Mission Statement

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is an international, not-for-profit, democratic organisation with the tasks of supporting the OSM project, running and protecting the OSM database, and making it available to all. The OSMF membership is open to all who want to support the project and participate in the OSMF’s democratic process.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is there to protect the OSM data to keep it Free and Open.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation represents the OSMF members, and wants to grow the membership.


Core Values

The Foundation's core values for OSM are (this list is not meant to be exhaustive):

  • We want to make the best map data set of the world
  • OSM Data is available under a Free and Open licence to everybody
  • OSM is powered by its Community. Engage positively with the Community, be a good and respectful neighbour and assume good intent.
  • We want OSM data to be used as widely as possible.
  • Ground Truth: OSM favours objective “Ground Truth” over all other sources
  • OSM wants you to map the things you care about and will ensure that you have the freedom to do so. This safeguards the accessibility of our map to diverse users with differing needs.

Scope of the OSMF

  • Answers press inquiries
  • Leads the charge on communicating OSM's work to the world
  • Supports a diverse community
  • Handles legal challenges to project and its people
  • Makes sure OSMF membership represents project as much as possible
  • Is responsible for filling in gaps left by volunteer driven community (comms, legal, new user support)
  • Is responsible for raising funds
  • Acquires donations
  • Ensures the financial sustainability of the OSM project
  • Helps the community to resolve conflicts
  • Is responsible for handing problematic community members (once escalated)
  • Provides access to OSM data
  • responsible for providing or maintaining infrastructure (legal, devops)
  • make sure core technical infrastructure is running
  • provides financial support for the maintenance of core servers
  • affirm tagging conventions, mediate tagging conflicts
  • approving local chapters and signing agreements with them
  • Is responsible for allocating $$ to diverse worthwhile software projects with grants and microgrants
  • Is responsible for maintaining the license of the data
  • ensures that data users comply with the license
  • protects the OSM related trademarks from misuse
  • Does not decide what to map or how to map
  • Does not actively bootstrap community where none exists yet
  • Does not commit the project as a whole to agreements with corporations or governments
  • Does not create tools for using OSM data beyond data dumps
  • Does not manage software projects

Scope of the OSMF board

The OSMF board and board members

  • Operate AGMs, elections and the other structures required by law and our own rules
  • Ensures compliance with companies' act and other law
  • Board members vote or abstain on circulars and other votes
  • Board members participate in board discussions
  • Ensures OSM is promoted and shown off at full potential
  • Defines procedures to promote participation in the OSMF
  • Is responsible for a friendly environment for people to participate in OSM
  • Sets core values for OSM (via consultation)
  • Hears appears of Working Group decisions
  • Takes active steps to safeguard project relevance, future and success
  • Defines a strategic vision
  • Maintains a set of clear project goals, which may be a subset of all possible goals
  • Is ultimately responsible for having a durable infrastructure
  • Ensures Working Groups are meeting their responsibility
  • Reviews and is responsible for the budget
  • Defines procedures for transparency
  • Answer board and OSMF questions from membership
  • Does not drive mapping in a particular direction
  • Does not decide what to map or how to map
  • Has no role in setting tags
  • Does not provide external parties legal / technical guidance
  • Does not undermine the Working Groups by taking on tasks that could be advanced by them
  • Does not do day-to-day OSMF business
  • Is not responsible for day-to-day uptime of infrastructure

(This Mission Statement was decided at the November 2012 Face-to-Face meeting of the OSMF board, and slightly amended at the 2012-11-27 board meeting.)

Core values and the scope of the OSMF and board are from Board/Minutes/2015-02-16 February 2015 Face-to-Face meeting.