Annual Report of the Directors 2020

2020, Uncategorized
General description of the company’s activities and impact

OSMUK represents mappers in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Isles, and the interests of the map itself. As of October 2020, there are 300-325 ‘daily active mappers’ (ref: OSMStats), 103 individual members of OSMUK, with 5 corporate members. Following the creation of OSMIE we agreed that members in Northern Ireland could, for practical reasons, be members of either or both Local Chapters.

Due to the COVID pandemic, the AGM was delayed and this report covers the ‘year’ from June 2019 – 17 October 2020.

Activities and impacts grouped by annual strategy item

Partner with an organisation on a Quarterly Project

We organised 5 Quarterly Projects: Solar Power, Fixmes and Notes, Paths through parks and nature reserves, GP Surgeries and Healthsites, and Cycling Infrastructure. Footpaths was to support the National Trust, and Cycling to support the developers handling TfL data importing.

Lobby & outreach

As an affiliated OSMF Local Chapter we hold a seat on the OSMF Advisory Board. We solicited feedback from our members on the drafted OSMF diversity statement.

Outreach from the previous year with the Open Data Institute came to fruition with them awarding grants to joint public/private projects. Awardees included Open Data Manchester, ThinkWhere, and’s Richard Fairhurst. (ref: ODI: Local government using open geospatial data to make a difference)

We continue strong links with Open Data Manchester. They spoke at State of the Map conference (SotM) about ODI-grant funded Mapping Mobility Stockport project. We provided assistance for their creation of an Introduction to OSM as part of a series of online lectures.

National Trust. Spoke at SotM about mapping paths on their properties in OSM. Became Corporate Member.

ThinkWhere. Spoke at SotM about ODI-grant funded Fairer Falkirk project. Became Corporate Member.

We met online with Microsoft’s Product Manager for Open Data/Source Harsh Govind about usage of OSM data for Bing Maps and Search. This led to Bing becoming a Gold Member of the OSMF and them joining the OSMF Advisory Board.

Brian Prangle spoke at the Move 2020 conference. Jez Nicholson spoke at #Geomob Jan 2020 about the FHRS project.

We met online with Mapillary after their purchase by Facebook.

Met online with the Ramblers Association about their Don’t Lose Your Way (Public Rights of Way PRoW) project.

We are building connections with Trek View, a not-for-profit organisation who are generating street-level photography of footpaths and natural settings.

Nurture the Talent Pool

We believe that not all activities in OSM can be carried out for free by volunteers. The OSMUK organisation is used to liaise between companies/organisations and small developers.

Transport for London enquired about getting data from their newly created cycling database into OSM. We were able to introduce long-term cycle mappers Richard Fairhurst and Martin Lewis-Smith.

University College London (UCL) hired Andy Mabbett to guest lecture on OSM.

Bombing Britain map development was taken up by Jez Nicholson but the project was cancelled before launch.

There were no enquiries for the Talent Pool after the COVID pandemic hit. Companies did not have the staff/will to run side projects.

Shape tagging guidelines (particularly mechanical edits/imports)

We continue with the approach of supporting conflation and discouraging bulk imports.

Rob Nickerson drafted proposed tagging guidelines for UPRN and USRN following the release of the data by the UK’s Geospatial Commission with an OGL license.


We started a microgrant program. The first grant of £250 was awarded to Bexhill-OSM for part purchase of a 360 degree camera for taking Mapillary street-level photography.

Conflation of Transport for London (TfL) data

We successfully connected TfL with developers. A Quarterly Project was created.

Create a budget

We created a budget and it showed that there was room for a small microgrant program.

Consultation with stakeholders

We practise ‘radical openness’ by discussing OSMUK-specific decisions openly on the Loomio platform, and other activities on the Talk-GB mailing list. Monthly meeting minutes are published publicly on the website. On occasion, individuals have attended a monthly meeting as a guest to talk directly with the Directors.

2 Directors stand down each year in order to get new ideas and opinions.

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