When we founded SOSM in June 2012 one of the topics was if we should aspire to becoming a formal local chapter of the OSMF. At the time it wasn’t urgent since the OSMF hadn’t actually finalised a template agreement or actually accepted a local chapter, it took nearly another 3 years for the first chapter to be admitted (Iceland early in 2015).
In 2012 and every time we had discussed the matter at an AGM the SOSM board had made clear that we would hold a members vote when the time was ripe and that took place at our AGM in April of this year. Still even with the approval of our members it has taken us another 5 months to actually get the agreement signed at the global State of the Map conference last week.
We don’t expect any drastic change with this step, however given that so much of our work deals with government offices, political and other advocacy groups, having “official” status cannot hurt. The other part of the equation is that the agreement gives us a formal licence to use OpenStreetMap and other related trademarks in Switzerland.
Looking forward we expect to see more collaboration with other local chapters going forward and expect them to grow in importance as stakeholders in the project.