

  • Go to the conversation with some alignment on our questions and some options.
  • Have as the board's contact person for the Advisory Board someone who speaks more the corporate language.

On OSMF joining the Overture foundation

We want to have an official relationship with them in a way that shows our independence.


  • Membership levels are designed less fitting for OSMF to join.
  • Endorsing them, as it is not clear yet what they are trying to do.
    • We can formulate our structural relationship with them in a way that does not say that, but that it's important to have conversations with them, even with different sets of goals.
  • Communication strategy.
  • Issues with attribution when repackaging data.

On Overture joining OSMF


If there is any money involved, the flow should not be from OSMF to Overture but the opposite, as we are short on budget.

On communication

  • It is important what is communicated about OpenStreetMap's role.
  • Overture communication could be improved.
  • Consider pre release coordination in the future.

How OSMF can help

  • Facilitate technical engagements with the community and provide technical advice to Overture, if asked for that.
  • Proposing OSM people to be involved in Overture working groups.
  • Suggestion to ask to be involved in communications with Overture in order to help them.

Suggested next steps

  • Schedule a meeting of the Overture steering committee and the OSMF board.
  • Ask the Advisory Board representatives about how the relationship with Overture should be.
  • Mikel is happy to be the point of contact with Overture persons.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • Wise to be skeptical.
  • What Overture says will do in public, all these companies are doing already: hundreds of people quality checking/processing and working to create a product and a lot of money is being invested into it.

Any other business

Migration from to


Grant Slater is working on the Discourse conversion.

Microsoft's MapBuilder

The Data Working Group (DWG) had a discussion with Microsoft's Harsh Govind about MapBuilder (background (2022-06). Microsoft is an OSMF Corporate Member).

On whether board intervention is needed

Having a single point of contact between the board and DWG is good. Last year Microsoft talked separately to several board members and DWG and inevitably got different answers.


  • Email from DWG to Microsoft, so that it is obvious that the email is acknowledged by the board.
  • Blogpost, as a last solution.


Related to discussions about OSMF relocation/subsidiary in the EU. Background (2022-03).

  • Sarah has a contact in the Netherlands.
  • Netherlands and Luxembourg were equivalent options for OSMF relocation/subsidiary

Action item: Guillaume to find the spreadsheet that he created with Jean-Marc Liotier related to OSMF options for relocation/subsidiary in the EU.

Action items from this meeting

  • Roland Olbricht to create a 2023 budget, after talking with Michelle Heydon (OSMF accountant) regarding the spreadsheet with the preliminary budget that she has. Topic: Operations Working Group's budget discussion
  • Mikel Maron to set up a draft with an outline of the communication strategy before the January public meeting and to add important milestones over the course of the year. Topic: Tactical list of ideas of the OSMF
  • Sarah Hoffmann, Craig Allan and Allan Mustard to create a formal structure report to be out on the next public meeting related to the future of the Strategic plan. Topic: Future of the Strategic Plan
  • Guillaume Rischard to find the spreadsheet that he created with Jean-Marc Liotier related to OSMF options for relocation/subsidiary in the EU. Topic: Any other business - EU

Next meeting

Public board meeting on Thursday 26 January 2023, 13:30 UTC

Open to OSMF members.

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.

Chat lasted 1 hour and 47 minutes.