Local Chapters: What To Know and How to Join

Hello OpenStreetMap Community! :slight_smile:

Announcement: Update and Changes to Local Chapters Application Process

Update: To set clear and transparent process to apply as a Local Chapter, we are happy to share that we have documented the workflow and updated the following Local Chapter pages in the OSMF website:

Changes: In addition and one major change is that the Local Chapters and Communities Working Group (LCCWG) is returning to be the the main contact to review application and recommend them to the Board. This process is documented in the updated FAQ page.

Why join as a Local Chapter?

We highly encourage local communities to review the above documents and apply to be a Local Chapter! They serve as ambassadors in their national / regional areas by promoting map generation and improvements, as well as creating and developing uses for OSM data and tools that fit their needs.

Applying as a Local Chapter is free – we welcome you!

Meet the Local Chapters!

The OSMF Board asks Local Chapters to share Annual Reports to make sure we are aligned in our pursuit of our shared goals. It’s also an opportunity to share each chapter’s amazing work with other OSM and mapping communities. We have now grown to 18 Local Chapters!

If you and you’re community is interested in becoming a Local Chapter, please check the FAQs page or reach out to LCCWG via email local@osmfoundation.org.

Acknowledgement: Thank you LCCWG and CWG for their contributions in this process!

What’s next?

If you or you know someone in the community who are interested to join as a Local Chapter, please encourage them, point them to the websites or LCCWG for guidance!

If you want to play a more active role, we welcome you to join LCCWG and Communications WG

We hope you can support us in our efforts to grow our Local Chapters!

If you have any feedback or questions, please comment on this thread :slight_smile:

OSMF Board member
LCCWG member


This is a good one :ok_hand:

Thanks, Olufemimide. If your community is interested to join as a Local Chapter, do reach out here :slight_smile:

I believe there’s a gap in governance that needs to be addressed, situated between individual memberships in the OpenStreetMap Foundation and the “~bureaucratic” procedures associated with Local Chapters. To bridge this gap, we could introduce something like “Community Chapters” designed for grassroots-level communities. Instead of having “Ambassadors,” we would have local coordinators to represent these groups. This would serve to formalize and augment the existing OpenStreetMap Community platform ( https://openstreetmap.community/ ) by listing contacts for each local group.
( + connecting the groups )

In the area where I live, nonprofits operate in a highly bureaucratic and polarized setting. This has made our local OpenStreetMap community very cautious, if not lacking in energy. Therefore, I think an inclusive and simplified structure would be beneficial for making our presence known in the community.

I believe that the existing OSM governance structure could be more inclusive. There should be no differentiation between communities based on whether they are physically located or online, or whether they are small or large.

  • large =~ “recognized Local Chapters”
  • small =~ “grassroot-level communities”

Every group should feel welcomed and included. This inclusive model would also allow for partnerships with specialized organizations, such as local wheelchair associations, and make room for underrepresented groups in OSM, like women, to register and publicize their communities.

A strong point of OSM that I greatly appreciate is its flexible tagging system, a hallmark of “inclusive design.” This system minimizes bureaucratic hurdles and allows for diverse use-cases, ranging from background mapping to routing. It would be advantageous to extend this “inclusive design” principle to the organizational level, enhancing communication and collaboration among local communities.


Thanks for your ideas! I have opened another thread for opinions/ideas on improving the OSMF affiliation models Improving the affiliation scheme of the OSMF