From OpenStreetMap Foundation

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What is OpenStreetMap? And what is the OpenStreetMap Foundation?

OpenStreetMap is an open initiative to create and provide free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. It is a massive online collaboration, with hundreds of thousands of registered users worldwide.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is an nonprofit organisation, a legal body incorporated by the registrar of companies for England and Wales.

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What is the purpose of the OpenStreetMap Foundation?

The goal of the foundation is to support but not control the OpenStreetMap project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and to providing geospatial data for anybody to use and share.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation was formed to enable aspects of the project not easily accomplished by individual mappers. For instance, the OpenStreetMap Foundation owns the OpenStreetMap servers, and holds sponsorship funds from donors.

For more information see our About page.

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Who can become a member of the foundation?

Any individual may become a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation by paying the annual membership fee.

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Is my membership automatically renewed?

No. You must authorise payment each time to renew your annual membership. We don't currently offer a recurring direct debit option, but we aim to send out reminder emails.

* holding this question until the membership secretary has caught up.

If I donate to the OpenStreetMap Foundation, where does my money go?

All funds go towards furthering the aims of OpenStreetMap and of free geo-data, with spending in the following categories:

  • Hardware - Upgrades and maintenance of server systems. Most expenditure has so far been on this.
  • Promotion - Funding of some printing etc for promotional materials
  • Professional expenses - Some fees paid to accountants book keepers and lawyers for professional services involved in running our not-for-profit organisation

* Harry drafted an update.

How many employees does the foundation have?

At the current time the OSMF has no employees. All OSMF activities are performed by volunteers. This means we're a lean efficient organisation when it comes to spending the donated funds, but it has some disadvantages. We may consider taking on paid staff in the future.

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How does the foundation support the OpenStreetMap Project?

The OpenStreetMap Foundation supports OpenStreetMap by running servers, by dealing with the license of OpenStreetMap data, by running the State-of-the-Map conference and other aspects that require a legal entity.

[Oliver: adjusted

Does the foundation support any other projects besides the OpenStreetMap project?

Not at this time.

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How is the foundation financed?

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is funded entirely by donations from contributors like you.

[Oliver: What about SOTM as main income?]

* pending review?  Move to "events" faq? 

Does the foundation do regular publications or OpenStreetMap events?

The annual State of the Map conference is operated by the OpenStreetMap Foundation.

The State of the Map is the world’s leading OpenStreetMap community event.

2011 is the 5th annual event, hosted for the first time outside of Europe in the USA, Denver, Colorado. It is generally a three day event for the community with talks, panels, workshops and several social events to meet OpenStreetMappers from around the world. For more information visit the State of the Map webpage.Sponsorships of the event and donations benefit the OSM Foundation.

* consider mention of SotM income?

Can anybody "hijack" the foundation to take advantage of the rights of the foundation?

No. Members may join the OpenStreetMap Foundation. It is the mandate of the foundation to serve those members, and more generally to serve the interests of free and open geodata.

[Oliver: the question is more if a large group signs up for membership and builds the majoritiy of the foundation members. Can this group harm the OpenStreetMap project e.g. changing to a commercial license?]

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What kinds of maps can I get from OpenStreetMap?

The OpenStreetMap Project does not provide maps. It provides map data that can be used to make all kinds of maps. The foundation does not provide map data, but, rather, supports the OpenStreetMap Project.

How does the cooperation between the OpenStreetMap Project and Foundation work?

How many members does the foundation have?

What rights and duties does a member have?

What are the competitors of the foundation?

What were the largest donations the foundation has received?

How do the decision processes work in the foundation?

Which intellectual property does the Foundation own?

What is the annual budget of the foundation?

What is the mandate of the OpenStreetMap Foundation?

What is the vision of the OpenStreetMap Foundation?

What is the mission of the OpenStreetMap Foundation?