Membership Process

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Approved at Twenty Sixth Board Meeting - page now protected


General Process

Each year some number of new charter members are nominated and elected by the OSGeo charter members, in a process operated by the Chief Returning Officer (CRO). The number of new members will be between 10% and one third of the existing charter membership count as decided by the board. Read more about the role of charter members on the OSGeo portal page


  1. The nominations period should be roughly 1 week, and should be announced by the CRO on the OSGeo announce and discuss lists.
  2. Nominations for charter membership should be sent to the CRO (at
  3. Anyone who is not already a charter member is a potential nominee.
  4. The CRO should verify with the nominee that they are willing to stand for the election. This should include an explanation of charter membership responsibilities. Once confirmed, the CRO should forward the nomination to the OSGeo discuss list. No seconder is required.
  5. All OSGeo members (members as well as charter members) are encouraged to discuss candidates on the discuss list.
  6. Once all the nominations close, a summary of charter candidates will be prepared and posted by the CRO to the OSGeo discuss list.


Until 2013 elections were a completely manual process. For the 2014 elections we intend to introduce an Electronic Voting process to automize some of the tasks involved.

  1. Voting occurs roughly one week after nominations close.
  2. The CRO should ensure that all charter members receive the voting announcement - the OSGeo Secretary can provide a charter member list with contact info.
  3. Each charter member will have one vote per nominee
  4. The vote is sent as an email with one nominee name per line.
  5. All votes will be sent to, which is archived and forwarded to the CRO for counting.
  6. Charter members may apply all their votes to a single person or distribute them in integral amounts over multiple candidates.
  7. The voting period is roughly 1 week long.
  8. Once complete the CRO tallies votes and the new charter membership are assigned to the candidates with the most votes.
  9. In case of a vote tie, the CRO will use some suitable random method to select from the tied candidates to fill the new positions.
  10. The CRO will announce the selected charter members on, update the official list with the Secretary, and update the following web pages:

Positive Attributes

Previously suggested (but unofficial) membership selection criteria include:

  • Previous participation in or support of OSGeo activities
  • The person should already have made a contribution to free and open source geospatial software, education or open data.
  • The person should be willing to put in time and effort on the Foundation, perhaps joining committee(s), or volunteering in some other way that gets the Foundation going.
  • Members should believe in the general goals of the Foundation. To support and promote the use of free and open source geospatial software, education and data in a collaborative manner.
  • Members selected should provide a diversity of geographic representation in the Foundation.
  • Members selected should provide representation of a diversity of projects. For instance, we have a strong desire to see the "Java tribe" well represented in the Foundation and support for all platforms. We don't want the membership dominated by folks from just one project.
  • Members selected should provide representation of a diversity of interests (e.g., corporate, hobbyist, educational, scientific).
  • Members should be prepared to work constructively and positively towards the goals of the Foundation. Good teamwork skills are an asset.
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