[Osmf-talk] Resources of OpenStreetMap Foundation (OMSF) and OSMF Local Chapters (LC): the question and status of paid services.

nicolas chavent nicolas.chavent at gmail.com
Thu Feb 4 09:25:19 UTC 2021

Hi all,

In the context of the community consultations phase of OpenStreetMap
Uganda (see email [1]), Poland (see email [2]) and Japan (see email
[3]) Local Chapter LC applications, I shared my thoughts about paid
services as a means of resources for OSMF and LCs. I have been invited
to start a discussion of its own about this topic, hence this email.

I originally developed this topic as well as others in the context of
the MapUganda application which read as an email (see email [4]) and a
diary note ([5]) .

Since I think it makes sense to also discuss the status of paid
services as a resource for OSMF and LC generally outside of a specific
context, I am producing below the section on this topic extracted from
my MapUganda-related email/note ([4],[5]).

== Email extract - start ==

We shall first look back at OSMF and LC and remind ourselves of the
early ages of the OSM project when its ecosystem was nascent and
review some of the strengths that lead to its current affirmation.

Frederik’s question (see email [6]) brings us with the non written
rule or the jurisprudence behind the practices under which OSMF and LC
from “developed” countries have been functioning resources-wise so
far: banning paid services from their resources.

This is true at OSMF and this is equally true in given LC like OSMFR
where this banning of “paid services” from the actual resources of the
association is collectively restated year after year at its AGM.

This choice in terms of OSMF resources as well as the choice of
keeping the Foundation small (in its resources, staffing, perimeter of
actions) has the benefit to leave the provision of paid services
provision in the hands of “business” entities of all types
(freelancers, associations, cooperatives, NGOs, business firms…)
outside of the OSMF which largely remains a volunteer-based
- This allows OSMF neutrality vis a vis business entities.
- This limits the room for business logics as well as conflict of
interests in the OSMF which has to handle the influence of business
and business logics without having to operate with business logics.
- This efficiently limits the “benefits” members and especially
directors can expect from OSMF.
- This also safeguards reasonably the OSMF Board so that professionals
or members of business entities can participate without breaking OSMF
neutrality towards economic operators.

These choices contribute essentially to the autonomy of the OSMF and
the OSM sustainability in the long run allowing for a diversified
ecosystem and free interactions of all actors including business
entities of all sorts."

This community discussion about MapUganda LC approval highlights the
needs to revise and consolidate parts of LC and OSMF aspects and
processes, these future discussions shall feature making this “paid
services” jurisprudence a written law as well as defining the
essential perimeter of actions of the OSMF which has been recently
enlarged to system administration, software development, fundraising
and human resources not without yielding questions about possible
changes this can brought to the model of the small OSMF which
spearheaded the growth of the project up to now."

= Email extract end =

I'd be interested in hearing from you on this topic within:
- the context of this OSM Uganda, Slovakia, Poland and Japan LC
application ; but also
- As a practice for consideration/thinking in OSMF which could lead,
if deemed relevant, to codifying good practice, producing LC resource
template, possibly amending AoA.


[1]: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2020-November/007423.html
[2]: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2021-February/007698.html
[3]: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2021-February/007724.html
[4]: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2020-December/007515.html
[5]: https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Nicolas%20Chavent/diary/395073
[6]: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2020-November/007438.html

Nicolas Chavent
Les Libres Géographes
Projet OpenStreetMap (OSM)
Projet Espace OSM Francophone (EOF)
Projet GeOrchestra
Mobile (FR): +33 (0)6 52 40 78 20
Mobile (Haiti): +509 40 19 46 02
Email: nicolas.chavent at gmail.com
Email: nicolas.chavent at leslibresgeographes.org
Skype: c_nicolas
Twitter: nicolas_chavent

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