Working Group Minutes/EWG 2023-06-28

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Formal proceedings


  • Tobias Knerr
  • Robert Koeze
  • Ramya Ragupathy
  • Salim Baidoun
  • Rocha
  • Andrew Hain
  • Adam Hoyle

Membership list cleanup

A draft message to inactive members is discussed.

Action: Andrew to send a mail to inactive members after the meeting today.

Actual business

Vector tiles

The board is deliberating a proposal by Paul Norman to produce minutely updating vector tiles, which would in particular allow for multilingual maps on These would be optimized for a particular cartographic style, i.e. not contain all OSM data, and would therefore offer only limited potential for the community to experiment with different map styles. Paul has previously presented these ideas at the 2023-03-07 EWG meeting. Roland has shared more details and asked for the EWG's current views on this proposal.

Some difficulties are:

  • Uncertainty about requirements; Paul can do requirements gathering but does not want to do community engagement.
  • Many different ideas about vector tiles: When talking to other board members, it was pointed out how the process we've been going through has been defining a technology and not requirements. People have different ideas of what "vector tiles" means, and many of the ideas are incompatible or technically impossible. Choices have to be made about what use-cases to support, and what to not support.

The consensus view of the members present is to acknowledge that that the proposed project would at least create progress on the topic of vector tiles for We consider comprehensive vector tiles the long term goal, but that should not prevent this project.

Next actions:

  • Tobias to communicate to Roland (not present) the gist of this conversation and an overall recommendation to move forward.
  • Adam to let Paul know about the conversation's progress.

Test Double conversation, OSM Website

  • Robert reached out to TestDouble who could connect us with a community of developers in open source experienced in Rails.
  • Need support in connecting TestDouble with someone in OSMF for better management of the process.
  • Can Sovereign Tech Fund money be used for funding TestDouble? TestDouble is offering some pro-bono work.

Next actions:

  • Andy and Tom can review the specs that was written by EWG and do PR reviews
  • Robert to reach out to Sarah for communicating with maintainers

Bid for Mute Users project

We have received questions by a company who is interested in placing a bid on the project. We would like them to produce an estimate and their stance on a few open questions.

Action: Robert to answer the email

Sovereign Tech Fund

Adam has been working on a Google sheet with questions on Sovereign Tech Fund.

Next steps:

  • Move the work to
  • Summarise Sarah's notes (coordinated with maintainers) in bullet points, they should be used to inform our application.

Action: Adam to complete these next steps before the next EWG meeting.

Adam will need help in writing answers to bullet point questions – to be discussed in next meeting.

Project funding framework

Robert wrote the draft – some changes were made after discussion at a meeting a few weeks ago (we would like people to submit ideas/applications in response to calls from the EWG).

Next actions: Robert to udpate the wiki with updated framework

What should be the platform for applications? Options include:

  • OSM wiki
  • GitHub

Adam/Roland were involved with investigating the OSM wiki templates used for the Microgrants program. Suggestion: go forward with wiki template rather than wait for an investigation.

Board has approved the 50000 budget. We should get the platform up and running.

Maybe get this done after TestDouble or Sovereign Tech Fund topic gets out of the way due to lack of volunteer time.

No specific actions until next meeting.

Additional project ideas

Nothing to discuss today.

Any other business

Maxar imagery

  • Imagery unavailable across OSM tools
  • No direct contact for EWG with imagery providers – maybe someone from Operations Working Group might know?
  • Not just Maxar is affected by this worrying trend, but several layers which previously were 'free' on providers with generic API keys (the Mapbox) now require JOSM users to sign.

Next actions: Ramya to draft a mail for Operations WG, get it reviewed from the group and send it across

Access to

Tobias has set up accounts on the OSMF Nextcloud for some EWG members.

Better forms of group communciation and handling meeting schedules

  • EWG communicates only over email
  • Doodle poll for messaging platforms?
  • Is there a way to subscribe to just EWG calendar events?
  • To be discussed in next meeting

Next meeting

Next meeting is 2023-07-12, 15:30 UTC