Local Chapters/FAQ

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

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


Action Who Comments
1. Submit Application Local Chapter Required information and documents.
2. Creation of Gitlab ticket Dorothea
3. Creation of application page on the OSMF website Dorothea Sub-page under the main Applications page.
4. Requirements Review OSMF Secretary, with the help of Dorothea and other board members
  • Bylaws
  • Incorporation
  • Membership structure / Voting Rights
  • Not For Profit status (either formal or by statue)
  • Primary POC with OSMF
5. Local community Consultation OSMF Secretary

Channels: local mailing list + channels suggested by local people. Possibly also on the forum.

  • Email to be sent in local language (with help from community members) and in English.
  • Suggest for the email to be distributed to other channels and notify us about them.

Suggested duration: 2 weeks.

6. Membership Consultation OSMF Secretary Consultation of OSMF members on osmf-talk mailing list.

Suggested duration: 2 weeks.

7. Board Vote initiation OSMF Secretary To be documented on the board minutes page.
8. Sign Formal Agreement OSMF Secretary/Board members Template lives here. If the international State of the Map conference is close, it is preferable to sign the agreement there during the closing ceremony.
9. Update Wikis Dorothea These places:
10. Ask about Advisory Board (AB) Representative OSMF Secretary/Dorothea
11. Add new AB representative to AB mailing list, wikis Dorothea
  • AB mailing list (email address)
  • OSMF wiki (name)
  • Board wiki (name, email, phone number (if available))
12. Archive signed LC agreement Dorothea