Recent diary entries
Each and every year I’m impressed by the progress the OSM community has made. Supporting that community is at the core of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. This year the OSMF had its own progress as well, including within the board.
We kicked of the year with a generous donation from the Pineapple Fund which was worth over €200,000. What a wonderful surprise to start the year!
Less of a surprise was work this year to work on making sure OSM and the OSMF are in compliance with GDPR. One of the board’s roles is to approve policies and guidelines, we did quite a bit of that this year. Some updates were because of GDPR and others were policies that did not exist, but were needed.
The Organized Editing Policy was developed by the Data Working Group and approved by the board this year to provide guidelines for organizations and groups editing together in a directed fashion.
Fee Waiver Program is not new, but had not as of yet been implemented. The Membership Working Group developed a process for those unable to technically pay and will be developing further process for those with financial hardship. The OSMF Board has already begun an approval process for those requesting a waiver who wish to claim financial hardship.
The OSMF moved in two different ways this year as well. There was a data center move I really appreciate all the hard work the Operations Working Group put into this move.
The year our official address moved as well. Certainly less dramatic than the server move, but important nonetheless. Thanks to Andy Robinson for all the years of hosting as the mail center for the OSMF.
Our new address if you ever need it is: OpenStreetMap Foundation St John’s Innovation Centre Cowley Road Cambridge CB4 0WS United Kingdom
We also gained many new members this year. 660 new individual members total as well as 587 that renewed. It is great to see so many people interested in the OSMF. We also gained six Corporate members, you can see the full list of Corporate Members here. Growth in local chapters also continued as Belgium was also added as a local chapter. A few additional countries are currently in the application phase.
We had an excellent State of the Map this year in Milan and the State of the Map Working Group is hard at work planning for next year in Heidelburg. Thanks for bringing our community together in person.
Overall I think it was a great year to be an OSM contributor! I look forward to the coming years.
I wanted to personally thank Martijn van Exel and Peter Barth who are outgoing on the board. It was a pleasure to work together with you and I hope to continue to see you within OSM. My other fellow board members, we have another year ahead. There is still much I would like to accomplish, let’s get working.
Thank you also to our working groups. Without you we wouldn’t get anything done. The Communications Working Group was not mentioned above, but they told the story about all those great accomplishments. Thank you so much!
Dorothea Kazazi also created a series of reports for those that wish to see more additional information.
OSMF Overview https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/OSMF_overview_201812
Overview of Board meeting topics and votes https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Board_Meeting_Minutes/Overview_201812
AB members’ communications are here: https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Advisory_Board/Communication#2018
When sitting down to write the Chairperson’s Report for this Annual General Meeting of the OpenStreetMap Foundation I have to confess I was having a difficult time. Not because OpenStreetMap hasn’t continued to make great strides over the past year and continue to become further THE free map of the entire world. No, it was because my heart once again was heavy. This year’s election has been even more hostile than others. Some of the debate has surrounded around if OpenStreetMap is currently a welcoming place for all and if we ever make people not feel welcome due to the actions of some of our members.
Procrastinating on writing this I was scrolling through Twitter and I happened across a quote from the CEO of Creative Commons, Ryan Merkley.
“Pick big fights with your enemies, not small fights with your friends.”
Stop and think about that for a moment.
When OpenStreetMap started we picked a huge fight with proprietary map provides. For a long time we were just some little upstart, but then they began to take us seriously. Today we continue to be used in more prominent and more important ways all over the world. Just in the past 2 weeks OpenStreetMap became used in Ingress and Pokemon Go, applications of millions of users. New editors are coming in because they can update the map themselves. How exciting is it that all our work continues to be used in more and more ways?
What is our next big fight to continue to be the best free map of the entire world? Let’s all think about those challenges and how we are going to surmount them.
How can we lay aside differences and be welcoming to people who are different from us? It is certainly not from fighting amongst ourselves. That just makes people want to check out, myself included, hence the difficulty in writing this report.
We were not without accomplishments this year though. We’ve increased all types of membership with the OSMF membership standing at almost 900 people now. That is more than we’ve ever had. We’ve increased the Corporate Membership to 24 and created an Advisory Board currently consisting of representatives from Corporate Members and Local Chapters.
Going forward things I’d like the OSMF Board to focus on in the next year include increasing the overall diversity of all our memberships. From encouraging different individuals to become OSMF Members, recruiting different types of corporate members and adding more local chapters. To do that I think we are going to have to show more value as the Foundation. By supporting local chapters more and tech community initiatives. To be able to do this we are going to have to explore ways to have additional funding avenues. I hope we can finish creating a micro-grants program to all groups to apply for this support.
I hope after the election I can be hopeful for the next year. I hope we all can be, let’s come together and stop picking the small fights.
Since the 2015 Annual General Meeting of the OpenStreetMap Foundation is taking place virtually this year I’m writing up this diary entry to serve as the Chairperson’s person.
Firstly I’d like to thank everyone to contributed to the Foundation this year. Specifically I’d like to thank:
- Working Groups: Without you the OSMF couldn’t run. Thank you for all that you’ve done over the past year, including some sometimes thankless tasks. Let’s all work together in 2016 to recruit more people to our working groups.
- Members: Thank you for being a part of the OSMF. I look forward to seeing the results of your voting and many discussions in the future on where the Foundation should go.
- Corporate Members: Your support helps us staying in good financial footing. Please continue participating in the community and thank you again.
- Board members: It has been a pleasure to serve with you. Henk, Kathleen, Dermot and Oliver your service is most appreciated. I look forward to working with you in other aspects of the OSM community.
- The OpenStreetMap community: we need you most of all! Without our community there would be no reason for the OSMF and we’d have nothing to support. Please reach out if there is anything I can do to assist.
The OSMF Board was able to meet in person in February this year. Having not met in quite a while it allowed us to get to know each other better and begin to further work on strategy. One of the major things we learned is though it might seem at first as if our opinions are so far apart that a compromise isn’t possible, once we talk through it really there is much agreement. Many of these items we haven’t moved from draft form, but plan to take up with the next board in 2016. One such item is hiring of administrative help.
The board would like to move to a more strategic role in the OSMF. One component of this is contracting assistance to help with general administrative tasks. These include things such as invoices, publishing of minutes, scheduling meetings and other items that tend to get procrastinated on. Initially the role will assist the board, but we will see how it can be utilized to assist working groups as well over the year.
We also worked to better define Board roles and responsibilities. Currently still in the minutes I look forward to reviewing and revising them with the new board so they can serve as a guidelines for our next year.
Looking forward to 2016 I hope the incoming board can agree to meet again to continue our momentum and accomplish even more in the coming year.
You can see from the Membership Statistic page that our membership continues to grow. I thought it was interesting that there are almost an equal quantity of Normal and Associate Members now. The difference being that Associate Members can’t vote on Special Resolutions. We have a total of 701 human members and 18 corporate members.
A regional breakdown of membership by region is as follows (thank you Henk for gathering the numbers!).
- 70% Europe & Central Asia
- 23% USA & Canada
- 1.5% Latin America
- 0.5% Middle East and North Africa
- 4.5 % Asia Pacific
- 0.5% West, East, Middle and South Africa
It can be seen we have quite a ways to go in membership for some regions. I hope this is something the incoming board can consider.
I’m excited to see future growth of both the OSMF and the OSM community.
I continued mapping footways and POI of interest to pedestrians in Sterling, Virginia. I have mapped roughly 15 miles worth of paths on foot in the past couple weeks. Eventually I hope to create a walking map of the area.
Yesterday was the SIlver Spring Mapping party. In addition to people on the MappingDC mailing list a couple members of the community showed up as well. We added a bunch of POI's and corrected a couple Tiger Street mistakes.