Microgrants/Microgrants 2020/Proposal/One-off costs related to hosting core UK systems for a year

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One-off costs related to hosting core UK systems for a year
To cover the cost of hosting core UK systems for a year, incuding a platform that enables us to utilise decision making tools enabling our community to input into every part of our work.
budget (Euro)EUR 243
location(s)United Kingdom
contact(s)• board@osmuk.org• osmuk.org
organization (if applicable)• board@osmuk.orh
links• twitter.com/osmuk

About your Mapping Community

Tell us a little bit about your mapping community at the moment, some examples of details to include are below, but please provide us with any information you think is relevant. Please write 100-200 words The history of our community in the United Kingdom is as long as OpenStreetMap itself. Indeed when OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 the initial focus was on mapping the United Kingdom, and the very first edit was in London. As the project has grown and evolved, it has become increasingly hard to determine the exact size of our community, however 250 people typically edit every day [1], whilst an average month sees up to 2,000 unique mappers [2].

The UK has had a Local Chapter since 2017. We currently have 101 members and and an audience of 1,778 twitter followers and 206 newsletter subscribers. Our aims can be seen in full on our website [3]. They include the aims to increase the size of our community, to improve the quality and quantity of data in OpenStreetMap and the promote the use of OpenStreetMap by individuals and organisations in the UK.

[150 words]

What do you need the grant money for?

We want to understand what you plan to buy, how much you plan to buy, and why this will help you to scale your community mapping efforts. There are two tables for you to fill in your response, and you may add more rows as needed. Some examples are in the table for your reference. You are welcome to use a different format in your response, but please make sure to include these details. OpenStreetMap United Kingdom is a small organisation and every penny matters. The grant will enable us to keep our domain name and website active for another year. It will also pay for our subscription to Loomio, a platform we use to engage with our community and test ideas using the inbuilt decision making tools.

When running a local community we strongly believe that decisions should sit with the community as much as possible. We have therefore subscribed to Loomio (at the reduced non-profit rate) as this provides a platform for decision making. Loomio is open source software, built by a worker-owned cooperative social enterprise. It includes seven different tools (proposals, polls, dot votes, ranked choices etc) that make it easier to solicit the input from our community. Quick and easy to use, this gives all members of our community an equal voice in decision making.

Budget breakdown

Give your budget breakdown here. If you would like to present your budget in a tabular format, you can use this tool to convert your spreadsheet into a wikitable and paste the code below here

Running costs of core UK systems for a year:

Item What do you plan to spend the money on? Expected cost per unit (in Euros) Quantity you plan to buy / subscription length Expected total cost (in Euros) Why is it needed? (Please give as much detail as possible.)
1 Community platform subscription (non-profit rate, per person) 0.91 EUR 120 110 EUR We use Loomio.org for OSM UK organisation discussions. The decision making tools included in Loomio allow us to validate our choices in a way that is not possible with talk-gb mailing list (e.g. votes, ranking, time polls, etc).
2 Domain name and web hosting 133 EUR 1 year 133 EUR To cover the costs of keeping osmuk.org online for another year

If you receive a grant, what do you aim to achieve?

It is recommended that this supports mission of the OSM Foundation and your local community. Please provide us with any information you think is relevant including the metrics you expect to achieve. Please write 100-200 words.

The grant will enable us to keep our core systems running for another year, allowing us to focus our time on the things that matter most to our community.

The website is the front door to our community and it is important that it is kept running so that we can continue to promote OpenStreetMap within the UK. Furthermore we plan for at least 120 members to be active within our Loomio decision making platform helping to guide our Local Chapter through each key decision over the next 12 months.

Do you receive funding from any other sources at the moment?

If you receive funding from other organisations currently, please state how much this is, whether the donations are regular or one off, and how these funds have been raised. Please write no more than 300 words. If you have any sources of co-funding for this grant application, please provide details. Examples of this might be if you have any partners who would be willing to match grant funding if you receive it, or if your project has existing funding. Please provide as much detail as possible.

Our Local Chapter receives a small fee from each member. At GBP 5 (EUR 5.70) per year this is one third of the price of OSMF membership and significantly lower than fees charged by similar organisations (both within and outside of OpenStreetMap). Combined with one off project income, at the date of last full financial reports we recorded a total balance of GBP 1205 (EUR 1380). [4]

To keep OpenStreetMap UK afloat, it is prudent to hold back a certain amount for contingency. Accounting for this we have minimal working capital and hence we are applying for this grant. Every penny matters for us on costs saved on annual hosting and services, will enable us to channel funds into furthering our aims as a Local Chapter.

All content and maintenance work will be undertaken using volunteer time at zero cost.

[140 words]

Is there anything you would like OSMF to support you with?

If there is anything which you would like OSMF to support you with in order to strengthen your project, please let us know. For example, this could include building relationships with OSM communities, sourcing updated imagery for mapping projects, or guidance on how to use some of the tools we have created. We want to do our best to support OSM communities, so please let us know what you need. Please write no more than 150 words.

Access to the microgrant scheme is much appreciated and we have submitted applications for a number of projects that we feel have high impact at low cost. Some of our ambitions did not meet the criteria – for example, we have been quoted a price for updated imagery however this was above the EUR 5000 limit. We welcome all opportunities to further engage with the OSMF as we believe that collaboration in all aspects of OpenStreetMap is what makes our community great.

In this particular case, we would be interested to hear if the OSMF would consider providing a standard package (hosting a website, membership sign up system, and communication tools - e.g. email addresses) for local chapters and community groups. A centralised solution is likely to be more efficient than each group running their own systems and will allow us to focus on delivering against our aims rather than spending a disproportionately large amount of time on keeping the basic web components up and running.

To provide some useful context: this last year a regular security upgrade to our membership sign up platform silently introduced a bug in which completed payments were not properly recorded. Consequently our members were being chased to pay again despite having already paid. Given the limited resource available to us (no sysadmins) the volunteer time taken to resolve this was significant. If we were paying minimum wage (EUR 9.86 for over 25 year olds) it would have cost about a sixth of our annual income to rectify this. Hosting our core systems accounts for another half.


By submitting this form to the OpenStreetMap Foundation, you certify the information contained in this application is correct, and that if you are awarded a grant, you will use it only for the purposes described above. You will provide written documentation and receipts for all of your expenses to the OSM Foundation to demonstrate this. You understand that the decisions made by the OSM Foundation Microgrants committee are final.

I agree [on behalf of OpenStreetMap United Kingdom C.I.C (an OSMF Local Chapter)]. For follow up communication, please contact us at board@osmuk.org.


Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!

This application is submitted and endorsed by OpenStreetMap United Kingdom C.I.C (an OSMF Local Chapter).

  • I endorse this proposal. This seems like a modest funding request to help maintain a Local Chapter's core infrastructure. —seav (talk) 04:51, 21 May 2020 (UTC)