Local Chapters/FAQ

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< Local Chapters
Revision as of 03:41, 23 January 2020 by Dorothea (talk | contribs) (+ section "Processing of LC applications")

Local Chapters FAQ


Why is the agreement needed?

The OSMF has in the past allowed groups to operate as national or regional user groups without an approval process or similar. This is not expected to change, however the use of the OpenStreetMap trademark and representation rights of such informal groups tend to become issues with growth and the agreement provides a mechanism to document the common understanding of how the relationship is supposed to work.

What are the minimum requirements for a Chapter?

Currently there are no set in stone criteria outside of the following: you will have to be a non-profit incorporated entity or part of one, the way you are incorporated should allow easy and mass membership and democratic participation in the decisions processes. Your group should be dedicated to supporting the aims of the OpenStreetMap Foundation and the OpenStreetMap project, however you can be part of a larger organisation as long as that does not have conflicting goals.

Why the restrictions on use of trademarks, domain names and similar?

Historically the OSMF has had a laisser faire policy on the use of trademarks and similar intellectual property and exclusive rights (for example company names), however this implies that in a worst case scenario the community could be stopped from using the OpenStreetMap name and essentially locked out from certain markets. As a safety precaution we therefore need to require that such rights be returned to the OSMF in the case that a chapter ceases to exist as such.

Applying to become a local chapter

If your organization is interested in becoming a local chapter, first review the minimum requirements. Then send the information and documents in the application documents list to secretary at osmfoundation.org.

Processing of LC applications

~ draft ~

Action Comments
Creation of application page on the OSMF website Sub-page under the main Applications page.
Requirements Review
  • Bylaws
  • Incorporation
  • Open membership structure / Voting Rights
  • Not For Profit status (either formal or by statue)
  • Primary person of contact with OSMF
Local community Consultation Duration: usually 2 weeks.


  • local mailing list
  • other communication channels used by local mappers (e.g. forum)

- We might ask community members to translate the email in official language(s) of region related to application (if non-EN).
- We might suggest for the email to be distributed on other channels and notify us about them.

Membership Consultation (osmf-talk) Duration: usually 2 weeks and at the same time as the community consultation
Board Vote initiation
Sign Formal Agreement Template lives here. If SotM international is close, it is preferable to sign the agreement there during the closing ceremony.
Update OSMF website and OSM wiki
Ask about Advisory Board (AB) Representative
Add new representative to AB mailing list, update OSMF website.