Local Chapters and Communities Working Group/Meeting minutes/2019-10-09

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Meeting started at 16:09 UTC



  • Clifford - US
  • Eugene - PH
  • Patrick - CH
  • Joost - BE (joined at around 16:32 UTC)

Not present

  • Ben - BE
  • Maggie - US
  • Rob - UK (with apologies)
  • Stefano - IT


Approval of the 2019-09-03 meeting minutes

Local Chapters and Communities Working Group/Meeting minutes/2019-09-03 - Approved

Previous action items

Assigned Item Status Source
Joost Send to the WG Joost's old notes for the WG's Terms of Reference (ToR). Done (2019-09-05) 2019-09 meeting
All Discuss and update the WG ToR before SotM Done 2019-09 meeting
Members attending SotM Present the WG ToR to the Board Not done (moot); Eugene sent an email to the Board instead (2019-10-07) 2019-09 meeting
Eugene Send an email to the osmf-talk list about the re-launch of the WG and solicit members who want to join the WG Deferred until ToR approved 2019-09 meeting
? Publish WG ToR to the local-chapters list Not yet SotM 2019 LCC

Formally accept Patrick Stählin to the group

There were no objections. Patrick is also already on the local@ mailing list because he was a member of the previous LCWG.

Discussion regarding WG focus items

Per the Terms of Reference, WG members should start discussing the focus items.

Building local community cohesion

We will explore and develop ideas for the Foundation support the growth of Local Chapters and local communities, including helping mappers communicate or meet up with other local mappers, and working to reduce the challenges created by the fragmented nature of OSM.

Here is a list of projects, initiatives, and tools aimed at building communities (or at least bring mappers together):

Action item: The WG agreed to create a page at the OSM Wiki to provide a curated list of these projects/tools and to promote this as widely as possible. (One possible page to co-opt/hijack is: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Collaborative_tool_for_welcoming_new_mappers)

Facilitating a global exchange of ideas

We will aim to provide Local Chapters and local communities with venues and communication channels to exchange ideas and share best practices in growing their communities. This may include reviving/managing the local-chapters mailing list and organizing sessions like the Local Chapters Congress during State of the Map or other events.

  • Creating a venue/channel for exchange of ideas among Local Chapters and local communities was discussed during the recent SotM 2019 Local Chapters Congress.
  • Currently, the only venue for Local Chapters and other local communities to exchange ideas and discuss community-building is the local-chapters mailing list.
  • See also the LCWG communication channels agenda item below.

Improving the Local Chapters affiliation scheme

We will review the role of Local Chapters within the Foundation and the interactions between them. Based on our findings we will make recommendations to the Board as to how the affiliation scheme can be improved to provide a stronger case for local communities to eventually become Local Chapters, or possibly suggest creating new affiliation models such as less-formal user groups.

Here are some points and discussions previously brought up:

  • Joost, in his role as an OSMF Board member, started a discussion on the osmf-talk mailing list last July asking for feedback on the criteria for approving Local Chapter applications.
    • In response to Joost's list thread, OSM UK privately sent a statement to the OSMF Board last September seeking clarity on what the Local Chapters affiliation scheme is intended to accomplish.
    • Joost stated that OSM UK's statement started some discussion within the OSMF Board but no concrete action items were drawn.
  • Recognizing less-formal user groups was suggested during the recent SotM 2019 Local Chapters Congress.

WG project: The WG agreed to proactively take on the role of examining the current Local Chapters affiliation scheme, seek improvements to it, and make a proposal that will be submitted to the Board for approval. Here is the tentative plan:

  • Collate all responses to Joost's list thread, OSM UK's statement, previous comments from the Board, and items brought up during the SotM Local Chapters Congress.
  • Potentially also consult existing Local Chapters, applicant Local Chapters (such as OSGeo Oceania), potential Local Chapters (such as OSM US), and other local communities.
  • Discuss possible improvements to the affiliation scheme by the end of 2019.
  • Draft a proposal for an improved affiliation scheme in the first quarter of 2020. This draft may then be published to the wider community for feedback, amended, and then submitted to the Board for approval within 2020.

Other items

LCWG communication channels

The following are the communication channels that the WG members are expected to use:

The following points were brought up:

  • WG members should make an effort to use the local-chapters mailing list, especially for announcements.
  • Use Telegram/Riot/IRC for smaller talk.
  • Whenever a consensus has been reached or a discussion has concluded, send an email to the local-chapters mailing list.
  • Action item: Joost will seek ways to improve the Matrix bridge technical problems.

Answer to Board emails regarding the ToR

Action item: Eugene will answer the emails from the Board (Frederik and Mikel).

Next meeting

Next meeting will be sometime in November. A Doodle poll will be created to set the meeting date and time. Eugene will ask Rob to setup the next meeting.

Meeting ended at 17:34 UTC.