Foundation/Local Chapters/Local Chapters Congress/2020/Notes

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Joost schouppe (talk) 13:50, 8 December 2020 (UTC)

Brought to you by the Local Chapters and Communities Working Group -

This meeting will be recorded for sharing with the community. Please speak up (here or by mail) if that's an issue for you.


Hello all!

Attendance: <name> - <place / chapter / organization>

  1. Eugene Alvin Villar - Philippines
  2. Jonathan Beliën - Belgium (OSMBE)
  3. Clifford Snow - (OSM US)
  4. Joost Schouppe - Belgium (OSMBE & OSMF)
  5. Said Turksever - OSM Turkey (not a local chapter / informal group)
  6. Anisa Kuci - Wikimedia Italia - OpenStreetMap Italia
  7. Tobias Knerr - Germany (not a chapter representative), OSMF board member
  8. Hanna Krüger - Germany, FOSSGIS eV
  9. Tomáš Kašpárek - Czech republic
  10. Besfort Guri FLOSSK - Kosovo
  11. Adam Hoyle (OSMUK)
  12. Allan Mustard - OSMF Board
  13. Maggie Cawley - OSM US
  14. Nellie Blair - (OSM US) Richmond, VA USA
  15. Jorge Gustavo Rocha, OSGeo Portugal
  16. Erlinda Sinani, OpenStreetMap Italia
  17. Adityo - Indonesia
  18. Arianit Dobroshi - FLOSSK, Kosovo
  19. Janet Chapman Crowd2Map Tanzania
  20. Willy Franck SOB - Osm
  21. Zack Wambua-Map Kibera
  22. Peter Elderson - Nederland
  23. Rob Nickerson (OSM UK)
  24. Minh Nguyễn (OSMUS)
  25. Tasauf (Ribin) - Bangladesh
  26. Fazle Rabbi - Bangladesh
  27. Brian DeRocher - MappingDC, Washington DC, US
  28. Rory McCann. Germany / Ireland. OSMF Board
  29. Tommy Charles
  30. Geoffrey Kateregga (OSM Uganda)
  31. Dani Waltersdorfer (OSMUS), Massachusetts, USA
  32. Malena Libman (OSM Argentina), Buenos Aires
  33. Naveen Francis (OSM India) , Thrissur
  34. Samsul Arafin - Bangladesh
  35. Sharon Omoja (OSM Kenya)

INTRO by Eugene

KEYNOTE by Allan MUSTARD (OSMF Board Chair)


Hanna: Do existing chapters have to sign the new agreement?

they can request to do so

Janet: How can OSMF support more informal mapping groups such as those in rural areas?

create a program for more infomal groups than Local Chapters (policy-making help needed!) microgrants could help

RobUK: What is the global reach of the EU database rights? If it does not cover other major jurisdictions does OSMF plan to open organizations in those places too? (eg USA)

not planned at this point

Victor N. Sunday: Any plan to ensure new chapters from Africa to come on board

one chapter just accepted, another in the pipeline

How to become a Local Chapter? Feel free to ask for a call to discuss the process!

12.30 Welcoming tools

Anisa Kuci (OSM Italia) and Jonathan Beliën (OSM Belgium)

Discussion on tools that communities can use to welcome new mappers

Existing tools:


  • Predefined message templates
    • by language where needed
    • by region (for big countries)
  • API messages
    • Automated level?
      • New mapper detection
      • Sending message
  • Use Pascal Neis service or build our own new mapper detection ?
    • is Pascal Neis service free (as in freedom) and/or open source?
    • It is not open source/FLOSS. ^RMC
    • Load on P. Neis server
    • Parsing P. Neis "API" is tricky
  • How to detect where a user is from
    • currently first edit
    • use x number of edits before "deciding"
  • Should the list be public (without logging in) or not ?
    • OSMBE need to be logged in
    • OSMIT list is public but need to be logged in to send message
  • Global code but hosted by chapters/communities


Janet: How easy would it to customise for eg Tanzania?

The idea is to make it easy to setup for any region (currently it's really developed specifically for Belgium/Italy)

Adityo: are those users in the list are the users who set their home location in their username?

no, it's Pascal Neis's RSS feed for new mappers by country

Janet: So for Belgium new mappers are automatically enrolled? Or they have to register?

I don't understand the question. They show up in the tool if their first edit was in Belgium OK, thanks, so automatic then. Detection is indeed automated, based on where is the first edit.

RobUK: I feel that this stage needs to be automated (the API should be adapted to allow LCs to send messages without having to copy-paste text manually to the OSM website).

There's an open issue to implement a way to do this on side Texte en italiqueNote that just clicking on the text and typing ctrl+c opens the new tab with the message; so you just need to type ctrl+v to get the message there

From Hanna: Automatic messages are not possible at the moment to avoid spam. From Rob: You can continue to avoid spam by limiting the sending of automated messages to only Local Chapters (and registered local groups)

ROBJN UK: Can the LCCWG add this (automated message API for LCs) to it's budget so that we can get that API change made (via paid work)?

From Allan: Why not? LCCWG just has to include it in the budget request.

Joost: how will you detect new mappers in specific regions? Pascal's feed is national only?

Indeed, user extraction should/could be developed for the welcoming tool.

Joost: note that personalisation based on first editor used is already implemented. Also note that the response rate is much higher if you "truly" personalise the message. Do you think trying to get a response is really needed?

Arianit: Are you looking for new accounts or new edits to the region?

If a user first edit is made in Belgium/Italy, the user will appear in the new users list.

Adam: which technologies/programming languages do the Italian tool and Belgium tool use?

PHP, see

Tobias: How do you measure success? Do you retain mappers at a higher rate than places which do not send welcome messages, for example?

Joost: I have done such analysis in the past, and there was no significant effect. But there's a more "soft" added value of making the mapper's life easier and increasing the chance of them joining "the community beyond just mapping"

12.45 Creating your community websites

Joost Schouppe (OSM Belgium)

Discussion on tools and ways for local communities to create their own websites

Background link:


Adam (UK) Did you look at how people manage their members (aka CRM) ?

OSM Belgium uses Mailchimp for registering our members (only name + email address, no postal address).

Rob (UK): Seems like all Local Groups needs to have technical people within their group to help with websites, etc. I support the idea of a template site that the OSMF could host and maintain for the group.

The group can then focus on content and all the other good stuff they do and not have to spend time on technical fixes to websites.

Sob willy frank: Thanks for mentionning Cameroon's geoportal. We are preparing something very interesting for the communities to handle these issues....we will present in few month

Rob: For all these things that we are asking for volunteers for, how long do we leave it before we move to paid work to get it done?

Peter: Maybe Elon Musk is interested? Tomas: To pay or to volunteer?

Adam: Do you think all LCs have similar enough needs to have a single solution or do you see something modular ?

Adam: CRM seems the place to start (imho)

Clifford: could we use the wiki for their initial home page?

13:15 Microcosms demo

Brian DeRocher (OSM US)

Demonstration of Microcosm and update to the OSM website to allow local communities to organize themselves better

Microcosms is a volunteer based project. It is not supported by any company. It's not paid development. Feel free to contribute on the github website.

Development/test instance: GitHub repo (post bugs/wishes here): Design document (ideas welcome!):


Janet: So is this an alternative to Eventbrite?

- Yes. Also an alternative to

Jonathan: Can we play with it somewhere ?

Adam: how would we use it as a local chapter?

It's better suited for a city size group of people, say 2-200 people. A user would create one, invite friends to join it. Create an event in it. This notifies members. And the organizer can track RSVPs.

Sob Willy Frank: What technology is runing on it ?

- Same as the OSM website (Ruby on Rails)

Maggie: would it make sense as a map rather than a list?

- Yes the list of microcosms could be a map. Let's call that a 2.0 feature.

Hanna: Do you know If you want to collaborate, feel free to contact Thomas.

- I need to chat with Thomas again. It's clear we're both solving similar issues. His is more event/calendar based, mine is more community based. But I see microcosms as being more than events. I want to support a team of mappers who share the goal to improve the map in some area (or for some specific interest, like railroads). We can also share our diary posts and gps traces at a more local level.

Jonathan: is there an API available to get the events (for instance) ? so we can include the events on our own website. See ; we currently use (see Hanna's question)

Clifford: Any thoughts when microcosms will be live?

- Keep bugging me!! Life happens, soccer practice happens. I also love my $$ job so some nights I work on that.

Maggie: could that tie to the wiki?

- Yes, great feature request. We could connect the microcosm to their own page in the wiki, or a big event like OSM US Connect, and of course State of the Maps.

Maggie: right now we have to enter events in multiple places - 1 place would be nice!

Adam: I'm happy to talk to you about strategies for handling scaling (if that helps)

- Thanks Adam (100) or (1,000,000,000)

Adam: can you access number of map edits? maybe tying ability to add to number of map edits?

- Not sure what you mean, but let me assume you have an event. And mappers tag changes with #mappingdc or something, then the event could find all of those changes and list them along with the event! Or we could display the distinct number of contributors.

Tobias: OSMcal has support for standards like ical and RSS. Do you have those, or plans for it?

- Not done yet, but I love the idea. I just created this feature request

Jorge: Something like counting the edits during a party?

- Yes, I'll create a feature request for that too.

Joost: Would it help if the OSMF had someone whose (paid) job it is to help get pull requests merged?

- The issue is me, not them. On the first PR #2390 there was great feedback. I welcome contribution to my own repo openbrian/osm-microcosms

Adam proposes to allow users to create a microcosm, IF they have some amount of experience in OSM already, like they have 100 edits. Thanks Adam.

13:30-13:45 BREAK

13:45 Local Chapter signing ceremonies

OSM Foundation Board Secretary & LC reps

Recently recognised Local Chapters will have their Local Chapter Agreement signing ceremony! Let's welcome Geolibres (OSM Argentina), OSGeo Oceania, OpenStreetMap US, and FLOSSK (OSM Kosovo). Guest appearance from OSM Czechia (already signed) and OSM DRC (just accepted).

14:00 Open discussion

Maggie Cawley (OSM US)

This is a free time for participants to talk about concerns, ideas, and experiences especially about their local communities. We will also discuss how and why to become a local chapter

Dealing with the Pandemic

  • Several groups have been less active
  • Besfort: we are doing our monthly meetups online using BBB, so it is going ok, but we are missing OSM Beers ...and Mapathons we organize online with different platforms, but still is not the same
  • Jonathan:
    • Exactly the same in Belgium (meetups online) and (definitely) missing the beers.
    • Good thing with online meetups : more people can join (no need to take train/car/...)
  • Joost: Also: a little mapping challenge to work on together seems fun! We're having lots of fun with
  • Dani: For Maptime Boston some feedback (common feedback) we received after doing a virtual meetup is that while it was fun and we got people from different areas to join, people are tired of virtual events.
  • TomK (CZ): Missing those beers very much in CZ too :-)
  • Maggie: what can LCCWG do to support?
  • Willy Frank: The pandemic has a great impact for our community (Cameroon) in 6months we focus and map the whole country . Get a look we are proceding to quality analysis and validation
  • Brian: have someone in the field with a live feed, and map what they collect from your home with a few people!
  • Horacio: split up channels into topics. Project with the firefighters, which makes it very directly helpful
  • Dani: I recently recorded a video to get students enthusiastic about OSM. Since we don't have much person-to-person interaction, it was suggested that a video may help, rather than just bullet points for them to read within an orientation presentation.
  • Eugene: Here in the Philippines we just had Day 2 of the three-Friday online conference called Pista ng Mapa (Festival of Maps). This was originally supposed to be an in-person event to be held back in May, but we changed it to a virtual event this November to coincide with Geography Month.
  • Minh: It’s been fun to attend Pista ng Mapa remotely. Never would’ve had that opportunity otherwise.
  • Eugene: OSGeo Oceania just did a hybrid in-person/virtual FOSS4G SotM Oceania yesterday (November 20).
  • Geoffrey:
    • only events, e.g. about the Microgrants. Challenge: slow internet makes online meetings hard.
    • OSMUK have been running "Quarterly Projects" for a while and we have found this has been good to help motivate our local community while we're not allowed to have mapping parties or in person meetups. I'm aware OSM France have a monthly "projet du mois" (Project of the Month) to similarly motivate their members.
  • Janet: At Crowd2Map we are having online training for 100 fieldmappers in Tanzania twice a week, coordinated via a WhatsApp group

Are there any projects that a few of the Local Chapters/groups might want to work on together? What are they and how to get that started? For inspiration:

Joost: can we do a breakout for some topics?


1) Work on "website template" (suggested by Joost)

  • Joost: no commitment needed at this point, just laying some groundwork :) :-)
  • Tom.k (CZ) I'm one of behind, so I can join this.
  • Jonathan (behind Will join as well :)
  • Besfort (Kosovo): Will join as well


  • Adam (UK)
  • Abdurahman (Libya)
  • Joost (Belgium)
  • Anisa (Italy)
  • Naveen (India)
  • Eugene (Philippines) *
  • Jonathan (Belgium) *
  • Besfort (Kosovo)
  • Tomas (CZ) *
  • Willy Franck (Cameroon)
  • Jorge Gustavo Rocha (Portugal)


  • Start with building blocks
  • Tomas: first "who is the user?" > Czech: map users; code on Github
Who is the user?
  • Map data users / mappers ; e.g. multilingual maps
  • Companies/governement that want to talk to "another company"
  • NOT a platform oriented primarily to mappers > purely mapping oriented info goes on the wiki!
  • offer platform for sharing results of initiatives from the mapper
  • getting mappers into community members


  • Tomas:
    • a real "customer" first;
    • list of features/topics to inspire, prioritize with help of different groups


  • Adam: Wanted a UK-oriented map on website but no one could build it so the OSM UK website has no map.
  • Jonathan: OSM BE website uses Jekyll to build website
  • Re-use existing repositories: osmcal, osm community index, microcosms


2) How to best support underrepresented groups with connectivity and data ...

Present in this room:

  • Brian DeRocher
  • Minh Nguyen

  • Maybe microcosm could be used to build a community, if it's not geographically based.
  • Microcosm can be translated into every language can be translated into

3) How can Local Chapters better advise the OSMF? What should OSMF be doing to consult with Local Chapters? (suggested by Clifford)

Present in this room:

  • RobJN (UK)
  • Allan Mustard (OSMF)
  • Arianit Dobroshi (FLOSSK)
  • Brian DeRocher
  • Clifford Snow
  • Dani Waltersdorfer (OSMUS)
  • Hanna Kruger
  • Horacio Castellaro (Argentina)
  • Janet Chapman
  • Maggie Cawley (OSM US)
  • Malena Libman
  • MapUganda
  • Minh Nguyen
  • Sharon
  • Victor N. Sunday
  • Zacharia Muindi
  • Joost: it's up to the Local Chapters to reactivate the Advisory Board
  • Rob: Local Chapters could be involved in accepting/rejecting new corporate members. Ensures that corporate members keep a good standing with the communities.
  • Create a best practices document for Local Chapters
  • Fund raising

4) Microcosm ideas (Brian DeRocher)

15:00 Closing remarks

Useful links