UK Group

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This page is to keep track of progress on setting up a UK OpenStreetMap group. Please help to keep it up to date with the discussions being held on talk-gb mailing list and our conference calls.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation maintains a list of Local Chapters. At this initial stage of the groups establishment we have not yet discussed the advantages or disadvantages of becoming a Local Chapter.

Keep up to date - sign up here!

Next meeting

To be announced (It will probably be discussed on the mailing list first). See also #Previous meetings below

Current actions

Actions as at end of second meeting:

  1. DONE: Brian to create draft 3 of Objectives based on feedback.
  2. DONE: Gregory to speak with his friend who has experience setting up a CIC.
  3. DONE: Compare Limited Company (limited by guarantee) and CIC (limited by guarantee).
  4. DONE: Adapt the template articles of association and discuss via group meetings.
  5. DONE: To review corporate membership.


The following is offered as a summary of what we might do:

  1. Standard membership £5 per year Pros: affordable and inclusive Cons: doesn't give us a lot of revenue to do things
  2. Discounts for multiple years purchase e.g. £40 for 12 years Pros: front loads income Cons: Accounting years complications
  3. Life Membership £100 Pros and cons as for 2 above
  4. Corporate membership SMEs with turnover <£1m, charities and public organisations £25 Businesses with turnover > £1m £250 Pros: gives us revenue and a network of contacts. Cons: None I can think of except the amounts might be wrong; and there is some opinion we should wait before we invite corporate membership

The controversial question is whether corporate members get a vote - still to be decided

Progress to date

The following has been agreed via group meetings.

Group aims

  1. To increase the quality and quantity of data about the UK in OpenStreetMap.
  2. To improve and increase the size, skills, toolsets and cohesion of the OpenStreetMap community in the UK.
  3. To promote and facilitate the use of OpenStreetMap data by individuals and organisations in the UK.
  4. To promote and facilitate the release by organisations in the UK of data that is suitable for use in OpenStreetMap.


We have selected the Community Interest Company (CIC) model.

Why? Following the second meeting we agreed to focus on two possible structures: Limited Company (limited by guarantee) and Community Interest Company (CIC). The CIC format is a Limited Company (exist in their own right / company finances separate from personal finances) with additional features. These additional features of the CIC ensure that it works for the benefit of the community. It is well understood and sends a clear message of our intention to support the community rather than personal gain.

Articles of association

A final draft can be found here. They are based on the CIC template articles and were edited via online discussion and telephone conference calls.


"I think we’re agreed it should cover the UK geo area. Loose federation with Scotland, loose federation with NI" [1]. Wales doesn’t have an existing group so less cause for concern there. Local English groups presumably follow the same loose federation system.

During second call there was general agreement to expand to to United Kingdom and Islands as defined on page 33 of the Immigration Act 1971. This covers the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, as shown in this wikipedia article.

Andy Allan pointed out that if we set up as a Local Chapter of the OSMF we need to specify a region. Then if anyone else wants to also set up in this region this is permitted but existing Local Chapters with overlapping regions are consulted first.


Until we needed a formal name we agreed to just call ourselves OSM UK [2]. This was formalised in the articles of association as "OpenStreetMap United Kingdom C.I.C.". The "C.I.C." is required as part of being a Community Interest Company (similar to how limited companies include "Ltd." in their name).

Our front facing name can be different and we can use a number of campaigns (as we have seen with "Switch2OSM").

Further discussions about the name at GB/UK group naming question.

Links to OSMF

Mary to act as liaison with OSMF accountant.

Record of discussions

Previous meetings

Most recent last:

  • 2015-12-17 (minutes)(this page did not exist yet)
    • Initial kick off meeting in which we discussed ideas of what the group could focus on, the region it should cover, the temporary name (project name), and volunteers for the initial working group.
  • 2016-01-27 (minutes)(this page at time of meeting)
    • Discussed the objectives - Brian to create draft 3 based on comments. For legal structures we decided to drop Charity and focus on Company limited by guarantee and CIC - to discuss with wide community. Jerry shared early research on Constitution - agreed to continue working on a sample bringing people in as required (eventually put on Google docs and allow everyone to comment using Google doc). Initial discussion on membership classes.
  • 2016-03-17 (minutes)
    • Initial discussion on Articles of Association
  • 2016-04-21 (notes)
    • Worked on the Articles of Association including topics related to the AGM and Directors General Authority.

Other discussions