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< Board‎ | Minutes

Draft minutes.

Location: Video room at
using BigBlueButton.

Date and time: Thursday 11 May 2023, 13:00 UTC - Countdown

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



Board members

  • Arnalie Vicario
  • Craig Allan
  • Mateusz Konieczny
  • Mikel Maron
  • Roland Olbricht
  • Sarah Hoffmann - Chairing

Not Present

  • Guillaume Rischard

Officers and board

Minutes by Dorothea Kazazi.


Not open to observers.

Digital Services Act

The board and the Licensing Working Group (LWG) received an email about the Digital Services Act from Paul Norman.

  • The new EU Digital Services Act (DSA) has a designation for Very Large Online Platforms, which could potentially impact the OSMF.
  • Was discussed a lot by Wikipedia.
  • We are not a very large provider, because serving tiles is not what's meant as having users by this legislation.
  • The board has not heard anything from the LWG.

Suggestion: Leave it to the LWG if they want to take initiative.

Handling disputed boundary inquiries

Suggested by Mikel Maron.

Started with an email regarding Armenia. There was an internal board discussion about how to handle this.

The board occasionally receives boundary related enquiries from

  • individuals.
  • coordinated campaigners (e.g. Somaliland).
  • official representatives, contacting all map-providers.

On handling such cases

  • The Data Working Group (DWG) is probably tracking related enquiries and does a good job handling such cases.
  • Default board response is very formulaic, pointing to the policy about disputed territories on the OSMF website.
  • OSMF could do more to elevate this in terms of how disputed boundaries are displayed, but might not be worth the time.

Craig Allan offered to respond to some emails.

Next steps

  • Craig to create a template board response and add it to the board wiki.
  • Craig to respond to the Armenian email.

Recent talk-mailing list thread on communication / conducting surveys with OSM Community / in OSM

  • Dispute on whether to use open or proprietary tools when conducting surveys in the OSM community.
  • Arnalie would like to have feedback from the board and the moderation team.


  • Involve the people in that thread to document the best practices in conducting surveys with OSM Community.
  • Ask moderators to have a response template when someone puts a survey and cite OSMF's commitment to open communication channels.
    • They would not be fast in answering.
    • They have a lot of work making sure that the guidelines and the expectations that the board has on the list are followed.
  • Advertise that the OSMF instance on the LimeSurvey platform is available for people who want to survey the OSM community.
  • Ask Marjan Van de Kauter (CWG) and Courtney Williamson (CWG) if they could help with documenting the best practices. Could talk with Shaundrea Kenyon (TomTom Advisory Board representative), as TomTom offered to contribute to OSM.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • Open communication is mandated by the board.
  • We did develop good practice in doing surveys in the previous years.
  • Suggest to talk to others before starting a survey.

Next step: Arnalie Vicario to reply to the email thread, encouraging people to help with documenting the best practices. Also to message Marjan Van de Kauter (CWG) and Courtney Williamson (CWG).

Local Chapter affairs discussion

Use of OSM trademark in non-official local chapter groups

  • The Sri Lanka local community would like to create an organisation named "OSM Sri Lanka Foundation".
  • They want to register as a non-profit.
  • They want to comply with what is right and they are open to have an agreement first, before they become an OSMF Local Chapter (LC).


  • They may register under a different name (not including OpenStreetMap or OSM), then apply to be a local chapter to be granted legal use of the trademark name, e.g. as operating name, once the local chapter application gets approved.
    • Feels bureaucratic.
  • Have an agreement similar to FPOSM until they become a local chapter.

Potential issue: If someone registers the trademark in a country and someone else decides to apply to be an OSMF local chapter.

  • It's no problem giving a trademark to two groups, but if one of them becomes a local chapter, this might change the situation.
  • We could give a trademark to anybody who is a valid contracting entity.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • Many organisations registered with OSM in their name before they became a local chapter.
  • We would like to see a downgraded requirement for an associate group (something less than a local chapter), especially for OSM communities in regions like Africa.
    • The Local Chapters and Communities Working Group (LCCWG) is working on the affiliation model to hopefully take into account those groups.
    • If it's a disorganised group or ten students at a university, they must get a formal structure.

The decision seemed to be that we will ask them to have a formal agreement to use the trademark first before they apply to become a local chapter.

Overview and discussion of [Draft] Revised local chapter min criteria and [Draft] Evaluation Guideline and potentially, OSMF Affiliation model

[Draft] Revised LC min criteria

OSMF Affiliation model

On timing

  • Next week the strategic plan will move to another cluster, so we can focus on spreading the news in consultation about local chapters' revision.

On previous local chapter application, which was declined


  • Lack of democracy.
    • A local chapter is a democratic organization where everyone is equal, not a hierarchical organisation.
  • Could not demonstrate clear separation between their community function and their project work.
    • There were different opinions of the board members regarding commercial activities of LCs, ranging from "no commercial activities" to having commercial activities is ok, as long as there is a clear separation between community function and their project work.

On documentation provided

  • The only evidence we could find was the project based work.
  • They provided an organisational chart of a business, not of a local chapter.
    • They have non-profit status in their country and operate in the country's context.
    • Perhaps misuse of the term "commercial". The activities are more a fundraising, as the profit remains in the organisation and does not go to individuals.
  • We asked for rework and re-submission but did not receive anything.

On individuals getting profits from non-profits

  • It is technically possible to be non-profit while being de facto for profit.
  • E.g. non-profits have commercial activities and pay significant wages to CEO.

On commercial activities

  • Any commercial activities have to be inline and further the goal of the organisation's mission.
  • Anyone can have commercial activities, they just can't become a LC.
  • The people who run the funding section of the organisation must not be dominant in the democratic section of it.

General suggestions

  • Include in the required documentation evidence of democratic organisation or membership based organisation (e.g. minutes from the Annual General Meeting (AGM), membership meetings, minutes of their board).
  • Indicate that we do recognise commercial activity but 1) it must not be the main activity and 2) has to be inline and further the goal of the community support and the organisation's mission.
  • The board to review for 1 week the draft document and then to be shared with the community.

Next step: Arnalie will clarify the open-membership requirement.

Local Chapters (current and applicants) and OSMF Community Spotlight presentations

  • Arnalie is happy to coordinate the Community spotlight monthly presentations during board meetings, inviting members of communities which can be potential applicants for Local Chapters.
  • Coming months: Looking to invite community members from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other Asian communities.

OSMF board regional State of the Map participation

No international State of the Map (SotM) this year.


  • Consider strategic participation of board members on regional/national SotMs (Bird of Feathers session, presentations/"Ask me anything") to build relationships and networks with OSM communities and diversify fundraising.
  • Have a stock presentation for OSMF that can be re-used.
  • Communicate about the fundraising.

Board members' attendance of 2023 regional SotMs

  • Arnalie Vicario is considering going to SotM Africa 2023 and SotM Asia 2023 and might do a presentation or a Birds of a Feather session about OSMF.
  • Sarah Hoffmann will go to SotM France and have a short presentation.
  • Mikel Maron and Arnalie will go to SotM US.
  • Mateusz Konieczny is going to SotM Baltic, will give a talk about OSMF and will mention the fundraising and that we're looking for local ambassadors to help with fundraising.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • In Africa and Asia many people do not know about OSMF.
  • Mikel has asked to talk at SotM US for the OSMF fundraising campaign.

Discussion related to points of the recent Advisory Board meeting

About the mention that we don't have a plan, made during the recent Advisory Board (AB) meeting.

  • We do have a mission statement.
  • The preamble in the strategic plan clearly states that we support the community and that we are not becoming a data provider.
  • It was mentioned that we don't have a vision. A vision is different to a mission, stating where the organisation wants to be in 5/10-30 years.
  • It was asked specifically whether we are going to be a community organisation or are we going to be a company, and the answer is clear.


  • Rectify the statement that we don't have a vision.
  • Put a formal vision statement of where we're going to be in 10 years time.
  • Not do anything. It was a small group.
  • Produce a synopsis that communicates our direction.
  • When stating a personal opinion clearly mention that it is a personal opinion, otherwise board members' opinions are taken as the opinion of the board.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • Mission statement says what we want to do in the short term.
  • ESRI can be helpful with the fundraising campaign.
  • We should think about the communication of the strategic plan.

Any other business

Vector tiles


  • Come up with a plan.
  • Consider: how this will be managed, what Vector Tiles mean for the future and how much OSMF will support it, as it will affect others and will set standards.
  • Tell the person to look for other opportunities of employment.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • For most projects to be successful, you want to have a community around them.
  • A broader group of stakeholders might be interested.

EU relocation

  • Sarah sent out various requests.
  • Guillaume provided a relocation agency.
  • Netherlands: No reports from there yet.
  • Belgium: Joost Schouppe doesn't know people but replied quite enthusiastically. The local chapter there might help.
  • Might request funds to talk to a lawyer.

Next meeting

Public board meeting on Thursday 25 May 2023, 13:00 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. The dates of public board meetings are also added to