OSM UK has 5+ volunteer Directors responsible for the administration of the company and financing projects. We practice ‘radical openness’: activities are discussed publicly Loomio; votes and polls are used to gauge opinion; an agenda document is shared on Google Docs; and Minutes to all our meetings are published on this website. We change 2 Directors each year.
Robert Whittaker has been involved with with OpenStreetMap since signing up as a volunteer mapper in December 2008. He particularly likes mapping countryside features and rights of way, along with high street shops and street furniture. He has written a number of data comparison tools to help flag missing or outdated features to mappers, which are available at https://osm.mathmos.net/ . He was one of the founding directors of OpenStreetMap UK, but left the Board soon after because of other commitments. He was re-elected as a Director in September 2023. In his day job, Robert works as Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at the University of East Anglia. He also has a more general interest in Open Data and government transparency.
Jonathan has been an OSM contributor since 2008 and used to run a software start-up company specialising in map rendering. He was on the organising team of State of the Map 2013 and has been to SotMs around the world. Jonathan is a member of the British Cartographic Society, and his interests include mapping footpaths, open source software and open data, cartography and how maps and places change over time.
Gareth is a control and automation test engineer by day in the midlands. First getting introduced to OpenStreetMap contributing following a request for people to work on a Humanitarian OSM task at his work place, he then saw that there was plenty to update, enhance and improve in his home town. Spreading the word on the benefits of the OSM database and explaining how it feeds forward into so many other services is an increasing occurrence. Gareth has a particular interest that modern mapping services do not become overly highway centric and that things like footpaths, cycleways and pedestrian shortcuts, along with parks and pedestrian amenities are added and recorded.
CJ joined the board in 2020 and is a software engineer at TomTom.
Stephen is a retired transportation planner. He has been a bit of map fanatic since he bought his first Ordnance Survey map at the age of 11. When he discovered Open Street Map he was excited by the potential and could hardly believe that anyone was allowed to edit it! He started tentatively by making improvements in his local area. He particularly likes to add pedestrian and cycle links which are often missing from other maps and compulsively adds benches when out and about. He would like more people to discover the pleasure of mapping and thinks it is important to make OSM accessible to the less technically minded.
Could you be our next Director?
To get fresh ideas and energy, two Directors stand down each year and are replaced. The departees may stand for re-election. But what does being a Director actually involve?
Like OpenStreetMap itself, the primary requirement is that you would consider making the effort for a good cause, for no immediate recompense or glory, in the knowledge that you are part of something fantastic.
It isn’t too onerous, you bring as much or as little time/effort to it as works for you. We hold a monthly 1 hour video conference at a time suited to the all Directors (currently on a Monday night 7:30-8:30pm) where we go through actions and make decisions. As most stuff is discussed offline on Loomio or email, the call is often just a chance to catch up…it just helps to speak to real people sometimes. Between the meetings you can contribute to projects or respond to incoming queries. Various organisations contact us for help (Microsoft, Transport for London, Open Data Manchester…) and different individuals tend to take the lead with the opening emails then organise a group conference call if necessary.
Hopefully, you will have ideas for ways we can advance the cause, be it doing some coding, presenting a talk, knowing a good contact, or pursuing for a particular project. There is lots to do, with limited cash, and there are no ready-made answers provided on how to do it!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in becoming a Director.