Local Chapters and Communities Working Group

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The Local Chapters and Communities Working Group (LCCWG) is tasked with finding and implementing ways for the Foundation to support the growth of local communities and potentially encourage established communities to further organise themselves and eventually formally affiliate with the Foundation as one of its Local Chapters. Aside from that, the LCCWG will also facilitate a global exchange of ideas and support among Local Chapters and communities and review and suggest improvements to the Local Chapters affiliation scheme.

OpenStreetMap is a global project and mappers are self-organising at the local level to collaborate with each other and to hold events such as workshops, mapathons, and mapping parties. As an organisation with a global mission, the Foundation may not always be best placed to reach and support such mappers, especially people speaking in languages other than English. This is the reason why the Foundation set up the Local Chapters Working Group in 2011 to formulate an affiliation scheme to recognise Local Chapters. This task was finally done in August 2014 when the Board approved the template agreement that is signed between recognised Local Chapters and the Foundation, and the working group then became inactive.

Since then, several Local Chapters have been approved by the Foundation and some interested OSMF members have reconvened (pivotally, during State of the Map 2018) with the intention of restarting the working group as the Local Chapters and Communities Working Group. Regular meetings started in September 2019 and the Board approved the relaunch of the LCCWG as an official Foundation working group.


Focus items

The following are the three focus items that the working group will concentrate on:

Building local community cohesion Facilitating a global exchange of ideas Improving the Local Chapters affiliation scheme
We will explore and develop ideas for the Foundation support the growth of Local Chapters and local communities, including helping mappers communicate or meet up with other local mappers, and working to reduce the challenges created by the fragmented nature of OSM. We will aim to provide Local Chapters and local communities with venues and communication channels to exchange ideas and share best practices in growing their communities. This may include reviving/managing the local-chapters mailing list and organizing sessions like the Local Chapters Congress during State of the Map or other events. We will review the role of Local Chapters within the Foundation and the interactions between them. Based on our findings we will make recommendations to the Board as to how the affiliation scheme can be improved to provide a stronger case for local communities to eventually become Local Chapters, or possibly suggest creating new affiliation models such as less-formal user groups.

Who we are

The current members of the working group are the following people:

Name Local community Remarks
Ben Abelshausen OpenStreetMap Belgium* OSMBE Board member and OSMF Advisory Board member
Maggie Cawley OpenStreetMap US OSM US Executive Director
Rob Nickerson OpenStreetMap United Kingdom* OSM UK Director and OSMF Advisory Board member
Stefano Sabatini OpenStreetMap Italia* (a.k.a. Wikimedia Italia) OSMF Advisory Board member
Joost Schouppe OpenStreetMap Belgium* OSMBE Board member and OSMF Board member
Clifford Snow OpenStreetMap US
Patrick Stählin Swiss OpenStreetMap Association* SOSM Board member and OSMF Advisory Board member
Eugene Alvin Villar Philippines local community WG chair
* Local Chapter

Former working group members

The following were members of the original Local Chapters Working Group. People marked with a * are still following the local@osmfoundation.org mailing list or are active in the chatroom.

  • Hrvoje Bogner
  • Emilie Laffray
  • Douglas Ssebaggala
  • Christian Quest
  • Dimitar Dimitrov
  • Jorge Gustavo Rocha*
  • Hugo Holscher
  • Gerhardus Geldenhuis
  • Mikel Maron*
  • Simon Poole*

Join us!

People who are interested to become a working group member should contact the working group and then join the next meeting where the working group can then approve the membership.

There is currently no limit to the number of members or the length of a member's term and it is not necessary to represent a recognised Local Chapter to become a member. To avoid over dominance by any particular group, existing local communities are advised to coordinate their participation. The working group's suggestion is that these groups nominate up to two representatives.

Get in touch

You can get in touch with the whole working group at: local@osmfoundation.org.

Discussions and official announcements with the wider community are done via the local-chapters mailing list. You can subscribe to this list here: http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/local-chapters/

For quick chats and light discussions, we have an integrated channel you can reach via any of the following options:

Meeting and minutes

The LCCWG regularly meets every month and is held remotely via the Foundation's BigBlueButton server unless otherwise specified within the meeting announcement. Anybody is free to join the meeting!

Meetings will be held and chaired by the working group chairperson. Members shall be notified about meetings at least 5 days in advance of each meeting. It is recommended that the announcement include an agenda. This will provide time for members to gather input from their local communities.

2020 2019 LCWG (previous WG)

Useful links