[Local-chapters] Items from this weeks teleconference.

Jaak Laineste jaak at nutiteq.com
Sun Sep 13 16:28:04 BST 2009

> Local chapters are the local "face" of OSM and part of this is for the
> further promotion of OSM, which is more specific than simply
> supporting Open GEO data.
> This doesn't stop similar organisations from affiliating with each
> other, or being sister organisations, but it isn't the same thing as a
> local chapter.
> Unless the core goals are identical OSM will loose potential PR
> opportunities because the core goals differ and so what gets pushed
> will differ.

 I can see in Local Chapters wiki page that "...their mission as supporting
OpenStreetMap or open geodata in general similar to the OSMF". It this is
the core goal you refer to, then this is exactly what we do: we do support
OpenStreetMap and also open geodata in general. And geodata for our country
specifically. When we use OpenStreetMap service, network, name and logo then
we would push also OSM in general in terms of PR, so I cannot really imagine
possible conflict in goals here.
> The only exception is where there is a working group within a much
> larger organisation that can commit enough volunteers that meet the
> guidelines for a stand alone legal entity.

 Right, this exclusivity requirement does not fit for the big ones like
FOSSGIS. And for small ones it is also quite restrictive: we have maybe half
a dozen of available geodata enthusiasts per small/average European country
(with <5M inhabitants), which creates some limits. You could be restricted
to quite small list of possible countries: big enough country so you get
enough exclusive followers, but not too big so there are already active
organizations with similar goals.

 I guess that many locals are not supporting actively OSM only because they
are so much in love in this specific project, service or brand, but because
it fits well with their general belief to openness of geodata. Our goals are
more ambitious, and we could extend the services with e.g. local aerial
images, old and (non-copyrighted) topographic maps etc, which are not (yet)
in the OSM. So we need to have local service (also in local language etc).

 My understanding from wiki and other info was actually that Local Chapter
is local organization affiliated with OSM. However, I do not rule out that
there could be enough reasons to have difference between Chapters and
Affiliates, or Local Chapters with different levels of affiliation. Just for
sake of simplicity I'd suggest to have just one level. Anyway we will end up
with more or less unique chapters in every country, and trying to apply too
strict rules would end up with a lot of exceptions, or just decrease of
local activities and PR for OSM.


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