OpenStreetMap Foundation

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OpenStreetMap Foundation
Openstreetmap logo.svg
Founded22 August 2006; 15 years ago (2006-08-22)
TypeCompany limited by guarantee
Registration no.05912761
  • St John’s Innovation Centre, Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WS, United Kingdom
Coordinates52°33′04″N 1°49′07″W / 52.55098°N 1.81860°W / 52.55098; -1.81860Coordinates: 52°33′04″N 1°49′07″W / 52.55098°N 1.81860°W / 52.55098; -1.81860
Key people
Allan Mustard
Expenses£91,607 (expenses for 2011-12)[1] Edit this at Wikidata

The OpenStreetMap Foundation (abbreviated OSMF) is a non-profit foundation whose aim is to support and enable the development of freely-reusable geospatial data. It is closely connected with the OpenStreetMap project, although its constitution does not prevent it supporting other projects.


The OpenStreetMap Foundation was registered in England and Wales on 22 August 2006 as a company limited by guarantee.[2] In 2007, it held the first State of the Map conference in Manchester.

In October 2009, the foundation announced that its members, rather than the OpenStreetMap contributors at large, would vote on changing OpenStreetMap's data license from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike to the Open Database License.[3]

In September 2013, the foundation began accepting corporate memberships in an "associate member" (nonvoting) category. The initial corporate members were Geofabrik, Geotab, Naver, NextGIS, and Mapbox.[4][5]

In June 2021, the foundation stated that the effects of Brexit have prompted them to consider a move back into the European Union due to issues with database rights, difficulties with getting charitable status for the foundation, and the increasing difficulty of using PayPal and banking in the United Kingdom. The foundation has not announced the location of its new headquarters.[6]


The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a membership organization. Membership in the foundation is separate from a user account on the OpenStreetMap website: a user account is required to contribute to the map, while foundation membership entitles one to vote at a general meeting.[7]

The foundation is run by a board of seven members, including the foundation's officers: chairman, secretary and treasurer.[8] The board is elected by the foundation's dues-paying members. As of December 2021, the board consists of Guillaume Rischard (Chairperson), Amanda McCann (Secretary), Roland Olbricht (Treasurer), Eugene Alvin Villar, Jean-Marc Liotier, Mikel Maron, and Tobias Knerr.[9] Former board members include retired U.S. ambassador Allan Mustard.[10]

Several working groups, composed mostly of volunteers, carry out day-to-day operations on behalf of the foundation:[11][12]

  • Data Working Group – countervandalism and dispute resolution[13][14][15]
  • Communication Working Group
  • Engineering Working Group
  • Legal or Licensing Working Group – trademark and licensing issues[3]
  • Local Chapters Working Group
  • Membership Working Group[11]
  • Operations Working Group
  • State of the Map Organizing Committee

Several local chapters are affiliated with the OpenStreetMap Foundation.[16]

Programs and initiatives[edit]

The OpenStreetMap Foundation promotes and supports the OpenStreetMap project but does not formally own the project or its contents.[17] The foundation's relatively low profile in OpenStreetMap's development has been contrasted with the Wikimedia Foundation's relationship to Wikipedia.[18][19]

In addition to day-to-day operations within the OpenStreetMap project, the foundation and its working groups run several initiatives to promote the project's growth. Its annual State of the Map conference is the flagship conference within the OpenStreetMap community. The GPStogo program lends GPS receivers to mappers in developing countries.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Finances/Income 2012 - OSMF". Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  2. ^ "Company Details". Companies House. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  3. ^ a b Bégin, Daniel; Devillers, Rodolphe; Roche, Stéphane (2018). "Contributors' enrollment in collaborative online communities: the case of OpenStreetMap". International Journal of Geographical Information Science. Taylor & Francis. 32 (8): 1611–1630. doi:10.1080/10095020.2017.1370177.
  4. ^ "Welcoming our first Corporate Members" (Press release). OpenStreetMap Foundation. 20 July 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  5. ^ "NextGIS among first OpenStreetMap Foundation's corporate members" (Press release). NextGIS. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  6. ^ Hern, Alex (2021-06-30). "OpenStreetMap looks to relocate to EU due to Brexit limitations". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-06-30.
  7. ^ Anderson, Jennings; Sarkar, Dipto; Palen, Leysia (May 18, 2019). "Corporate Editors in the Evolving Landscape of OpenStreetMap". ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. 8 (5): 232. Bibcode:2019IJGI....8..232A. doi:10.3390/ijgi8050232.
  8. ^ "Officers & Board". OpenStreetMap Foundation. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Officers & Board". OpenStreetMap Foundation. December 15, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  10. ^ "Officers & Board". OpenStreetMap Foundation. July 6, 2021. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  11. ^ a b Spreng, Michael (September 21, 2019). Past and Future of the OpenStreetMap Foundation's Membership Working Group (PDF). State of the Map. Heidelberg.
  12. ^ Rice, Matthew T.; Paez, Fabiana I.; Mulhollen, Aaron P.; Shore, Brandon M.; Caldwell, Douglas R. (November 2012). "Crowdsourced Geospatial Data" (PDF). Alexandria, Virginia: United States Army Topographic Engineering Center. pp. 104–105. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 11, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  13. ^ Ballatore, Andrea (2014). "Defacing the map: Cartographic vandalism in the digital commons". The Cartographic Journal. Taylor & Francis. 51 (3): 16. arXiv:1404.3341. doi:10.1179/1743277414y.0000000085. S2CID 1828882.
  14. ^ Neis, Pascal; Goetz, Marcus; Zipf, Alexander (November 22, 2012). "Towards Automatic Vandalism Detection in OpenStreetMap". ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. 1 (3): 315–332. Bibcode:2012IJGI....1..315N. doi:10.3390/ijgi1030315.
  15. ^ Quinn, Sterling D.; Tucker, Doran A. (November 6, 2017). "How geopolitical conflict shapes the mass-produced online map". First Monday. 22 (11). doi:10.5210/fm.v22i11.7922.
  16. ^ Perkins, Chris (2014). "Plotting practices and politics: (im)mutable narratives in OpenStreetMap". Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. Wiley-Blackwell. 39 (2): 307. doi:10.1111/tran.12022. JSTOR 24582895.
  17. ^ Guo, Huadong; Goodchild, Michael F.; Annoni, Alessandro, eds. (January 1, 2020). Manual of Digital Earth. Springer Nature. p. 603. doi:10.1007/978-981-32-9915-3. ISBN 978-981-32-9914-6. S2CID 208086021 – via Google Books.
  18. ^ Arsanjani, Jamal Jokar; Zipf, Alexander; Mooney, Peter; Helbich, Marco, eds. (March 3, 2015). OpenStreetMap in GIScience: Experiences, Research, and Applications. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography. Springer. p. 153. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-14280-7. ISBN 978-3-319-14279-1. S2CID 30689822 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ Stalder, Felix (January 16, 2018). The Digital Condition. Translated by Pakis, Valentine A. Cambridge: Polity Press. p. 214. ISBN 978-1-5095-1959-0 – via Google Books.
  20. ^ Bennett, Jonathan (September 2010). OpenStreetMap. Birmingham: Packt. ISBN 9781847197511 – via Google Books.

External links[edit]