Last year Joost provided some interesting statistics on the OSMF membership numbers by country and how these relate to mapping activity. In other words: How far the OSMF membership in their geographic distribution represents the active mapping community.
Since it is interesting to see how this changed since last year i asked the MWG to provide the data on this and Pascal was so nice to provide yearly statistics on the active mapper numbers
Two things that need to be stated in advance:
- i asked for the numbers on members eligible for this year’s elections but this is of course still subject to change since quite a few memberships expire around this time of the year and possible participation of mappers depends on if they renew their membership or not.
- Pascal’s numbers for active mappers per country are only semi-reliable of course. They only tell us about where mappers are active, not where they come from. And it does not tell if those mappers are part of a genuine local community or if they are just paid to map in that specific country.
So all this needs to be taken with a grain of salt but none the less how things have changed since last year is something interesting to look at.
In addition to the values Joost calculated last year i also added another column for the absolute member count mismatch - i.e. how many additional members or too few members come from a certain country compared to what would be a proportional representation of the active mapper community.
Here are the numbers for the top 45 countries sorted by OSMF member count (first) and sorted by active mapper count (second, that is the equivalent to what Joost showed last year).
For explanation of the columns:
- OSMF members number of OSMF members from that country (both normal and associate) according to data provided by the MWG
- Mappers/day average number of mappers from that country active per day according to Pascal’s statistics
- osmf rate OSMF members per mapper in percent
- expected expected number of OSMF members from that country assuming proportional representation and same total member count
- representation percentage of actual representation compared to expected (100 indicates proportional representation)
- mismatch difference between expected and actual number of OSMF members, negative values indicate too few members for proportional representation
In the second table countries with only one or zero OSMF members don’t have the actual member count shown for privacy reasons (though i am not sure if that is necessary since the OSMF membership lists can be accessed on request anyway).
What can we see from this year’s numbers?
- first the over-representation of the United States and the United Kingdom has slightly decreased while the over-representation of Germany, France and other continental European countries has slightly increased. This difference is fairly small though so considering the factors mentioned above this might not be that significant. Anyway - if this is actually a meaningful trend this would be positive because it reduces the over-representation of native English speakers.
- What is more significant is that with India for the first time a country outside of Europe and North America has significantly closed the gap in proportional representation. The question is of course how many of the OSMF members from India have signed up for membership in connection with their professional career - but this is nothing you can determine from the data.
- The under-representation of various countries with very active mapper communities has increased significantly. Last year i mentioned Russia, Poland and Japan. Russia’s representation has decreased from 29 percent to 11 percent. This is quite enormous, for proportional representation there would need to be 41 additional OSMF members from Russia - by far the largest value in the whole table. The full list of countries with more than 10 OSMF members too few is: Russia (41), Poland (23), Indonesia (21), Ukraine (14/15), Japan (13), Brazil (13), China (11/12) and Tanzania (10/11). In some of these countries (in particular China and Tanzania) the mapper numbers could of course contain a significant number of remote mappers from abroad.
Fee waiver members
I also got the numbers on members who made use of the fee waivers and their regional distribution. We have:
- 12 from Europe (7 of these from Kosovo)
- 10 from Africa
- 9 from Asia
- 3 from Latin America
- 1 from North America
Overall it seems that the increase in relative numbers of both active mappers and OSMF members from regions outside Europe and North America is relatively similar overall so the dominance of Europe and North America in the OSMF w.r.t. proportional representation is not increasing. But it is still quite strong of course.
All of this does not consider how many of either mappers and OSMF members are hobbyists and how many have a professional connection to OSM. Likewise it is worth considering that also non-mapping community members should be included in the idea of proportional representation.
It is my hope that with the universal fee waiver for active mappers that hopefully will start next year (see my diary entry on the vote for that) and that will allow mappers to become OSMF members without paying a fee and without the need to claim to be needy that the significant under-representation of large local communities will decrease.