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Hello everyone.

Sometimes on forums like this, I find some answers pointing to "local community" e.g for performing data imports, discussing about local feature tags... And I am just curious: is this "community" just about local mappers or must it be an organized or founded or even legal group? What are they supposed to do (as a "community") and which capacities should they have regarding OSM data in their area/country?

Thanks for your thoughts. Have a good day!

asked 28 May '18, 07:55

Privatemajory's gravatar image

accept rate: 23%

closed 31 May '18, 06:26

OSM has no requirement that contributors have to organize and at least I see formal local organisations to a large degree as service and support organisations for the local/regional contributors (something the OSMF should be too) and not as governing bodies.

In any case in general the local community should be considered any contributor active in a specific area, and when discussing changes outside of normal editing (that is mechanical edits, imports and so on) affected contributors should have a fighting change to participate without going out of their way (so discussing a mechanical edit solely on the tagging mailing list is a clear no no).

Simply don't be a Vogon.

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answered 28 May '18, 11:55

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

Okay thank you for making this clear. So, if I understand it well, a local community doesn't have to be a group of persons that practice regular activities (meetings, mapathons...) or even a legal body, it is just referring to contributors that are mainly active in the area?

For some countries, there are legal entities (like Association OpenStreetMap France/Réunion/etc) grouping part of local OSM contributors. Are there some advantages of having such legal OSM entities? Generally, what push people to form such legal local entities?

(28 May '18, 14:42) Privatemajory

Are there some advantages of having such legal OSM entities?

One argument that was put forward by the group of people who became the OSMF local chapter in the UK was that it would make it easier to deal with businesses, government etc. - you can say "I represent XYZ organisation" rather than "I'm just someone who volunteers time for OpenStreetMap". Depending on what you want to do that may or may not be important.

To get back to the original question though, I'd echo what Simon said. For example, the "OSM community in the UK" includes a whole bunch of people who won't be part of the local chapter, never post on a mailing list or forum, and maybe just know a few other people locally who also add things to OSM.

(28 May '18, 15:25) SomeoneElse ♦

One other note - there's an attempt here to have a machine readable set of "OSM local communities". It's currently very incomplete (compare with for example), but may be useful.

(28 May '18, 15:31) SomeoneElse ♦

There are definitely some advantages, for example we (see below) run local infrastructure to support our community, negotiate availability of aerial imagery and other data with authorities and in general bang the drum for OSM. But that naturally depends a bit on who is running the show.

We: the Swiss OSM association (of which I happen to be a board member).

(28 May '18, 15:47) SimonPoole ♦

@SomeoneElse, @SimonPoole thank you, at least I needed these ideas.

But that naturally depends a bit on who is running the show.

Well, yes, these kind of tasks would require someone with knowledge and capacities within the community/association. And someone who will be able to spend enough time to make things work. We in Madagascar have been planning to form an association as well, but still struggling because of the lack of people who know how to do it. And I'm not sure if it's a good idea to go for it.

(28 May '18, 18:09) Privatemajory

While there is no formal recognition process, you can simply form a (informal) user group. The OSMF will even register and pay for the domain for you if you want to set up a website.

IMHO you need to have quite significant momentum to make formal incorporation worthwhile and particularly if you are in a country that doesn't have a really good model for "associations" it might simply need time before it really makes sense.

(28 May '18, 21:13) SimonPoole ♦
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question asked: 28 May '18, 07:55

question was seen: 2,738 times

last updated: 31 May '18, 06:27

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum