Strategic working group/VisionMissionValues

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This page is supposed to summarize the OpenStreetMap project, where it intends to develop, what it wants to achieve and how it is going to achieve its goals as well as the values and project culture that has established among its contributors.

It will help to find out if donors (, contributors and users) can identify with the project and therefore want to support the project. It will also serve as guideline to crosscheck if short term needs are in line with the long term strategy.

These statements are supposed to be distilled from current contributors and their aspirations - and not being invented by a few.



The vision helps to understand what people think the project will look like in a period of - let's say - 5 years. What are the specific intended achievements during this period? It might be something like "OpenStreetMap will have the best worldwide map coverage for the following use cases: Pedestrians, Cyclists..." It might something like "OpenStreetMap will provide the best map data to derive all kind of special interest maps". It might be "OpenStreetMap is the best source to establish commercial Location Based Applications."

These are all just examples and just show how different the vision can be. Most of vision statements contain words like "the best", "number one or two" as it is unlikely that people can identify with "me to" project that does not have some something special (e.g. "OpenStreetMap wants to provide another source of map data"). It should claim a "certain turf", where the OpenStreetMap project will excel.



The mission statement describes the specific long term activities that needs to be done in order to achieve the vision AND shows a clear differentiation from "competition" (I am not sure if everybody would agree that Google, Navteq, TeleAtlas etc. are competitors. However, defining the competition often helps to understand "your market" or we should better say the "turf" in this case).

Example "OpenStreetMap will always be the mapping project with the largest number of contributor to exploit its local intelligence and therefore have the most detailed map in areas where it is active". or "OpenStreetMap will encourage large communities with special needs for maps to use OpenStreetMap data and therefore always provide the best source for special interest maps."



Values are behaviors, which are specific and descriptive. These values reflect the defacto rules that have emerged among its contributors.

Here is a list valued that can be observed (to be adjusted and extended):

  • OpenStreetMap creates and provides free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them.
  • Decisions are made by the contributors and are not made hierarchical.
  • Everybody can propose new map attributes.
  • Everybody can contribute to the map.
  • OpenStreetMap data can be used for non-profit, private and commercial purposes as long as rules of the share-a-like license are considered.