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What is OpenStreetMap? And what is the OpenStreetMap Foundation?
OpenStreetMap is an open initiative to create and provide free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. It is a massive online collaboration, with hundreds of thousands of registered users worldwide.
The OpenStreetMap Foundation is an nonprofit organisation, a legal body incorporated by the registrar of companies for England and Wales.
What is the purpose of the OpenStreetMap Foundation?
The goal of the foundation is to support but not control the OpenStreetMap project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and to providing geospatial data for anybody to use and share.
The OpenStreetMap Foundation was formed to enable aspects of the project not easily accomplished by individual mappers. For instance, the OpenStreetMap Foundation owns the OpenStreetMap servers, and holds sponsorship funds from donors.
For more information see our About page.
Who can become a member of the foundation?
Any individual may become a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation by paying the annual membership fee.
Is my membership automatically renewed?
No. You must authorise payment each time to renew your annual membership. We don't currently offer a recurring direct debit option, but we aim to send out reminder emails.
If I donate to the OpenStreetMap Foundation, where does my money go?
All funds go towards furthering the aims of OpenStreetMap and of free geo-data. The OSMF board has laid out budget guidelines, expecting spending as follows 60% on hardware, 20% on promotion, 20% on legal expenses.
[Oliver: The percentage should say "in the past it was this way"]
How many employees does the foundation have?
At the current time the OSMF has no employees. All OSMF activities are performed by volunteers. This means we're a lean efficient organisation when it comes to spending the donated funds, but it has some disadvantages. We may consider taking on paid staff in the future.
How does the foundation support the OpenStreetMap Project?
The OpenStreetMap Foundation supports OpenStreetMap by collecting sponsorship funds for the OSM conference, State of the Map, by purchasing event insurance, signing contracts, holding the openstreetmap.org domain name, arranging hosting and bandwidth, purchasing, configuring and maintaining servers, etc.
Does the foundation support any other projects besides the OpenStreetMap project?
Not at this time.
How is the foundation financed?
[Oliver: What about SOTM as main income?]
Does the foundation do regular publications or OpenStreetMap events?
The annual State of the Map conference is operated by the OpenStreetMap Foundation.
The State of the Map is the world’s leading OpenStreetMap community event.
2011 is the 5th annual event, hosted for the first time outside of Europe in the USA, Denver, Colorado. It is generally a three day event for the community with talks, panels, workshops and several social events to meet OpenStreetMappers from around the world. For more information visit the State of the Map webpage.Sponsorships of the event and donations benefit the OSM Foundation.
Can anybody "hijack" the foundation to take advantage of the rights of the foundation?
No. Members may join the OpenStreetMap Foundation. It is the mandate of the foundation to serve those members, and more generally to serve the interests of free and open geodata.
What kinds of maps can I get from OpenStreetMap?
The OpenStreetMap Project does not provide maps. It provides map data that can be used to make all kinds of maps. The foundation does not provide map data, but, rather, supports the OpenStreetMap Project.