Advisory Board/Minutes/2021-05-25

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

The OSMF Board of Directors had a meeting with members of the Advisory Board on Tuesday 25 May, 14:00 UTC - countdown.


Board members

Local Chapter representatives

Corporate Member representatives

Not Present

State of the Map Program (SotM) Committee: How is the program committee determined? ensure Oceania is more active for future SotMs

Topic suggested by Edoardo Neerhut, who participated in this meeting as the representative of OSGEO Oceania (OSMF Local Chapter).

  • Invitations to get involved with the organisation of State of the Map (SotM) are published early in the process. This year that was in January.
  • Organisation involves fundraising, scholarships, communications.
  • Usually 2 teams: 1 local and 1 remote.


  • OSMF: Call for SotM-2022 volunteers to be circulated to Local Chapters.
  • OSGeo Oceania
    • contact Christine Karch (head of State of the Map working group) about ways to get involved.
    • active community members in Oceania and ask them to become OSMF members or help the OSMF working groups.

Other points mentioned

  • Related to State of the Map 2021
    • program not published yet.
    • call for venues still open.
  • OSMF Local Chapters: the number of local chapters has increased from 8 to 16, over 5 continents in the last 1,5 years.
  • OSMF members: in Norway a single mapper contacted all the most active mappers in the country, suggesting they join OSMF, resulting in quadruplement of OSMF members in Norway.

Comments by Edoardo Neerhut

  • OSGeo Oceania will try to promote more the call for State of the Map scholarship/travel-grant applications.
  • OSGeo Oceania might apply to host SotM in the future.

OSM Special Interest Group: How OSGeo Oceania is supporting OSM

Topic suggested by Edoardo Neerhut, who participated in this meeting as the representative of OSGEO Oceania (OSMF Local Chapter).

  • 3 OSGeo Oceania meetings with members from community.
  • Decided to have a formal group/stirring committee.
  • Created a charter, outlining priorities and aims

Efforts to increase representation of OSM community members

Stirring committee

  • Will be a dedicated body focused on OSM that can support related initiatives (e.g. funding required by PhD student to attend a conference).
  • Election of members soon.
  • OGeo Oceania is providing 2500 AUS$

Conference hub and spoke model

  • OSGeo organised the FOSS4G and SotM Oceania 2020: hub+spoke model (Fiji was the central conference organising hub and there were several other local organising committees).
  • Same model will be followed this year.

Update on hiring of Senior Site Reliability Engineer


  • The OSMF board has a particular person in mind, who is interested.
  • Name is not currently disclosed as the person is currently employed.

Status: Gathering job requirements.

On timing
Delays due to OSMF board - the person is still interested.

Next step: reach out to potential candidate, in collaboration with the Engineer Working Group.

iD Maintainance Plan post Quincy leaving

  • Job requirements circulated.
  • In collaboration with the (to be rrestarted) Engineer Working Group.

Next steps:

  • Complete the review of the job requirements.
  • Publication.

Other points mentioned

  • Unsure whether the role will be filled by one or more persons.
  • Have to define the relationship between the iD developer and the engineering working group, which perhaps can take on the community management side.
  • Development role might be made modular.

Question by Marc Prioleau on developers of iD forks
There a number of forks of ID that are going on and being worked on and developed and new progress being made - what if any of that work should be folded back into ID? Or is that still to be determined?

  • Mikel Maron has started reaching out to developers who have put together forks (e.g. Facebook RapiD team) to have a gathering of iD forks.
  • Meeting topics: potential needs for maintenance, deployment, continuity, knowledge transfer.
  • Call will be made: on iD channel, OSM US slack channel and anyone here can let Mikel know if someone else should be involved.
  • Board's priority to coordinate with iD forks and avoid duplication of efforts.
  • If you are an iD fork developer, consider submitting pull requests.
    • Willingness to contribute back and do that as openly as possible.

On Quincy

  • When Quincy left, the board realised how many things there were on his plate (dealing with the community dealing, with the forks, releases, development) and appreciated his work.
  • We will have a hard time to find people as good as Quincy.

'Question by Daniela Waltersdorfer, representative of OpenStreetMap US (OSMF Local Chapter) on the Advisory Board:
Any efforts to promote Diversity, Equity, Inclusion during the recruitment?

Comments by board members

  • Suggestion: add text "don't be discourage to apply"/ welcome everyone and anyone regardless of gender and level of education, provided that the work can be done.
  • Applications will be considered from any qualified individual.

“Takeover Protection” threat models

Topic suggested by Tom Lee, the representative of Mapbox (OSMF Gold Corporate Member) on the Advisory Board.

Tom Lee

  • Concern on taking steps toward remedies to this problem - e.g. changes in voting eligibility criteria - before we define what the problem is.
  • Suggestion to discuss this in order to try to understand what the community understands the term “Takeover Protection” to mean and why they've expressed this level of concern.
  • Project fundamentally bound by ODbL.
  • Relevant precedent: Wikia's attempt to monetise Wikipedia.

Allan Mustard (OSMF Chairperson)

  • Community's nervousness arises from the fact that the board is increasing to some degree OSMF's financial dependence on corporate users.
    • Board's fiduciary responsibility to address it.
  • The fact that the the corporate users have not taken control of the board indicates that they are more interested in the data.
  • Real threat: external bad actors taking control of OSM data.
  • Fine line between coming to the corporate donors asking for the resources that we need but not wishing to become so dependent on on the corporate donors, that the community does not have the freedom to do what the community thinks needs to be done without undue influence.


  • Financial dependency to corporate users.
  • External actors taking control of OSMF and its assets, threatening the model of free distribution.
  • IP trolls.

On IP trolls

  • Cloudflare mentioned as example of company taking a stance against patent trolls.
  • Mapbox trying to fight them.
  • Now is the time to plan for that scenarion.

Other points

  • Response from the board: increasing number of members and membership diversity.
  • ~ 2000 OSMF members

What actions can OSMF take to prevent hostile takeover of membership/OSMF/board?

Suggestion by Allan:

  • Tom Lee to lead committee/group to examine the takeover threat models.

Other points mentioned

Any other business

Frequency of Advisory Board meetings

Every 3 months.

Action item: Secretary to schedule next Advisory Board meeting.

Comment that board members are available to be contacted by AB members at any time.