Active Contributor Membership

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Active Contributor Membership

The OpenStreetMap Foundation values and serves OSM contributors. It is run by the community for the community. The OSMF membership exists to provide an opportunity for dedicated contributors to have a voice on how it is run. The Active Contributor Membership aims to grow the membership by providing a costless membership to the Foundation for anyone who contributes significantly to the project.

How does it work

The OSMF membership fee may be waived if the contributor applying for membership can demonstrate that they have consistently made sizable contributions to OpenStreetMap, for example by mapping (as of AGM 2019 vote ) and other volunteer activity such as hosting training, community organizing, contributing to tech, and so on.

Volunteer mapping activity

We will automatically grant associate memberships to mappers who sign up for an Active Contributor Membership if they have contributed something on at least 42 calendar days over the last year (365 days).

Other volunteer activity

Not everyone contributes by mapping, some are very involved, for example, in organizing conferences, programming or advocacy. Those other forms of contribution should be recognised as well. If you do not map at all or have less than the 42 mapping days, then we encourage you to apply and write about your contributions to OpenStreetMap in the past year as well as provide references and links that can supply information about your volunteer contributions. The Board will then evaluate and vote on your application.

How to apply


Why does this active contributor membership program exist?

The Active Contributor Membership program aims to grow the OSMF membership where dedicated contributors have a voice in OSMF as well as bridge the gap for active contributors who do not have the means to pay the paid membership fee.

How long is this membership valid?

Just like paid membership, membership under the active contributor program must be renewed annually. You will get a reminder, and you then can request the renewal, similar to the initial application. The check for mapping at least 42 calendar days in the last year will be carried out at the time you request the renewal, or alternatively you submit again a paragraph or two about what you do for OpenStreetMap.

What happens to the old fee waiver program?

The “financial hardship” and “lack of suitable money transfer” rule will be dropped entirely because even today, we expect someone joining under those rules to demonstrate some sort of contribution, so they would likely be eligible under the new rule as well.

Why 42 mapping days?

Mapping days is not perfect, but we need a benchmark that is objective, easy to verify, and simple for us to measure and implement.

Why 42 days? If we measure contributions in mapping days by OSMF members who map (83%), roughly half of them map more than 42 days per year. We would expect a “slightly exceptional” contribution in terms of mapping days.

How can I find out how many mapping days I have?

You can get an estimate from tools like Pascal Neis How did you contribute, which should be accurate enough for most purposes.

If you are technically versed and wish to verify your mapping days yourself, use the changesets api of osm to query your changesets. Then you can collect all unique dates in the created_at attributes of the changesets, and count how many unique days you have in the last 365 days.

Can’t this be cheated?

We also discussed abuse. When we receive an application, we contact the mentioned OpenStreetMap account(s) through the OSM messaging system to confirm they are owned by the applicant. You could of course make tiny contributions like wiggling a single node on 60 days, and maybe go undetected and get your membership. But that would be fraud, and the membership could be revoked if MWG finds out that the contributions are not meaningful.

Do paid contributions count?

The “active contributor program” is there to measure your engagement and volunteer efforts towards the project. If you do organizing or mapping for OSM as a part of your paid job, that is not necessarily volunteering with the project. By default, we would not include these activities as qualifying for this type of membership. But feel free to explain your contributions, and the Board will evaluate.

How are my changes divided into days for measuring 42 mapping days

For measuring the mapping days, the created at time stamp of each changeset is used. Typically, all changes in a change set have the same time stamp. A day is defined in UTC from midnight to midnight.

You don’t need to spend the full day mapping for OSM. As soon as you have uploaded the first changeset for a day, the day counts as a ‘mapping day’.

How do you handle privacy?

By law, every member of the OSMF can inspect the membership register (but we ask a few questions about what you want to do with it before handing it out). Who joined under which program is not revealed. The name, country, email and one of the osm account names will be shown.

Silhouette map of Kibera © OpenStreetMap Contributors

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