Local Chapters/FAQ

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Local Chapters Frequently Asked Questions


Why is the agreement needed?

The OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF) has in the past allowed groups to operate as national or regional user groups without an approval process or similar. This is not expected to change, however the use of the OpenStreetMap trademark and representation rights of such informal groups tend to become issues with growth and the agreement provides a mechanism to document the common understanding of how the relationship is supposed to work.

What are the eligibility requirements for a Chapter?

The eligibility criteria are:
1. Non-profit incorporated entity or part of one

Non-profit means that the applying organization is incorporated as non-profit in accordance to local legislations and have documentation (either in registration or Articles of incorporation).
Part of one means - you can be part of a larger organisation (that is non-profit as mentioned above) as long as that does not have conflicting goals.

2. Open membership - the way you are incorporated should allow easy and mass membership and democratic participation in the decisions processes.

The LC should seek to have members from across the full geographic area it represents.

3. Your group should be dedicated to supporting the aims of the OpenStreetMap Foundation and the OpenStreetMap project

The organisation can show that they have been actively contributing to OSM mapping and community building activities

You may check: Handbook for Becoming a Local Chapter.

Why the restrictions on use of trademarks, domain names and similar?

Historically the OSMF has had a laisser faire policy on the use of trademarks and similar intellectual property and exclusive rights (for example company names), however this implies that in a worst case scenario the community could be stopped from using the OpenStreetMap name and essentially locked out from certain markets. As a safety precaution we therefore need to require that such rights be returned to the OSMF in the case that a chapter ceases to exist as such.

Applying to become a local chapter

If your organization is interested in becoming a local chapter, first review the eligibility requirements and Handbook for Becoming a Local Chapter. Then send the information and documents in the application documents list to local@osmfoundation.org and copy the email to board@osmfoundation.org.

Processing of Local Chapter applications

Short version:

  • Submission of the application by the local community (email: local@osmfoundation.org and cc: board@osmfoundation.org)
  • Review and recommendation by the Local Chapters and Communities Working Group (LCCWG) (Time: ~2-6 months)
  • Board vote
  • Communication of application results via email and board meeting
  • Signing of agreement and other administrations
Action Who Comments
1. Submit Application to local@osmfoundation.org and cc: board@osmfoundation.org Local Chapter Meet eligibility criteria and submit required information and documents

Channel: email

2. Creation of LCCWG GitLab ticket and application page on the OSMF website Dorothea Kazazi Time: 6 working days after application is received
3. Requirements review LCCWG Review Eligibility Criteria and submitted documents; Reach out to the applicant if needed, if necessary

Time: ~ 2-3 months

4. Local community and OSMF membership consultation LCCWG Channels: osmf-talk, the main channel(s) of the applying local community and a thread in community.osm.org

Time: ~ 1 month

5. Recommendation to the Board LCCWG Channel: Email / LCCWG GitLab

Time ~ 1-2 months

6. Board vote OSMF Secretary Board meeting

Channel: board meeting

Time: ~ 1-2 months

7. Communication of results OSMF Secretary Channel: Email and/or Board meeting

Time: ~ 1 month

8. If approved, sign Agreement.

If not approved, provide in writing full reasons for the refusal to the applicant. Invite the applicant to remedy the identified problems and to re-apply once ready. LCCWG may choose to support the resolution of problems (or not).

OSMF Board Agreement template.

Channel: Email (cc LCCWG) or if possible, through in-person e.g. via State of the Map conference or other event/s

Time: ~ 1-2 months

9. Update Wikis Dorothea Kazazi These places:

Time: ~ 1-2 weeks after results

10. Ask about Advisory Board (AB) representative OSMF Secretary/Dorothea Kazazi Channel: Email

Time: within 1 month after the agreement is signed

11. Add new Advisory Board representative to Advisory Board mailing list, wikis and archive signed Local Chapter agreement Dorothea Kazazi
  • Advisory Board mailing lists (email address)
  • OSMF wiki (name)
  • Board wiki (name, email, phone number (if available))

Time: ~ 1-2 weeks