Local Chapters and Communities Working Group/Meeting minutes/2020-01-20

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Meeting started at 18:05 UTC



  • Ben - BE
  • Clifford - US
  • Eugene - PH
  • Joost - BE
  • Maggie - US
  • Patrick - CH
  • Rob - UK

Not present

  • Stefano - IT


  • Brian DeRocher - microcosm developer
  • Jói Stalfur - OSM IS chair


Approval of the 2019-11-12 meeting minutes

Local Chapters and Communities Working Group/Meeting minutes/2019-11-12 — Unanimously approved

Previous action items

Assigned Item Status Source
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 Not yet 2019-09 meeting
? Publish WG ToR to the local-chapters list Moot? Or change to put the ToR to the LCCWG OSMF wiki page? SotM 2019 LCC
All Create a page at the OSM Wiki to provide a curated list of these projects/tools and to promote this as widely as possible Page created, needs to be completed some more, and then promoted as widely as possible; need to add Welcome Mat, welcoming tools, and a section about “building inclusive spaces” 2019-10, 2019-11 meetings
Joost Seek ways to improve the Matrix bridge technical problems Done? (bridge seems to be working) 2019-10 meeting
All Run a survey with existing chapters and chapters-to-be to get their views why they applied/will apply to become a chapter Not yet 2019-11 meeting

News and updates

Board approved the relaunch of the LCWG as the LCCWG

Approval was done via a circular resolution (2019/Res31) between the November and December 2019 Board meetings by the previous Board.

  • Action item: Update the WG wiki to reflect current status (c/o Joost).

Focus items

Per the Terms of Reference, WG members should work on 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.


Brian DeRocher sent an email asking when is the WG’s January meeting. This is presumably so that he can discuss his work on the ‘microcosm’ feature for the OSM website.

  • Brian runs MappingDC with a group on Meetup. The group occasionally has events such as mapathons and mapping parties; 10 or so people usually attend.
  • Brian thought of bringing the features of Meetup into the OSM website: event management (RSVP, etc.), group membership management, etc., and this resulted in his “microcosm” development project. Brian submitted a pull request to the openstreetmap-website GitHub repository to solicit feedback and he received a lot of it; specifically, Tom Hughes, Andy Allan, and mmd-osm like the feature but the automated tests are currently not following the usual style of the website's Rails code. There is still a lot of work to do before “microcosm” can be shipped and the whole project is maybe 50% done. Regarding the timetable, Brian is not sure when it will get done (maybe 4 months to 8 months or so).
  • Discussion, ideas, and requests should be done on the original microcosm repository. Once the feature is more or less “complete”, Brian will create a new pull request on the openstreetmap-website repository, and then discussion should then proceed there.
  • microcosm's overall design document is here: https://github.com/openbrian/osm-microcosms/blob/microcosms/Design.md
  • Brian doesn’t know if hiring a developer to help would help. Maggie can help look for developers willing to help.
  • Brian would like to get help to get an instance running that is kept mostly up to date with the code-in-development so that people can play with it. Joost can talk to Andy.

Building local communities OSM Wiki page

  • Previous action item:
    • Add Welcome Mat
    • Add welcoming tools
    • Add a section about “building inclusive spaces”, with reference to the Etiquette page and draft Community Code of Conduct
  • Christoph has posted some questions on the wiki talk mainly criticising what the page is for and why proprietary tools are being promoted. The working group agreed that we will not force local communities to use any particular tool or software; they should use whatever works best for their community regardless if the tool is proprietary.

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.

Local Chapters Congress at SotM 2020

There is usually a Local Chapters Congress at SotM and participants includes existing Local Chapters plus groups that have not formalised yet as a Local Chapter. Joost suggested to the Board that the WG take the lead for facilitating the Local Chapters Congress.

  • Rob: How to make the congress more productive because previous congresses have been open-ended?
  • Maggie: Suggest that the WG have a lightning talk to explain what the WG does and to recruit members.
  • Action item: Rob and Maggie are willing to take the lead planning the WG discussion that will lead towards formulating the content of the Local Chapters Congress.

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.

Local Chapters survey

Previous action item: Run a survey with existing chapters and chapters-to-be to get their views why they applied/will apply to become a chapter. Afterwards based on the results, we may consult with other WGs (mainly LWG) to ask regarding legal aspects of relationships of other orgs with the Foundation.

  • Clifford will take the lead on this survey.

OSM US situation

Maggie was asked regarding why OSM US becoming a Local Chapter is taking so long and why OSM US is requesting an addendum to the template agreement. Maggie said that OSM US was founded before the current Local Chapters affiliation scheme was put into force. Maggie also stated that OSM US is requesting an addendum to the chapter agreement to address trademark liability if ever OSM US decides to terminate the agreement to revert back to the previous status before the OSM US became an official chapter.

Other items

Making use of the LCWG GitHub repository

The previous LCWG had a GitHub repository to track items. Should the new WG use this repository for its work?

  • The WG agreed to use GitLab instead of GitHub because GitLab is open-source and in order to avoid complaints about using proprietary services.
  • Action item: Joost will create a Gitlab repo under the osmfoundation organisation.

Comparing local OSM websites with openstreetmap.org

Joost suggested that the WG do a comparison of the features that are present in various Local Chapters' and local communities' website with that of the main OpenStreetMap website.

  • The idea is that this can provide information on improving the OSM website, but more importantly for the WG's work, the comparison can be used as a source for Local Chapters and local communities for when they create or improve their own websites.
  • Action item: Run this comparison. No lead was assigned yet.

Next meeting

  • Eugene: Should we stick with Doodle for our scheduling polls, or can we switch to Framadate in order to better follow the OSMF’s FOSS Policy?
    • The WG agreed to continue using Doodle since this is a minor matter. However, at least for the February meeting, the WG agreed to hold it on Monday, February 17, 17:00 UTC.

Meeting ended at 19:22 UTC.