OpenStreetMap Foundation Commitments

rweait's picture

You want to contribute to OpenStreetMap even more than you do now. What can you do to help? You are considering running for a seat on the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board of Directors. Or perhaps you are considering volunteering on one of the OpenStreetMap Foundation Working Groups.

But you're concerned that you might be signing up for more than you realize. What's really involved? How large is the commitment? What are the commitments?


Your time commitment will vary with the group you plan to serve. Time commitment will also vary among the members within each group.


Primarily, you are committing to communicating with the other members of the Board or Working Group on a regular basis and in a timely way. Each group will have a schedule and a method of meetings. So you'll be expected to attend those, be they weekly telephone conferences, monthly IRC sessions, annual in-person meetings, or combinations thereof.

Method, frequency, and regularity of schedule vary from Board to Working Group to Working Group, so ask those currently serving in the group you wish to join.


Tasks vary by group and by your involvement within the group. Some groups have schedules that ebb and surge by their nature. For example, the State of the Map Working Group more- or less-busy based on the proximity to the event date.

Have a look at the Board Meeting Minutes and Working Group Minutes to get an idea of the involvement of previous and current volunteers, as recorded in the minutes. It is worth noting that some tasks are rather invisible to the wider community and some can not be adequetly captured in meeting minutes. If you can't name all of the Working Groups, and their chairs, that might be an indication that their work is going smoothly. It could also be an indication that your area of interest has little overlap with theirs, or that the group could do more in the way of outreach. Perhaps a combination of the above.