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I asked ChatGPT to create an OpenStreetMap Community Building Playbook, this is what it came up with

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OpenStreetMap (OSM) is an open-source project that relies on the contributions of volunteers to create and maintain a free and editable map of the world. To build a strong OSM community, it is important to create a framework that promotes engagement, inclusivity, and collaboration. This playbook outlines key strategies for community building that can help OSM communities thrive.

Define your community’s vision:

The first step to building a strong OSM community is to define your community’s vision. What is your community’s mission? What are your goals and objectives? What values do you want to promote? Clarifying these key elements of your community’s identity will help you attract like-minded individuals and organizations.

Identify your community’s strengths and weaknesses:

To build a strong community, you need to understand your community’s strengths and weaknesses. What are your community’s assets? What skills, knowledge, and resources do your members bring to the table? What are your community’s weaknesses, and what are the areas where you need to improve? Identifying these factors can help you develop a plan to build on your strengths and address your weaknesses.

Establish clear roles and responsibilities:

To ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals, it is important to establish clear roles and responsibilities for community members. This can include defining the roles of community leaders, project managers, and volunteers. Clarifying these roles and responsibilities can help prevent confusion and promote accountability.

Foster communication and collaboration:

Effective communication and collaboration are critical to building a strong OSM community. Set up communication channels, such as mailing lists, forums, and chat groups, where community members can share ideas, ask questions, and collaborate on mapping projects. Use tools like GitHub to manage code and project documentation, and organize regular meetings or virtual hangouts to facilitate face-to-face interactions.

Promote inclusivity and diversity:

Inclusivity and diversity are essential to building a strong OSM community that reflects the diversity of the world we live in. Take steps to ensure that your community is inclusive and welcoming to everyone, regardless of their background, experience, or identity. This can include creating safe spaces, establishing codes of conduct, and providing training on issues such as unconscious bias.

Encourage learning and skill-sharing:

OSM is a constantly evolving project, and there is always something new to learn. Encourage learning and skill-sharing within your community by organizing training sessions, workshops, and webinars. You can also set up mentoring or buddy systems to help new members learn the ropes, and create opportunities for experienced mappers to share their knowledge and skills.

Recognize and celebrate achievements:

Recognizing and celebrating achievements is an important part of building a strong OSM community. Celebrate milestones such as completing a major mapping project, hitting membership targets, or contributing to global mapping events. Recognize individual contributions, such as the completion of a challenging mapping task or the development of a new tool or application.


Building a strong OSM community requires a combination of vision, strategy, and hard work. By defining your community’s vision, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, establishing clear roles and responsibilities, fostering communication and collaboration, promoting inclusivity and diversity, encouraging learning and skill-sharing, and recognizing and celebrating achievements, you can build a community that is engaged, inclusive, and committed to the ongoing development of OSM.

What do you think is missing, share in the comment section


Comment from kauevestena on 28 March 2023 at 14:12

Mr. Robot nailed it

Comment from Heather Leson on 31 March 2023 at 10:45

great stuff. I would add as subtopics 1. socialize in the wider OSM and your local context community ecosystem 2. document lessons, best practices, case studies

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