OpenStreetMap US is excited to announce our latest Charter Project - OpenHistoricalMap! As a project, OpenHistoricalMap has existed in some form since 2012 and is well-known in the OSM ecosystem. We had our first round of applications last fall, and we’re very excited to invite OpenHistoricalMap (OHM) to be a Charter Project. We believe this collaboration will benefit both OHM and the OSM US community by expanding the overall OpenStreetMap community, use of its tools, and contributions back to OSM of software updates and other development efforts.
OpenHistoricalMap has the daunting mission of building the world’s most universal, detailed, and out-of-date map. OHM has leveraged and extended OpenStreetMap’s open and free software stack and partnered extensively with OpenStreetMap US to help build its current platform and community. The Charter Project designation elevates OHM’s organizational capabilities and legitimacy for partnering with academic institutions, libraries, and local historical societies, as well as for fundraising. And, it does this without burdening OHM with the overhead and management of establishing a nonprofit organization with highly overlapping goals with OpenStreetMap US.
OpenStreetMap US launched the Charter Project program in Fall 2020 to support projects and programs that align with our mission. We have opened our door to more initiatives, projects and programs that would benefit from a strong relationship with OpenStreetMap US. Taking inspiration from other technology non-profits such as Code For Society, we designed the Charter Projects Program to enable this.
With the Charter Projects Program, OpenStreetMap US actively encourages the development of tools, programs and services that contribute to the growth and sustainability of the OpenStreetMap platform in the United States, and beyond. It is loosely based on the fiscal sponsorship model for governance of non-profit organizations. Projects are given a home and the ability to fundraise through the OpenStreetMap US organization. The existing maintainers or contributors still control the project, but OpenStreetMap US will support the development of a neutral, well-documented governance process. You can read about the Program in more detail in the Guidelines Document, which lays out the benefits, the kinds of initiatives we are looking for, and the procedure to apply.
Applications are now open on a rolling basis. View the application here. OSM US is looking to build strong, long term relationships with our Charters, so expect the process to take up to 3 months once you submit your application to hear a decision. If you think your initiative may be a good fit to become an official OSM US Charter Project, we would love to learn more and get to know you! A great way to get started is by reading the Guidelines and the Template Agreement. Feel free to reach out to someone on our team or board with any questions.
Please join us in congratulating the OpenHistoricalMap community!