Mission Statement

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

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Machine translations from English by DeepL

Mission Statement

The current version of the Mission statement was developed in 2023. It was published via the 2023/Res43 circular. Its predecessors were the Mission Statement 2015 and Mission Statement 2012.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is an international, not-for-profit, democratic organisation. Its mission is to support the OSM project, run and protect the OSM database, and make it available to all as Free and Open data.

OSMF membership is open to all who want to support the project and participate in the OSMF’s democratic process.

The OSMF represents its members and encourages all with interest in OSM to join.

Core Values

This is the non-exhaustive list of the Foundation’s core values for OSM:

  • The Best Map: We want to make the best map data set of the world
  • Free and Open: Our data is available under a Free and Open licence to everyone
  • Community: OSM is powered by its Community. Engage positively, be a good and respectful neighbour and assume good intent.
  • Useful: We want OSM data to be used as widely as possible.
  • Ground Truth: OSM favours objective personal knowledge and “Ground Truth” over all other sources
  • Self motivated: OSM wants you to map the things you care about and will ensure that you have the freedom to do so.

Scope of the OSMF

Overall, the OSMF is responsible for needs that require an organization, and gaps that can not be filled by OSM’s volunteer driven community.


  • Ensures access to OSM data
  • Provides and maintains core technical infrastructure


  • Handles legal challenges to the project and its people
  • Maintains the license of the data
  • Ensures that data users comply with the license
  • Protects OSM related trademarks from misuse


  • Supports a diverse community
  • Makes sure OSMF membership represents the project as much as possible
  • Approves local chapters and signs agreements with them
  • Helps the community to resolve conflicts, and handles escalated problematic community members
  • Mediates tagging and editing conflicts
  • Supports the software ecosystem where requested.


  • Leads the charge on communicating OSM’s work to the world
  • Ensures OSM is promoted and shown off at full potential
  • Answers press inquiries


  • Ensures the financial sustainability of the OSM project
  • Raises funds and acquires donations
  • Provides financial support for the maintenance of core servers
  • Allocates funds to diverse software and community projects with grants and microgrants

The OSMF does not

  • Does not decide what to map or how to map
  • Does not actively bootstrap community where none exists yet
  • Does not commit the project as a whole to agreements with corporations or governments
  • Does not get involved in software project design decisions or daily maintenance.

Scope of the OSMF board

The OSMF board and board members are responsible for:


  • Operates AGMs, elections and the other structures required by law and our own rules
  • Ensures compliance with Companies’ Act and other legal requirements governing the OSMF as an organisation
  • Participates in board discussions, and takes part in votes
  • Approves OSMF wide policies
  • Establishes or winds up working groups and committees

Working Groups

  • Support and develop good relations with working group volunteers
  • Hears appeals of Working Group decisions
  • Ensures Working Groups are meeting their responsibility
  • Engages and consults with volunteers in working groups on matters legal, technical and other areas of focus in the working groups


  • Answers Board and OSMF questions from membership and external inquiries
  • Represents the Foundation in meetings and correspondence with OSMF Members and donors
  • Consults with the community on major decisions and direction


  • Responsible for an inclusive environment for people to participate in OSM
  • Develops working relationships with OSM related voluntary organisations, users of OSM data
  • Supports the development and operations of OSM Local Chapters globally.


  • Defines a strategic vision
  • Maintains a set of clear project goals
  • Takes active steps to safeguard project relevance, future and success


  • Build and present financial modelling for planning expenditure, fundraising income and the management of reserves.
  • Develops, reviews and is responsible for the budget
  • Prepare and publicly post regular reports to keep membership up to date on the finances and operations of the OSMF
  • Ensure that financial transactions meet OSMF legal and policy responsibilities
  • Hold relationships with OSMF donors to support our annual fundraising goals
  • Ensure that financial administration and accounting processes are in place and are followed.

Human Resources

  • Attract, recruit, and retain members of the paid workforce as necessary
  • Develop and implement standards and procedures for HR functions.
  • Manage HR matters for the paid workforce of OSMF
  • Assist with volunteer recruitment activities to build our volunteer base.
  • Implement succession and resilience planning for key paid and voluntary technical roles.
  • Develop and implement procedures to properly on-board both appointees to paid and volunteer roles and new Board members.

Does not

  • Does not drive mapping in a particular direction, or decide what to map or how to map, or take a role in setting tags
  • Does not provide external parties legal / technical guidance
  • Does not take on tasks that could be advanced by Working Groups
  • Is not responsible for day-to-day uptime of infrastructure


The original Mission Statement was decided at the November 2012 Face-to-Face meeting of the OSMF board, and amended during the 2012-11-27 board meeting and again in 2013 via the 2023/Res43 circular.

Original core values and the scope of the OSMF and board were from the February 2015 Face-to-Face meeting.