From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

OpenStreetMap US Board 2021 Election Manifesto

I am running for another term on the OSM US Board of Directors. I'll have some forward-looking statements below, but let's look back first.

Last year when I ran, my priorities were: 1) Special Interest Groups, 2) Community Grants 3) Corporate Relations. You can read my statements about those topics here. In the past year, I have actively participated in the Goverment SIG. It's perhaps early to call it that, but we hold monthly meetings and I think we have started to build a strong relationship with key actors in the U.S. Federal Government, and I am eager to continue helping to drive this together with our ED. The Community Grants topic is something that ended up on my back burner, mostly because this was taken up at the Foundation level with their Microgrants program, which I helped design when I was on the OSMF board. Finally, corporate relations remains an important topic to me, but I can't point to specific achievements I drove. My connections in the world of corporate OSM users will continue to be useful. Outside of these three focus areas, the thing I am most proud of is the announcement of the Charter Projects program, last fall. After months of work with Maggie Cawley and Steven Johnson, and input from others, we opened up the program to the first round of applicants. With this, we have achieved a milestone in our ongoing mission to grow and expand the OSM community in the United States.

Looking forward then, the most important topics I want to continue to help drive forward are:

  1. Making the Charter Projects program a success with at least one but preferably two Charter Projects set up by the end of 2021.
  2. Connecting mappers in person again. We don't control the timeline, but OSM US will be ready when the world is. Not just a spectacular State Of The Map US, but also local events. Groups may need help 'rebooting', and there's also a great opportunity to capture new communities. I see a lot of appetite for this in my fellow candidates' manifestos, so I think we can make lots happen here.
  3. Making OSM US more sustainable financially. As we continue on an ambitious growth path, we will need not just more funds, but also a more steady inflow of them. This will allow us to build out core staff, and allow us to think more ambitiously about regional outreach and community building.

About me

I am Martijn van Exel, and I've been part of the OSM project since 2007 in one form or another. I contribute to OpenStreetMap as mvexel. I was a member of the OpenStreetMap US [1] Board of Directors from 2011 until early 2017, and again since early 2020. I was a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board of Directors from 2016 until early 2019. I was / am program co-chair for and involved in organizing the 2009 International and 2012-2020 US State Of The Map conferences. I am the author / maintainer of a few OSM related software projects, most notably MapRoulette. I love OpenStreetMap and firmly believe that we are changing the world together. I believe that fundamentally, OpenStreetMap is about building the best map of the world by giving people the power to share their knowledge of the world around them with everybody else.

I worked for Telenav on OSM things between 2012 and 2019, then for TomTom in 2019 and 2020, and currently for HERE Technologies.

If you want to get in touch, please drop me a line at I look forward to hearing from you!